2015: The Year of the Captain.
I’m not exactly sure what Will’s official duties were outside of being in parades, but hey, he was in the parades! Along the way, he stopped to greet his people. (I really need to get the whole sequence turned into a GIF).
2015 was the year it rained. It rained on Will’s parade, it rained when we tried to head out for fried food, it rained as we started setting up the bloody mary table in the back yard. Consequently, we moved the bloody table to the screened porch, moving the table to make it easier to maneuver around the porch. We moved the oyster cooker to the driveway and for the first time in a few years, hung out all day in the garage and driveway, with an event tent helping to bridge the gap.
2015 was the year we went to the Fireman’s Ball. In all our years of Oysterfesting, none of us had ever gone. Sure, we’ve stood outside and watched, debating whether or not to enter, but we’ve never actually done it. This year, Will and I went for it. It was quite the adventure and a whole new level of festival.
When we set out for our Saturday morning she-crab soup, it started drizzling. Eric and I talked about toughing it out as long as we could, since we’d end up spending the rest of the day in the garage. We made it about 10 feet before I announced I’d be getting my soup and heading home. It was absolutely dumping at that point. Thankfully, we found cover on the porch on the general store while we warmed up with our soup and when we got home, we were all soaked to the bone despite rain gear. So to answer the question of how did the rain affect festival turn out? I don’t know.
Despite my not wandering far, I did stumble across what I think is this year’s most intriguing fried food. And then Mollie pulled these out Sunday morning. They might not be fried, but they definitely fall into the Just. No. Category.
Since the rain cut into everyone’s wandering around munching on fried food, I made the executive decision to serve lady snacks early, which was definitely the right call. As always, I broke out new things this year, to great success. The tomato jam and squash butter were deemed a hit. I’d forgotten about my American flag serving plate until recently, when I was reorganizing my party shelves in the basement. It definitely had a place at Oysterfest.
Despite the weather, a rousing good time was had. We were missing the Colas, the Roystons and Ryan, but the Goods made it in from Michigan, Nick tore himself away from the bar in Lynchburg and our friend Kim dropped in with her friends Karen and Tom. In fact, it was Karen who this year uttered the Saturday afternoon phrase “omigod, it’s not even three o’clock”.
To ensure there was enough room for all, we borrowed a pop-up from neighbors (thanks Chris and Jennifer!). The pop-up has a small awning, which was a cozy little spot when the rain wasn’t dumping.
No Roystons boys and the addition of the Good Girls in addition to Edie bringing her friend Autumn this year meant Owen was in Girltown all weekend. He did pretty well with it, all things considered. Walker meanwhile, soaked up his Edie time.
2015 is the year Will cleaned out the shed, making it easier for us to write the highlights of the festival on the walls in there. (We also started adding dates, so we’lI know what years we said and did what.) Because it’s not an oysterfest without a good project going on in the shed, Nick fixed his boots in there Friday night.
2015 will also go down as the year the children were horrified to realize NO ONE was in charge. Thankfully, they took matters into their own hands, which I think is a sign of good parenting on our part.
2015 is the year I realized I’d brought a teenager to Oysterfest. Mollie of course, had already figured that out the night before. Of course she had. She always figures these things out first.
The weekend is full of so many moments we want to remember. I didn’t think I had taken as many photos this year, so I was shocked to discover I had, to the tune of around 700 of them. There are the usual shenanigans to capture, plus the new ones, destined to fit into the fabric of what we call Oysterfest.
There is the Sunday morning group shot, taken just before everyone starts heading out. As always, getting everyone together was just as photo-worthy as the end product.
And so, another Oysterfest has come and gone. The beauty of the weekend is in the friendships that gather round for it. We collectively all pack up everything we think we could possibly need, more than we could possibly ever drink and arrive, ready to go. It’s the little things, like Brooke packing a sharpie in her shed bag, so that wall writing happens, Eric showing up at the crack of dawn Saturday with bloody mary makings (and coolers of wine, beer, bourbon and oysters for later in the day) that combined with everyone else’s contributions, makes for a kick ass Bloody Mary table. Will and Mollie might host us, but it takes a village to pull it off.
The children may have figured out that none of us are in charge, they might be bothered that we don’t act like what they think is particularly grown up, but someday, I think they’ll look back and understand.