Courage at Twilight: Block Party

Mom’s and Dad’s neighbor stopped by Sunday afternoon with an invitation to a block party at his house later in the week. Hamburgers and hot dogs plus pot luck salads and desserts.  I decided to go—he is my neighbor now, too.  Mom and Dad decided it would be too difficult for them to go, so I walked over alone.  They thought it would be bad form for me to bring them food from a party they did not attend or contribute to.  I understood, but explained that if Darrell offered, I would accept.  I received a warm welcome, which was nice since I felt a bit awkward as an older single man in a crowd of contended couples.  I met several families: Valentine, Liu, Antonelli, Back, Lundgren, Jarvis, Breen, Callister, Taylor.  Nice people all.  I fought off creeping distress after learning four names, fearing I would forget them all upon hearing a fifth.  Many of them inquired after Mom’s and Dad’s welfare.  Fixings for the hamburgers included crisp bacon, grilled onions, and over-medium eggs, and I confess to enjoying my burger very much.  The donuts I brought were popular, disappearing as fast as the burgers.  Mary Ann asked if I would like to take some food home for Mom and Dad.  “Well,” I responded, “I have been instructed neither to request nor refuse.”  “Well, then, load up a plate!” she ordered.  Dad relished his “most excellent” hamburger, and Mom her blackened all-beef franks.

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