I had promised an After Party when the renovation of This Odd House was complete. It turned into a (happily ever) After Party, a date was set, and now I had a deadline for completing the project.
It helped focus my work this summer, though I am sorry to say that the renovation is not entirely completed. But life is filled with tradeoffs, and the important items got finished, while the lower priority ones will end up in that endless punch list of “house maintenance”, the life sentence of Sisyphean tasks given to every homeowner.
I put that list off for a while; planning the After Party took priority, and I give most credit to Portia for anticipating what we needed before actually needing it, ordering food, drink, and decorations, renting party equipment (canopies, tables, chairs) and arranging visitor accommodations. We had eager helpers for some tasks, specifically in the testing of champagne options, and willing helpers for everything else. Good will was abundant among our family and friends for this event.
The original concept of an After Party was to invite back the attendees of the Before Party, about forty. When it became a birthday party, more friends and family were invited. And when it then included a wedding ceremony, an even larger circle of people were added to the list.
Expecting that many would be unable to attend, we felt confident that we could host this larger party, but as the date approached, we discovered that nearly everyone would be coming! Now we needed to worry about the capacity of This Odd Backyard to accommodate them all and what we would do in the case of bad weather.
We never had a credible backup plan, so it was a relief to watch the forecast evolve from 80% chance of precipitation and thunderstorms a week prior, to 0% at moderate temperature under sunny skies as the day arrived.
The house and yard was decorated to a sixties theme: tie dye and psychedelic day glow, daisies and flower power, Peter Max posters, and Beatles music.
I prepared a TOH After Party program, something of a self-guided tour, for attendees so that they would know what they were seeing and what to expect. On the back I listed the things that had been done, on a room by room basis, during the renovation of the previous year. I had to use a small font.
It was wonderful to have such a show of love and friendship. I appreciated everyone coming, and as usual, regretted that I could not spend as much time with each person as I wanted. We will have to invite everyone back, a few at a time, to properly thank them.
Here are a few photos from the After Party. Much more can be found in some slide shows that were made after the event, but I think you get some of the feeling of the event from these…
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