” Shelly and I are going to brunch at 100 Wines 11:00 a.m. Sunday. Wanna join us?,” the text message read. My neighbor Maureen knows the key to my heart. But alas,
“I have a bunch of stuff to do around the house, but if you ladies are up for anything afterwards, I can toddle over. I have some white wine.”
True to my word I had a shitload of laundry to get through (including ironing), plus a few other things. Okay, I did take time out for Facebook and even saw some of the stuff Maureen and Shelly were enjoying at brunch (sorry, I love food posts).
Meanwhile, Chuck’s Cubs game was ending and he was gearing up for lunch at Brazen (his normal haunt), and was asking if I wanted to go along.
“Not sure yet; maybe,” was my response. As I was wrapping up chores and beginning to pull myself together, I figured by this time perhaps Maureen and Shelly had decided to call it a day after their brunch, so I began leaning toward joining Chuck, not right away, but perhaps in a bit. Chuck left for Brazen, and as I was applying make-up, this text comes in:
“Shelly and I are heading home with 2 bottles of champagne. Will be home in about 15 minutes or so. ”
I responded with a simple, “Oh, reeeeally? Hmmmm….”
Switching gears I grabbed a bottle of chardonnay I had started the night before, an empty wine glass and headed over to Maureen’s before they could get home. I positioned myself in one of her chaise lounges out front, poured myself a glass, and waited for their arrival. A text from Chuck arrived, “Are you coming over to Brazen?”
“No, sorry, ” was my text reply. “Having wine with Maureen.” (well, I would be eventually)
Of course when the girls rolled up they were delighted. I had wine, while they had champagne with frozen chunks of mango. I tried one of those later, and it seemed to epitomize a nice lazy Sunday afternoon.
I needed to take a break and head home to feed the dogs, then walk Griffin, but while home I whipped up an antipasto platter with whatever I had on hand, which included truffle cheese, soppresata, wasabi cashews from Thailand and some dried apricots. I even got a little ambitious and made zucchini pizza bites, a recipe I got from Food Network’s Melissa D’Arabian.
I grabbed my loaded-down antipasto tray, another chilled bottle of white, and Griffin, and headed back down toward Maureen’s. Her husband Randy had joined our small party and it was nice to see him. I dropped off the platter and wine, saying, “I’ll be back, ” then I continued my walk with Griff. As I sauntered away I could hear their “ooohs and ahhhs” as they dove into the food.
After our walk, Griff and I came back so I could rejoin the festivities and Griff could flirt with Maureen’s dog Pearl.
Such a fun, sort of impromptu gathering, and a great way to wrap up a pretty social weekend. I haven’t had a lot of experience having neighbors I could have this kind of fun with; I have appreciated Maureen and her wonderful sense of fun since we met almost five years ago.
It’s always great to see Shelly as well. She and Maureen went to high school together and have been friends since.
The only problem with partying with neighbors is that you’re prone to overdo it a bit since you don’t have to drive. I made a point to drink some water and pop a couple Ibuprofen before heading off to bed — at 7:30 p.m. Regardless, it was still a little tough to get up at 3:30 this morning.
But worth it.