[Originally e-mailed to list on January 4.]
So now, about the Gala:
Vic always said the the best time to enjoy an experience is before, during and after it. It was easy to predict how awesome this party was going to be because of the buzz of excitement around the house while we were all preparing for it. There was the decorating, which included selecting, erecting and trimming the tree, and putting up yards and yards of evergreen garland, some of which had to done by balancing precariously on top of a ladder and attaching it gingerly to the all-plaster molding. There were also the strings of lights on the stair railing and the front porch, and lush bouquets of white flowers everywhere.
Then there was the food, highlighted, if I do say so myself, by my wife's cooking, although many other housemates contributed as well. Lynne baked exceptional chocolate chip cookies from a recipe tweaked over several weeks (We housemates got to be guinea pigs for the previous “experimental” versions.). She also spent days preparing a glorious turkey that became the centerpiece of the refreshments table. It was accompanied by baked brie, smoked salmon, chocolate truffles, plus much, much more. George, housemother and mixologist extraordinaire, prepared three (three!) different types of eggnog and a special champagne cocktail.
Oceana (housemother and fashionista extraordinaire) went around the house a week early to guarantee that everyone's wardrobe plans were up to her standards. The theme for the event was to be gowns and tuxedos, and no one disappointed.
None of the guests disappointed, either. When the big night arrived, a steady stream of beautifully-attired men and women flowed through our front door. Their were dresses of green, gold, red and white; there were traditional tuxedos and tuxedos with a “twist.” And everyone came to party. There was live music, enthusiastic dancing, and equally enthusiastic drinking and eating. People saw friends they hadn't seen in a long time, and others made brand new friends here that night. Truth is, I could have asked many more women to dance than I did, and I solemnly promise to do so at the next party, but I had a wonderful time with the four of five beautiful ladies who favored me with saying yes when I offered. Thanks to all of them.
Needless to say, the Gala was a huge success. Over the subsequent few days, we got some touching thank-you notes. Sierra's parents, Tom and Joy, who have lived in the community for decades, said it was the best-decorated party ever at 80. We heard rumors about people reminiscing about having had so much fun that their friends were wishing they'd been there. I know I'm glad I was.
Well, friends, Lynne and I leave for our East Coast vacation tomorrow morning, so I won't be posting for a while. I hope you've enjoyed hearing about some of our holiday festivities, and I hope you all have a great beginning to your new year.
Thanks for reading.
Anticipation is the aperitif of experience. Reminiscence is the liqueur of experience.
-- Vic Baranco