I wondered whether I should bring clam dip. Jeri D. (our Jeri's godmother) had said we should bring whatever we wanted to drink and snacks in a cooler, since they had neither a table nor a refrigerator any more. But then I realized this would be the very last time we would ever have clam dip in that house and I went ahead and brought the fixings for it anyway.
Jeri is selling her home, now that she has become pretty much a full time resident of her RV, traveling around the country, and about to establish residence somewhere other than California, for tax purposes. She has been so seldom in her home in the Del Webb Adult Community in Lincoln since her husband died that it's crazy to keep paying taxes on it.
So the house is for sale. But Jeri always had the party house, whether when she and her husband lived in Castro Valley or in Lincoln. We have been having parties at their house since I was pregnant with our own Jeri. So this was kind of bittersweet. It's definitely the end of a very, very long era.
I smiled when we got out of the car and started toward the house, realizing that our cars advertised the interests that defined us.
We've had this magnet on the back of our car for several years now.
Rich and Pat have always been the conservationlists / environmentalists of the group.
Hetch Hetchy is a valley in Yosemite which was completely flooded when they built the O'Shaughnessy Dam in the 1920s. The call for returning the valley to it's original condition has been raging on ever since.
Jeri got her personalized license plate after she got her degree.
If Char and Mike had been there, I'm sure we could have added a "Go Bears!" message to the rest of the cars!
I'm not sure what help we were. I packed a couple of boxes of glasses and a box or two of pots and pans, Pat, Rich and Walt separated photos from frames, Phil, the new man in Jeri's life, packed and carried endless boxes to the garage where Jeri's son Kevin organized it, Pat and I packed up all the decorative stuff in the bathroom (how I would have loved to have a bathroom like this!)
It is MUCH larger than my kitchen.
We took a break to eat and as we sat around I remembered all the other times that people from the Pinata Group had gathered there, sprawled on couches or at the kitchen table, or out on the patio. Now we had plastic chairs that we had brought for ourselves, since all the furniture has gone off to a consignment shop.
.And yes, there was clam dip.
We sat there reminiscing about one of their moves to a house high on a hill. The people buying their old house had made things so incredibly difficult for Jeri and Bill that when they moved out of the house, they took EVERYTHING, including the lightbulbs and some of the plants in the back yard.
Jeri and I officially agreed to donate the game of Risk we bought jointly back in the 1960s to a thrift shop.
We reached a point where all that was left were things that only Jeri could make decisions about, so we packed up all of our things and left her, Phil and Kevin to finish the job.
I'm very happy for my friend for her new life, but somehow it's sad knowing that she's not just an hour away by car (but then she hasn't been that for a few years now!). But that sadness is lessened by the memories we have of all the parties over the past 40+ years.