5 years ago, my friends on Winona Lake gathered at our cottage. We celebrated my husband's birthday.
Earlier in the year, doctors had offered us no hope that Mike would still be around at the end of summer. But God showed up with His miracle moves and we had that party. It was glorious but tinged with a bittersweet scent. We certainly believed that this would be Mike's last party.
But no. 2010 and 2011: each lake season ended with a birthday celebration. And then, in 2012, Mike's long time buddy and his ever-energetic wife offered to move the party outside and open it to any and all who showed up.
So, in 2012, we roasted a hog and invited the town. People just kept coming, everybody pitching in some goodies, and the party grew.
Last year, the 2nd Annual Island Party was even bigger and much more fun, even as Mike did not get to attend. We DID send some Sky Lanterns into the darkening sky, in case he was checking in.
Out my window, right now, there's a big barrel in which some pork is roasting. Soon, a team of ladies will gather around my dining room table and begin to pull the pork and place it in trays. There will be a kettle of sauce simmering on the stove.
The band will set up by 6 and the party will commence. I get to spend one more night with my special friends here at the lake.
Tomorrow I head out for a 2 day drive to my next adventure. But for tonight, the party is ON!