January 26, 2020

Throwing a Party

• By John F. Chisholm •

There are a lot of jobs to catch up on around here. This isn’t anything new. In fact, on a place like this, work never disappears. Not even for an instant.

Nevertheless, with my daughter’s wedding approaching, I’m making a diligent effort to catch up, at least a bit, on the job list. The ceremony will be held right here. We’ll have more than 100 guests: friends, family and brand new in-laws right here, many for the very first time. Moreover, that ‘s only the number who are confirmed today. There are still weeks to go.

One of my wife’s favorite expressions, “You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression,” is seeing a lot of use. It’s directed at me. Apparently she dreads the first impressions I make. That doesn’t seem fair. After all, she married me.

In any case, please be certain that I love my daughter, that I wish her and her groom nothing but the best. Equally, I love my family, many who have been with me all my life. Others arrived only shortly after I did. My in-laws are great. I couldn’t ask for nicer brothers. Still, I have to say it, I am dreading the day. The pressure behind that first impression is huge.

I fear that it’s showing.

I had lunch with my daughter yesterday. I mentioned a few of the more prominent items remaining on my to-do list. “Let’s see.” I rubbed my chin. “I’ve already changed the latticework, painted the porch, moved my equipment and mowed the orchard.” I rapped my knuckles on my head, trying to wake my sleeping brain, that one remaining synapse still firing. “I still have to scrape and paint the east-facing peaks, spray the cedar shingles on the garage and do a hell of a lot of trimming.”

“Dad! Dad!” my daughter interrupted me. “You’re looking at this all wrong. You have to realize something.”

“Yes?” I queried, eyebrows lifting. “What?”

Kim pointed at me and explained. “The only way to clean the refrigerator is to throw a party.”

I thought about it then laughed. She’s right, isn’t she? All those jobs, all those defects we’re so used to that we simply ignorie? After all, the mess is ours. It’s clear that the only way to fix them is to throw a party. So please, wish me luck. We’re doing exactly that. We’re throwing a party. All those things that never get done, the jobs that linger, they’ll all be completed.

I’ll be exhausted by the time we get there.

But the refrigerator will be clean. I promise.