We spent Saturday afternoon having a great time at a big annual picnic along the Brandywine.
The host, a gregarious fellow, spends the day of the party driving around the sprawling property in his Gator, grinning and welcoming everyone. A highlight of the party is when we are driven upstream in a battered truck and then get to float down the creek in inner tubes.
To get into the creek you have to descend a ladder leaning against the bank. I clambered down gingerly, but one man in our group who walked with a cane made the descent gracefully and without hesitation. The instant he hit the water he leaned back in his tube and closed his eyes with an expression of bliss. (I felt bad when I bumped into him downstream, still with his eyes shut. I felt like I'd interrupted him just as he was approaching nirvana.)
The Brandywine was in perfect condition for tubing on Saturday: unlike the previous time we made the trip in August, there was plenty of water and we had to "portage" over the shallow parts only a few times.
Three people brought a multi-compartment raft that looked like a fidget-spinner writ large. It was easily ten feet across.
A pig roast is another tradition at this picnic, but usually by the time we get to the food table there's nothing left but a big aluminum tray with charred remains. This time there was ample pork, and it was delicious.
As people ate and socialized, a changing array of musicians played on a makeshift stage. We were fascinated to watch the sound guy walking around the audience, tweaking the sound levels using only his tablet.
One rock band featured a very poised young woman on vocals. "That's my grand-daughter!" announced the woman sitting behind us, bursting with pride, as the singer finished the 4 Non Blondes hit "What's Up." "And this is her grandfather!"
I think what we'll remember the most about this year's picnic was an enchanting eight-week-old pit bull puppy named Bubba. Bubba's owner brought him along so he could get used to people, and she let anyone hold him who wanted to. Bubba fell asleep in my lap for a while, exhausted with all the attention, then woke up re-energized and squirmed around, wagging his little tail. I'd hold ice cubes in my hand and he'd lick them. I don't think socialization is going to be a problem.