Fria Chica had her baby on the third of July, which happens to be Miss Universe's birthday. He weighed eight lbs. two oz. At one day old he is already being spoiled. On his father's side he is the first grandchild so his paternal grandmother bought him gifts every time she left the hospital. On our side he is number eleven. There is not one of the ten before him that has not been spoiled rotten, so there really is no hope for him either.
While we were in the hospital we were adding up how old Lee would be when this new little guy graduated from high school. Lee will be thirty-three, the same age as I am now. When my age was mentioned my mom was noticeably shocked. She never thinks of us as that old. To her we will always be kids. The shock goes both ways, when I realized she was about to be fifty-five I went into denial. My mom never seems old. In our minds we have as a family frozen at a certain age and will probably always stay there.
We had our annual block party on the third also. I don't know if we ever intended it to be an annual party, but we had one two years in a row so this year people in town kept asking what day we were having our party. We call it a block party because we close the street on both sides of the block and have a party that fills the whole block which starts at my yard and finishes at Anna's yard, but Anna and I are the only two on the block that actively participate in planning the party. We really don't have many families on our street, which is why we get away with the noise until three in the morning every year. Evelyn, an older lady who lived next door to me, passed away last month, so her house is empty. She never came out into the street, but she sat on the porch and watched all night. The older couple who live in a travel trailer across the street surprised us by coming out and joining the fun for the first two years, but this year they left right before we blocked the streets and came home as we were cleaning up. For years my children called the man Grouchy ass, not undeservedly, which is why we were surprised whenever he showed up with homemade ice cream. His wife is in advancing stages of Alzheimer's, so that may be why they stayed away this year. Next door to him is a trailer that changes occupants frequently. We usually invite who ever is living there but this year nobody was home. Across from Anna lives Miss Universe's mother-in-law. For the last two years they have been out of town in July. This year I have no idea why they didn't come out. Three out of four of their son's were the last people to leave. I have taken too many words to explain that while we call it a block party very few of the people who come every year are actually from our block. It is more of a community party. Every year, and this one was no exception, we end up with quite a few people from out of town here. Last year we had a group of men from South Africa show up, this year it was just a group from Elkhart. Our philosophy is the more the merrier so we always make enough food for over a hundred. With the drunks making a second pass at the table around midnight we end up with very little left overs.
My little brother is driving up from Tuscon this weekend. He is bringing his two boys, but leaving his wife at home to work. They come up so rarely it becomes quite an event when they do. Out of the six kids in our family he is the only one who lives more than four hours away. Three of us live in this same small town. I know he feels better knowing he got away, but I think life is too short to live so far from the people we love.