I'm writing this after the fact, but I'll back date the post. Just thought you should know.
On Monday, I had a summer solstice pool party. We almost sort of have a tradition of this, but we ended up not doing it last year. It started first just having a picnic out on the front lawn with the kids...or maybe just the kid. I think I was merely pregnant the first year I had one, which would have been 2003. I got the idea from a magazine, actually, possibly Cooking Light or the now defunct Walking.
The third or so year we had the picnic, we invited the kids from across the street over, and also invited them swimming. The picnic has always been on the front lawn so that we can watch the setting sun. And usually it is windy--I've had to chase many a plastic plate across the yard. We heat the pool and end up turning the light on, and swim until about 9. The sky always looks purplish from the turquoise of the pool, and I end up floating on my back in peace and quiet once all the kids are gone.
Last year we didn't have the pool party, not even sure if we had the picnic. It may have just been me and the kids again. This year I invited old friends and their children. Hope drove up in her white van with 4 of her 6 children, a bunch of hula hoops and drums. She also brought her iPod and it's cube speaker which glows in different colors as it plays; I'm green with envy, my own iPod speakers are put to shame. In a break from tradition, we ate out on the back patio near the pool before we swam. The pool was 92 degrees, which makes it so that once wet, you have to keep submerged or that part of you is freezing. It also makes you reluctant to get out of the pool, and it's a mad dash to get to the towel.
Hope couldn't come in because of her burn, but entertained us with hula hooping while playing the tambourine. I found it completely fitting for a solstice celebration, and utterly amusing given the setting of my backyard. Big house, small yard surrounded on all sides by other homes and their fences, and Hope with her tie-dyed pants and floral knit top with her dreads and witch music and psychedelic iPod, limber and talented enough to play the tambourine while keeping the hula hoop in orbit for a long time. I can't hula hoop at all.
It was the best summer solstice party ever. A bonfire would make the whole thing complete for me, but that never happens. However, the pool light flickers which gives that kind of effect, so I'm always content with that. But maybe I'll look into an outdoor fire thingy for next year.