Because of everyone’s schedule, we celebrated Shannon’s birthday on Sunday, which turned out to be such a warm, lovely day that we were actually able to have appetizers on the patio. The first patio gathering of the season and a great way to kick off what I hope will be a long string of patio days.
The yard is certainly not at its best. There is much clean-up to do, and there are no flowers in the garden. Only green shoots. But it didn’t matter. As we ate, drank, and talked in the warm sunshine, the dogs ran and sniffed around the yard. Chickadees and nuthatches and tufted titmice came to the feeder. The red buds of the maple tree were in crisp outline against the deep blue sky. So what if the mud by the gate had to be barricaded with a pallet, a wheel barrow, and two trashcans so that the dogs wouldn’t be a muddy mess? We didn’t need hats and mittens to be comfortable outside. Welcome, welcome, spring!
For the meal, we had grilled steak—one of Shannon’s favorites—as well as tortellini tossed with roasted garlic and olive oil; glazed carrots; and homemade cornbread. There were presents, cake, and ice cream. Shannon also loves our homemade peanut butter balls, so the previous day, Clif and I made a half-batch to give her, and we recycled a Valentine’s Day box for the chocolates.
Shannon is keen on playing games, and she brought a rather complex board game—The Eldritch Horror—for us to play. After cake and ice cream, we cleared the dining room table and spread the many pieces out. At first we all just moved randomly around the board, but gradually we dimly understood how to find clues and stop the monsters, and we moved with more purpose. One of the things I really like about this game is that rather than stress competition, where player is pitted against player, this game encourages cooperation, where to win against the monsters, the players must help one another. Because the game is complex, there is nothing cheesy about the cooperation. I have never played a board game like this, and it was a good change from the usual knock the other players off the board kind of game.
All in all, a good day with fine weather, a birthday celebration, and an interesting new game that we agreed could be played on the patio when the day stays warm into the evening.