only six per hammock, please
Our community welcomed May home Sunday with a multi-leveled party. May Day
was a gimme. Just try to start the month without it. It was International Workers’
Day, though no one mentioned the Haymarket Riot. Our hostess mentioned that
neopagans. Further, it was the birthday of Judy Collins, Rita Coolidge, Joseph
Heller, Mother Jones, Kate Smith, Terry Southern and Magnus VI Lagabuter,
King of Norway from 1263 – 80.
Locally, however, we were gathered to honour two community members who had
recently slipped the surly bonds — our own Roameo and Joy, a neighbour’s lab mix.
They were both 14. Joy was buried on our neighbour’s property, where we held the
party. There was a tasteful shrine of daffodils and stacked rocks. We wandered over
to her grave in small groups to pay our respects.
The focal point of the party was a bonfire on which we cooked oysters and weiners.
That we’d just had Roameo cremated did cross my mind as I ate four hot dogs. The
party built slowly, allowing the group to notice and greet each new arrival. It was a
pot luck of sorts, so new temptations kept appearing the entire evening. A predicted
rainstorm either didn’t show up, or did after we wouldn’t have noticed it.
The high point of the night was an Easter egg hunt organized by the kids for the
adults. Jude and I found four, mainly because most of the kids followed us, yelling
“Warmer. WARMER!” When all the fertility symbols were found, the kids turned
their attention to piling into a hammock. All six of them fit, their weight nearly
stretching the hammock to the ground.
I’m not sure how they achieved their configuration without any injuries, but it
required a great bit of giggling.
We took Slinkee to celebrate the passing of her colleagues. Many neighbours also
brought their dogs. It was fascinating to see the pack hierarchy realign each time
new pooches showed up. Slinkee was bossy at first, then increasingly democratic
as her power was diluted.
So it was a typical community get-together: lots of kids, dogs, food and camaraderie.
There was a moment in the middle of it that symbolized our group connection.
Five-year-old Mowat showed up on his own, proud that his mom and dad trusted
him to make it safely. Greg and Jolie knew that we’d watch after him until they got
there. When they did, their three-year-old Maese, Jude’s cookie-making partner,
almost knocked Jude over with an exuberant leg hug.
Stray memory of Roameo: he was once walking by the TV just as Alex Trebek was
presenting the Final Jeopardy clue. Roameo watched as if he were reading it, gave
it some thought, then continued walking.
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