On Saturday we hosted a birthday party here. In the evening, the floor in the big fireplace room was covered with little people in sleeping bags, each clad in a brightly colored nightgown or pajamas. They were all completely engrossed in their world, talking and playing and half-listening to The Hobbit. The fire flickered and the murmur of grownups was heard from the kitchen where we were finishing up fingerfulls of leftover brisket and melting ice cream cake. Outside the last birdcalls were wrapping up, the light was going blue, the bonfire was flaming and marshmallow had been washed off little fingers. Night would bring sleep for the little ones and long firelit talks for the guys around the bonfire. The dogs, eight of them, would meander (through my gardens) and clean up fallen homemade mac'n'cheese. I would go from window to window upstairs while putting Cedar to sleep just gloating over the full house and watching the activities of those outdoors.
In the morning the sunrise would pick out the badminton birdies left out on the lawn. We would find out the birthday guy never got a piece of his ice cream cake. All of the coffee mugs would be in circulation and we would run the dishwasher twice. Juggling of kids would occur as everyone tried to find spaces in cars for the ride home, and a few things would get left behind. The house would become rich in silence and Tim and I would sit at the table and talk about it all.