Tuesday, June 03, 2008

A Night to Remember

So. The party has ended. The people had all gone home. Mensa Boy and I were tidying up as much as we are willing to, when I said "I think I'll clean the oven."

I checked in there. Nothing had been left. It was dirty, but seemed okay to go. So I shut the door and hit "Clean."

After 20 minutes, black sooty smoke began pouring from the oven vents. Mensa Boy was starting to get extremely nervous and was opening windows and setting up the fan to blow the smoke out the kitchen window.

After another 10 minutes, we started to worry that the smoke was getting thicker and was very acrid. It seemed somewhat toxic. All I could really tell MB was that it would have to burn off. The other alternative would have been to cut power to the kitchen. So we decided to wait a few minutes more.

Finally after a total of about 45 minutes, the smoke seemed to be stopping. But we still had a lot in the air downstairs. And it really reeked pretty bad. I was worried enough that I wondered if we might sustain smoke damage to the furniture.

But the fire/smoke thing turned out to be just the beginning of a series of events that would keep us on edge for a couple of days. Stay tuned.

It's all OVER!


The boy is graduated, the party has been thrown. Thank you notes are the next thing on the agenda. I thought the red eye on this photo was just too humorous to correct!

Graduation was Friday afternoon at Winthrop Coliseum. The venue was really too large for a small school like ours (only 100 graduates), but it was pretty with all the red of the Winthrop Eagles basketball team, and the setup really seemed intimate. I liked it better than the auditorium we've used in years past, which has always seemed dark, run-down and haunted. But the coliseum cost us $3000 more too.

Nate looked quite mature and calm during the ceremony, which went off without a hitch. I was more nervous about the ceremony than I was about Nate graduating. I was in charge of the diplomas and I think I checked them something like 11 times to be sure they were laid out on the table in the correct order and that we had one for each graduate. We had a graduate decline to participate the day before the ceremony, and another show up unexpectedly, so there was much shifting of seating arrangements and all that.

After commencement we all went to Olive Garden for a great meal. Nate's girlfriend Erin came with us, as did Tony. Olive Garden does very well with service for large groups, which I find remarkable considering that they don't take reservations.

Then Mom and I popped over to some shops to see if I could find crops and tees to wear for the open house Sunday. That was harder than I thought. I had a hard time finding crops in my size at all of the stores we were in.

Saturday was errand day and prep for the event. It was blistering hot too, which made me worry a bit about it being too hot for the party the next day.

Sunday we did the church thing and I had the beans baking all day. We retrieved 5 huge trays of bbq pork from the fire department cooler, along with 1 1/2 gallons of sauce. I think the biggest stressor was worrying about how to get the right amounts heated up to serve and how to keep the rest safely cool. Mom made a big batch of cole slaw from the recipe I managed to get from the Masonic Lodge...the only cole slaw I've ever had that I like.

The afternoon clouded up and we had some lightning for a few minutes. But by 3 or 3:30 it all looked good. So we scattered tables and chairs around the back yard and people started pouring in around 5.

Altogether we had more than 60 folks here. I only know this because I bought 60 cups and we had 2 left. But I know there were more because the posse showed up with wine around 6:30 and we used wine glasses. And there were some graduates here, who got special "Class of 2008" glasses I had for them.

The real action happened after the party. Tune back in for details. I promise, the blog will be updated more regularly now. Really.