Dear Mom and Dad,
I'm sorry you were unable to attend our Run for the Roses party this year. I know you were looking forward to being with us and we were so looking forward to seeing you. Daddy- it has been too long and it would of been good to give you a hug. You are correct, you would not have seen much of us as the party pulls us in many directions. You were missed by many as you've made friends in Granville and our friends enjoy your company.
Joe and I really believed Derby 2017 would be smaller, more interment. The weather forecast wasn't good so we assumed people would self select. We also had a large number of regrets this year. With you all making the trip that was just fine. It was an interesting year with the weather- sunshine in the morning, nothing on the radar but rain came and the temps were cool. None of this kept a great group of people from attending- the energy and buzz was as good as you've all seen. No not as big as those year when the kids were young, but full in a nice way.
Of course the texts and messages about attending also came and thrilled us. New friends we've made this year had questions and it was fun to answer and provide guidelines. Friends that have been busy and not attended in years returned. You would of enjoyed seeing all the generations represented! A highlight for me was seeing multiple children take off for the hobby horse and sandbox area. Children dressed for the event another delight! And we wrapped up the night with long time Granville friends' son- selecting our party for his weekend activity. He always picked the right horse and went home with winnings- this year was no different.
Our music was simple this year- Denison's Ladies Night Out sang and made us all smile- accapella group. A friend sang My Old Kentucky Home to get us in the mood and add to the festivity. Back ground music and colorful table coverings were delivered and set up by the Wilsons! The cool temps and damp chill air made the party wrap up earlier than past years- but a good time was had by the fun crowd.
The gambling table was handled well by dear young friends home from college. They arrived early to cross off to-dos and made sure everyone knew the process for gambling- taking to the microphone under the tent! The recent Denison helper made his way and rounded out the team. 21 winners took home a better payout than Churchill Downs! Thanks for setting us up with a fun process Daddy, all those years ago.
Thanks for the inspiration that led to my first Derby party in Omaha with Ellen. Watching you all host Preakness Parties. Joe and I do this in partnership and have it down. Our traditional breakfast is a treat and we ran errands together enjoying the break from work and together time. I did get a bit off schedule due to my slower gait, afternoon PT and just not quite the energy I've had in the past. Saturday's prep was a bit bumpy due to the queue of projects but a friend came to the rescue doing the job I usually do 1st thing and by noon was still a to-do. The Denison student helpers have been coming for years, know the drill so that at 4 pm we were super ready. Hiring our fantastic bartenders is the best thing we've ever done. Emily makes a fantastic julep- people had a 2nd this year. Your good bourbon delivery helped. Her prep and presentation are impressive too. It was a bourbon afternoon. Our Granville Brewing amber was on tap and very popular. We're lucky to have assembled quite the team to help us make it happen.
The party is only fun if good people attend and what a great group we had! They pulled out their hats and derby and India ware. They baked pies, procured themed cookies and sweets and executed some divine savories including deviled eggs, salmon, Mexican dips and Kentucky staples with signature flair- we ate well! We caught up with Cardinal friends and Denison friends, long time Granville friends and Nadine and Caroline! You were not the only ones missing- each regret made me sad as I love this party and love to share it. However I know how busy life is and how hard it is to do it all. I relate now to when you're not feeling 100 percent. This is largely a stand-up party- it would of been hard on Daddy. Those that don't like to be in crowded gatherings our party may not be a fit. So for all those that did join us this first Saturday in May- I must say thank you.
Mom, you would of loved the basement full of teens and their use of our party as home base. Peter and friends walked and returned- I remember friends kids doing this- how are my kids that old! Clare was the shuttle driver and a big help. Joe and I reflected on the night and we both caught sight of the basketball game that went on as the sun was going down- great kids, boys and girls all playing together. The cigar table was good for Joe- friend time is important. My girlfriends delighted me and I squeezed into watch the race with Barbara on the Griffey chair.
Clean up went well. Emily gets us in such a good place before she leaves. Trash is minimal and the kids did help. The warm sun dried up the damp items and the Kiwanis had the tent down by 2 pm. What a wonderful service they provide for our community. The house has some to-dos, things to put away. We leave the race decor up through the triple crown season. We managed to get back to our regular life today- lacrosse, grocery shopping, homework and family dinner. I did get a nap and putting my ankle up felt good. The kids made it to church, we took the morning to organize and eat!
We missed you. I'll find a way to see you soon. We'll have fun thinking about the Preakness and the Belmont to see what "Always Dreaming" can do. The India theme was a creative outlet and good way to revisit that fantastic trip in October. The first Saturday in May on Newark-Granville Road was a good one for 2017.
Love to you both, warmly- Susan
PS- folks know the drill- most people bring items on throw away platters and such....it is practical. Only a few plates to be picked up, left behind. If I don't hear from folks looking to pick-up I'll put them on the sun porch and spread the word that the door is open and they can pop by to retrieve!