Every year, we look forward to the BCCME Beardie Bounce & BBQ at my friend Val's house. We set the Beardies free to romp in their big fenced yard with a couple of dozen of their friends, grill up some burgers, smooch some puppies, and see friends we haven't seen in ages. When the weather is good, it's very, very good. When the weather is bad, we try to muddle through.
Last year, we not only had to contend with rain showers, but a tornado (or a facsimile of a tornado) had visited the neighborhood only a few days before, ripping up trees, wrecking fences, and smashing a hole in Val's roof. Through the herculean efforts of Val and Pat, several family members, and some hired guns, they managed to get the yard ready for a Beardie invasion... but we still couldn't fix the weather. I've decided that I just don't enjoy holding a meeting with rain running down my back.
This year, Mother Nature did us a solid by giving us a lovely sunny day — maybe one of the two or three we've had in this region since the solstice. Apart from the fact that the winds kicked up and actually bent the legs on one of the EZ-Ups (it was tied to a tarp that tried to set sail for Portugal), our weather was perfect. It wasn't too hot, it wasn't too cold, and it wasn't too wet.
We had so much junk to bring that we barely had room for Charlie (Dinah was in the crate). He had to endure a ride sandwiched between coolers and plastic storage bins, but he refused to stay behind. I only wish we'd been able to bring all four pups, but Seamus and Badge would have had to have ridden on the roof rack or in the glove box. Every cubic inch of the Subaru was already stuffed full.
In spite of the uncomfortable ride, Charlie had a fine time.
So did Greg and Dinah Moe.
The canine guests ranged in age from 15-year-old Raleigh (who proudly sported a tam o'shanter in the Royal Stewart tartan) to 9-week-old Archie (whose paws rarely touched the ground because everyone wanted to pick him up and smooch him). Sadly for Charlie, we had no kiddie pool this year — the old one sprang a leak.
Charlie and Tucker Ashworth did set up a browns-only clubhouse in the absence of a pool...
One tradition we've continued through the first three Bounce & BBQs (this is our fourth) and all other BCCME events is the offer of free lobsters for all Beardies. A few years ago, I managed to score some of the last boxes of the old PetEdge "Daily Catch" lobster toys. Little Denbigh Marshall, who was born in Ohio and who recently moved to New England, was quick to embrace our Mainiac traditions...
The club's chefs did themselves proud by covering a groaning board with multiple fabulous hors d'oeuvres, munchies, salads, and desserts. Oh, the desserts! I probably blew my Weight Watchers points allotment completely by indulging in a single delicious homemade strawberry cupcake, but it was sooooo worth it.
Eventually, we sent home a couple of dozen tired Beardies with their people, packed up the leftovers, and declared another successful Bounce. We're fairly sure that a good time was had by all...