As usual, LouDawg’s Grilled Chicken (about 80 lbs!!!) was a huge hit at our Annual Community Memorial Day Cookout for Southern Barton Heights. Although we’ve done this for years, we just started tracking numbers. 3 years ago, we had about 40 people. Last year, we hosted about 60. I was super surprised and thrilled when about 100 people showed up over the 4 hours! I couldn’t have been happier! It was a great time of getting to know our neighbors and friends.
We were thrilled when we connected with a small group from Movement Church who sacrificed their time to help us! They were amazing! Not only did they bring side dishes, but they also came early to help set up. They organized games for the kids in our neighbor’s yard….because when we had a ton of people in the yard, it got a little tight, needless to say. Our total yard is only .14 of an acre, so the back yard is 1/2 of that. And then…the guys, TC and Matt, hung out to help us tear down, along with Chucky, David and Khalil. Our neighbors were great…contributing to the meal, helping to clean up afterwards, etc. Brian, Christy and Joy were AMAZING in the kitchen!
I have mixed feelings about the day. On one hand I was sad, when I heard someone warmly say, “I’ve never experienced anything like this. This is great!” Another new friend said, “I’ve been longing for a sense of community in our neighborhood, and now…I think I finally feel that.” as she connected with neighbors she had never met. Why sad? Because my neighbors have been hungry for community, and haven’t felt it. On the other hand, I’m also thrilled because we are moving in the right direction. Less of us will be disconnected, but now will feel a since of warmth, love and community.
I look forward to continue moving in that direction… As we attempt to love our neighbors as ourselves.
Enjoy the pictures of the day. I guess I should note that we also celebrate my birthday (5.31) each year as well. I was overwhelmed when my old and new friends joined in singing “Happy Birthday to you” in the traditional tune….and then, in the Stevie Wonder style! Thanks to everyone for making my early birthday so special. And…go ahead….mark the day on your calendar for next year when I turn the big 5-0! 🙂