When I really think about it, this is another post that I can make with multiple meanings. The original idea from the post was about last night’s dinner, but something at it made the title come into play. Read on, and I will explain!
Our “immediate family” dinners, as rare as they are now, consist of 7 people since Molly got married. They are so rare because although five components of my immediate family live within a 50-mile radius, Casey (Rochester, MN) and I (Evanston, IL) are the treats of coming back to Nebraska.
I have been back in Nebraska for 11 days (out of an 18-day vacation), and last night was our family’s first full-contingent dinner (excluding Molly’s wedding weekend) since last winter.
Every year, our family has the tradition to go to Blue Sushi Sake Grill. This always involved a trip to Omaha, and we would all enjoy various types of sushi, as well as sake (yes, even me!) and our inimitable family dynamic around the table.
But since last year, a location of Blue opened in the Lincoln Haymarket district. This was wonderful for us, as the drive to Omaha was sometimes annoying (yes, it’s only about an hour, but when you can get there in 15 minutes, why not?)
The family dinner always includes funny photos, “serious” selfies (is that an oxymoron?), lots of reaching across the table for the rolls, and stories. It also includes Mom invariably getting punchy (albeit not intoxicated), sometimes involves singing, and always showcases the fun of being together. But this year, we didn’t break out into song at the table. Strange…
So, it was a great time. As it turns out, our server gave me a reason to write this post and title it “Commence Party!” Somehow, the server mentioned that she had graduated from Southeast High School in 2006. After some more banter, she revealed that she was a cousin of Frances, with whom I had worked in R.U.T.E. in the summer of 2007!
And THAT is where “Commence Party!” originates, actually. There’s a story behind it.
During R.U.T.E., there were five occasions in which we traveled to Cedar Point Biological Station, on Lake McConaughy near Ogallala, Nebraska. The team’s first trip there began on Mother’s Day of 2007. My family had dinner before I left at HuHot, one of our favorite restaurants (a Mongolian grill). However, when I got to my car to head to the University to stage for the trip, I saw the shrapnel from a blue bomb that had blown up in the back of my car! And by that, I mean that shaving cream got EVERYWHERE in my back seat! Note to self: do NOT leave shaving cream in a hot car for very long.
I cleaned that up, got to staging for the trip, and we drove to western Nebraska without incident. However, when we got to Cedar Point, it was dark outside. The principal investigator looked On the first trip there, it was dark and our principal investigator had left the car near the mess hall in order to find the person to hook us up with our lodging arrangements.
Once he left, the car was dark, and either I or one of my teammates lit up our cell phones (everything back then was a flip phone or a brick phone–no smartphones among us!) in order to provide a little bit of light. Somehow, this led to all of us lighting up our phones for even more light in the car. This led to lighting up the phones as a response to the command, “Commence party!”
As our P.I. neared the car, I called, “Commence Party!” We all lit up our phones, and he seemed unamused. He was amused with some other antics of ours on the trips. Oh well–someone has to have fun sometime!
Maybe I’ll get some photos from last night and upload them onto this post in retrospect.
Today is the three-hundred and sixty-fourth day of M.M.X.I.V. That makes fifty-two weeks.
Today is the three-hundred and sixty-sixth day of Mission 441. Seventy-five days remain.