So tonight was a very nice evening!
The Gerdy's have a beautiful home on 50 acres, and about 150 of us partied pool-side. The weather was crisp but delightful, and as the sun began to set, the trees that surrounded us became illuminated in icy blue light, making the ambiance ethereal.
The caterers had endless food and an open bar for us, and we sat at pretty tables with white linens and white wooden folding chairs. Candles were on each table, and lanterns hung from trees. At mid-evening, Mr. Gerdy made welcoming announcements from the stairs of the pool house. Upon his conclusion, Nate did a cannonball into the pool -- and everyone cheered! When he got out, the photographer took our picture together (and, interestingly, continued to snap candids of us for the rest of the night). Oh no, paparazzi!
The pool house was an open-air sort of structure that had tall pillars and an open platform that could double as a stage, and fortunately there was a fireplace inside, so Nate warmed his freezing body there.
But the entertainment for the evening wasn't going to be there on the pool house stage as I expected. Instead, we all migrated to the barn to see the Lipbone Redding Orchestra. Inside the barn was a real stage, and there were plenty of chairs, tables, and even another bar! There were vintage concert posters artfully placed on the walls, an elevated loft area with more tables and chairs, and one wall was a giant chalkboard which certainly called my name. I would have tagged it with my own brand of graffiti if it weren't for the prospects of dancing which distracted me.
Nate had insisted that we sit somewhere near the front, and so--when the artwork auction ended and $15,000 was raised for the organization--Mr. Gerdy motioned for ME to come up to the stage and select the winning raffle ticket for the wooden drum giveaway. I went up to the stage and then returned to my seat not once, not twice, but THREE times before a number was called that someone actually claimed!
When the music began, we were the first people to dance. I prayed that my black cowgirl boots would guide my feet to something appropriate since they have long been accustomed to hip-hop and techno. Fortunately, the boots worked their magic because, by the end of the night, all my square dancin' skillz from 7th grade gym class came back to me, and we were dosey-dohing with a happy little pack of about 10 people. All the people I met tonight were so lovely!
I said good-bye to Nate around midnight and drove almost to my doorstep before realizing that 12:30 was much too early to call it a night. So I phoned my friend Greg (who was in town visiting from New York City) and we met up at the Alley Cat, caught up, and then went to the Belvedere. What a treat it is for places to be smoke-free now! Thank you, Pennsylvania lawmakers!