JULY 2006 - at the Teator house
        I would have to say hot was an understatement for a sunny, hazy Friday early evening.  Six of our DP8ers met at the Teators for a quick swim and just feet dunking to cool off at the Catskill Creek behind their home.  Apparently, the excitement started right away when they discovered swimmers that arrived before them that thought they would have this spot all to themselves and didn’t plan on anyone else seeing their bare bottoms!
        This is our once-a-Summer dinner at a DP8er’s home.  The Teators set a beautiful table on their spacious back porch.  Between Deb’s garden, the mountain view and the greenery on the porch, it was a perfect setting for an evening to be spent out of doors, even with the heat.  Snacks and cocktails were enjoyed by the Karnes (who didn’t make it to the creek with the others) while our other six members dried off, changed clothes, etc.  Appetizers consisted of guacamole, fresh veggies and dip, and cheese and crackers.
       As the sun got lower in the sky, the temperature became more comfortable for hanging out and catching up.  It was a great night to share the local news and/or gossip (the ongoing “Pub” saga, the break-ins in the neighborhood, etc.) and what was up with all of us.  Since our last meeting, the Monteverds had been to the Cape, the Adamses had been to Montreal, the Karneses had visited Kentucky and then western New York, and the Teators had been keeping the home fires burning - Don trying to get some bike rides in during this sweltering, humid weather we’ve been having, Deb taking care of her garden and keeping cool in her new reflecting pool, as well as keeping plants watered, cats fed, etc.
       Dinner was served family style from the cover of the hot tub (great idea – lots of room for all the food the Teators had prepared).  We started with a salad that was fresh, tasty, included almost every imaginable ingredient, and easily rivaled any salad we have ever had at any restaurant.  It was accompanied by a tasty balsamic dressing.  For the main event, there was slow-cooked pork loin with sauerkraut (yum!!!), chicken piccata (also yum!), rice pilaf, French bread, corn pudding, roasted potatoes – o.k., everything was yum, yum, yum!!!  So much so, unfortunately, at least one or two of us overindulged.  So we took a leisurely stroll around the Teator Estate to enjoy the flowers, shrubbery, koi pond and most recent paint job to this charming old house.  Kudos to the Teators – they make it look easy...
        Dessert was Key Lime pie and a chocolate chip cookie “thingy” – bottom layer was chocolate chip cookie dough, topped with a layer of sweetened cream cheese, then a layer of chocolate pudding and topped off with Heath Bar pieces.  Again, yum... (Don would be so much better at finding another word than “yum”, but it just seems to do the job this time around!).
       Conversation was lively, as usual, if not more so...
       It was only a matter of time before the conversation turned to the DP8 adventure, minus two, to Washington
, DC, over Columbus Day weekend.  The Karnes are still insisting they will not go, but are flattered that the rest of the gang really wants them to.  Not their cup of tea.  We all agreed, however, that a trip next year, perhaps to St. John’s, was a good idea.  Need to work out some details and perhaps consider a less expensive alternative that might have more to offer the entire group – we talked about Hilton Head, Myrtle Beach, etc.  We’ll see how it goes.
       I think we still all have trouble believing that we are coming up on four years “together”.  Still having fun, still enjoying eating (and drinking) together, still learning things about each other and about all sorts of other things.  When I look around the group, we are different in so many ways.  Yet, we are so very much alike in more.  And the fact that we are planning well into the future, not just the next couple of months and not just dinner, demonstrates that we are meant to be together.