This past weekend marked the 61st birthday of the man that I've known my entire life. Because we didn't have a big party for my dad on his 60th birthday (let's just blame HER for that), my brother and I decided that this year was going to be Dad's year, and boy was it ever!
While planning we decided that we needed to have a BBQ at my dad's house, for a couple of reasons. First, it was going to be GORGEOUS outside. We didn't want to miss the sun for one second, and his backyard has the perfect amount of sun/shade for a gathering of this nature. Secondly, my pops loves his tequila. Loves. It. We wanted to make sure he was able to enjoy his beverage of choice, yet not have to go anywhere. Done and done. Hell, he could even take the shot glass to bed with him, if he wanted to, salt rim and all.
We started off just inviting family and a few friends, and the party quickly grew to be much bigger than that. Daily I had emails from Pops, "Can you send this person an email too" "What about this person, I'd really like to see them!" You can see where I'm going with this. So... a group of no more than 10 turned into a party of about 20. Which was great! All of these people to celebrate this awesome guy?! Yes, please! We asked everyone to bring a side dish, whatever booze they wanted, and a chair to plant themselves in. It was all working wonderfully!
I'm sure you're probably asking yourself what a group of 20 people would be doing at a BBQ. No? Okay, well pretend you're wondering that. We didn't have sprinklers, or a swimming pool, or an ever-flowing river of tequila (although, we came close!). What we had was even better. WE HAD OUR OWN BAND.
Some of you might not know that my dad is a musician. A good musician, with more talent in his pinkie finger than most artists today have. He plays guitar and sings lead vocals for a Western Swing band called Longhorn. Not "The Longhorns". Just one. Long. Horn. (If you get it wrong, they'll have no qualms about correcting you.) Among all the guests were members of the band, along with other friends who are musicians as well, some of whom Pops has been playing music with for over 30 years. We set up canopies, amps, mic's and mic stands, we ran cords and carried drums and had them all ready to go.
It wasn't long after the food was cooked that they started playing, and continued playing for at least 2 hours before begrudgingly taking a break. We had to coerce them with cake to get them to stop, and as soon as those candles were blown out they picked right back up again, and didn't stop. When I left they were still going strong.
This party made me happy for so many reasons, but mainly just for one. I haven't seen my dad this happy in what seems like forever. He was carefree, laughing, surrounded by all the people he loves and who love him, and playing music, his all time life's passion, all while being a little bit tipsy off of 100% agave.
It's days and moments like these that make me really thankful for the life I have.