Party Time

You know the type. The neighbours who throw a party that starts inside and eventually spills onto their backyard deck. It starts with the pop of beer bottle caps and the trill of merry laughter. Slowly, the music, which commenced with pleasant retro 90’s tunes – a bit of Ricky Martin singing “La Vida Loca” followed by a few numbers from Bryan Adams Waking Up the Neighbours album and everyone sings “Everything I Do” together. When they crank Shania Twain you think maybe you can go over, pour a hefty Jack Daniels and Coke with lots of ice so you too can shout at the top of your lungs “Man, I Feel Like a Woman”.

But when the song choices run to 90’s rap (of course, “Gin and Juice”) you know they’ve switched from wine spritzers to Stoli on the rocks. The bass bumps into the walls, vibrates through the glass of the deck doors, thumps on the new wood deck which was the reason for the party (C’mon over! A new deck needs christening.) and you wish they’d turn that shit down so you can sleep. After all, you’re almost 62 and 10 o’clock is a half hour past your bed time.

You close all the windows, roll around in bed fervently asking your husband why the neighbours aren’t classical music fans mumbling in hushed tones as Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture” violins careen to the finale with the cymbols’ clang and the peel of victorious church bells joined by a chorus of happy citizens and a canon fusillade which, even if you twisted the volume to full on your surround sound system, would barely rattle the spectacles on your nose.

Actually, our neighbours are fine. But our backyard cherry tree is party central for the neighbourhood blue jays – not the baseball team, though that would be VERY exciting – squirrels of all hues, robins, chickadees and assorted indistinguishable dun coloured birds.

IMG_2117

One of the noisy neighbours

They arrive at sunrise squawking raucously. The red squirrels and jays are the loudest partiers, probably Rap fans.  The sweet little brown birds quietly trill – they’re like the drunks who doze in the leather wing chair regardless of the tumult around them, or retreat to their beds.

The critters are attracted by the overripe and undoubtedly fermented cherries clinging stubbornly to the tree’s branches. This is the fruit out of our reach but easy pickings for acrobatic squirrels and any birds winging by.

In July, we pulled at least 15 pounds of cherries from our prolific tree but there’s that much or more hanging out of a stepladder’s reach. Now the cherries are a deep, juicy red, a raw, organic Kirsch-on-a-stem temptation for the party-starved. Yesterday morning I counted five blue jays ravaging the crop. Honestly, I wouldn’t mind, but like all partiers, they have no respect for the clock or their voices’ volume. One blue jay is bad enough but five is like being at a convention of glass-cutters’ using dull tools.

And still the tree is full of fruit. I pray this morning they will clean the damn thing and find another place to get loaded. Please. Summer is a moveable feast. Move yours to the apple tree down the creek path. I hear it has worms.

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32 thoughts on “Party Time

  1. Drunken blue jays–now that’s a scary thought! This post is such fun and I bet you had a great time writing it! I wish I had a cherry tree–your cherry creations all look terrific and I love the cute photo of proud you!

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    • I was pretty proud of my cake creation. It wasn’t quite the traditional black forest cake because the base was a gluten free quinoa concoction but it was in all other respects a Black Forest cake.

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  2. I loved reading every word here. You pulled me on like a boot with the story of partying neighbors that turned out to be noisy critters. My son hates birds because they always wake him and he’s a night person. Silly man. Blogging is writing. It’s just writing short stories. This was a good one. Kirsh on a stick is hilarious. But I’m a good German/ American and that Black Forest Torte has me wrap up and drooling.

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  3. The challenges of harvest plenty! … and I love the smiling photo of you at the end.

    But YUM! Cherries are my favourite and from your photos I can see you aren’t at a loss for knowing what to do with all that bounty.

    The noise of the birds and squirrels is an entirely different matter. I have no garden to be raided but I’m still quietly cursing their ‘symphony’ in the early morning hours. I can’t imagine how much worse it could be!! My condolences!!

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    • The cherry tree is the only crop in our garden and I do struggle with what to do with the bounty. I’m not a canner so I don’t make jams or jellies. Right now, half our refrigerator’s freezer is occupied by bags of cherries. I know I’ll appreciate them in the late fall when I make apple/cherry crumble but right now, I’m a tad resentful.

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  4. Lucky you with the bird party!
    Cherries are my faaaaavorite! And black forest cake is most scrumptious! You look as happy holding that cake as I would be eating it! 😛
    We should grow cherries. We grow apples. I have so much apple stuff all of fall, it takes me til fall to look forward to it again.
    I love the neighbor bit — we ARE fans of classical music, but we also love gin n’ juice — to listen to, not to drink. Gin doesn’t like me.

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  5. Just read your comment that blogging isn’t really writing (which you do so well). I’m nearing the No. 100 mark of blog flash fiction stories and Josh (Janda Books) is getting ready to publish the first compilation in a book called “Snapshots – Words Worth a Thousand Pictures.” So you might be sneaking up on your first book without knowing it! Keep writing, you have real talent.

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    • Congratulations on your new book of short stories, Doris. That’s exciting news!

      I don’t feel the same pressure writing blog posts as I do when I sit down to write other stuff. Not sure why but it keeps me writing and that’s a good thing.

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    • I’m not sure I would miss the blue jays. They’re noisy, aggressive creatures and push away all the other birds at my feeders. But I guess they have their place in the ecosystem like we all do.

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  6. Some really lovely imagery in here, Susanne! What a treat (and one that can be enjoyed in relative silence, ha!). Hopefully the woodland partiers calm down soon and let you enjoy the late summer in peace!

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  7. Loved this post, Susanne – and loved the pictures with it! Yummy.
    I am a Canadian tourist this week as I watch the Rogers Cup tournaments in Montreal and Toronto. Pretty and I have talked about taking the train trip across Canada, but that seems unlikely. I have my second knee replacement surgery at the end of this month which will confine me to quarters until November. So now I am content to visit your beautiful country via the magic of the small screen. Your tennis players are amazing, and so are the views of the cities.

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