Well, here it is 8:10 Saturday morning. John is asleep in a reclining chair in our family room, I’m wide awake typing to you, and our newest family member is exhausted and sleeping under my desk. Oh, what a night it was — you just can’t make this stuff up.
It all started with a fun make-your-own pizza night at Bart’s. Bart told us stories of how one of his family's and friends’ best memories was something as simple as a pizza party night.
Back then he would make the dough ahead, which can be a labor of love, and set-up bowls filled with whatever toppings he had available. The rule was two people to a pizza and you each got to make your half into whatever kind of pizza you wanted it to be. It was a delicious, fun way to get everyone involved and bring people together.
When I was younger and we would have people over, I always felt that I had to have everything, and I mean every detail, ready before we opened the door to greet our guests, family or friends.
Now we laugh about it, but at the time it really wasn’t funny or kind when I look back. The girls were little, John was working endless hours and I would turn into “host-zilla.”
Often the entire day leading up to opening that door, I was ordering everyone around, trying to make sure everything was just right. I would get “crabby” and then some. Do this, help here, move that.
I’m not sure how they put up with me, but they didn’t have a choice. The joke became that after driving my own family crazy for hours when the doorbell rang, we’d open the door with the most relaxed, "So happy to see you" smile and hug. No one ever knew how nutty I made our house most of the day just to get to that point. Have you ever done that? I look back now and think, why?
With age, I’ve learned that many of the best memories are made when family and friends walk in and we can answer yes to the question always asked, “Is there anything I can do to help?” I always say that the first 15 to 30 minutes of any gathering is a little awkward anyway. It takes everyone time to warm up and get the party started.
Having something for your friends and family to do to help and become a part of everything is a great twist. That’s how our pizza night was. Years ago, when I taught at Londonderry High, I would have a Deep Dish Chicago Pizza Night at my condo right over at the rail trail, 9 Wyndmere Drive.
Kim Sousa would be there, and other dear friends. I made sure to have everything ready before they got there though. My friend June would arrive early to help me. I remember one time after we had lots of these pizzas made and ready for when we opened the door, June announced we had forgotten to add the yeast! What can you do! Imagine how much more fun it would have been if I had let everyone design their own pizza half, work side by side, laughing and talking while it baked in the oven.
Last night Bart used 99-cent pizza dough from the grocery store. He said it was just as good as when he made it from scratch, but it was so much easier and much less cleanup too.
He had bowls ready with different cheeses, vegetables and meats. We all stood around the counter, talked, worked together, and then enjoyed the fruits of our labor.
What a great thing to do with your family, little ones of all ages can get involved too. What a great night and the Celtics won!
“So far so good,” as my dad would say.
Well, going along with our food theme, I had the bright idea to change Gigi’s food to something “healthier” than what the wonderful breeder had provided.
John warned me to take it slow, and just give our little girl only a very small amount of the new food to start, and I thought I did.
Well, Gi liked it so much, I gave her a little extra as a treat. How could it hurt? She’s so precious and such a good girl. Once again John called it right.
Gi who has been sleeping through the night was up every hour and a half to go out. I’m not sure how she could wait until we got her outside each time, at maybe 3 pounds now!
You can only imagine why she kept waking up. I’m still kicking myself as I’m telling you.
I always say to the girls when they don’t know something “Google it." I can’t believe I didn’t take my own advice before messing with her food. A tough lesson learned. Oh, what a night.
After the third snowy night walk together things seemed to settle down.
God bless John. He came along each time too to make sure we were both OK.
To top it off, we have a neighborhood fox that lurks around! We all finally seemed like we might be able to catch some sleep at about 5 a.m. and the worse loud alarming sound went off through the house.
I didn’t realize that because of town codes, each home is required to have a fire alarm in almost every room. I assumed that was part of our alarm system. The alarm just wouldn’t stop.
First, we were grateful that there wasn’t a fire! Next, John had to go grab a tall ladder and begin going from alarm to alarm — eight in total — to disconnect each one to make the noise stop. I can only imagine what poor Gigi was thinking!
Now you can understand why John is finally asleep in the chair behind me and Gi is under my desk exhausted.
How was your night?
Sherry Farrell is the Londonderry Town Clerk and a longtime resident of New Hampshire.