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Debbie Ridpath Ohi reads, writes and illustrates for young people. Every few weeks, she shares new art, writing and resources; subscribe below. Browse the archives here.

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Watergun Fun 2001

The thunderstorm would have thwarted any ordinary outdoor bbq but had little effect on "Watergun Fun 2001" since we were all planning to get wet anyway. :-) Everyone had at least one watergun of some sort, and Reid and Luisa stocked extras.

Everyone admired my umbrella-shield set-up (or at least I like to imagine they did)...Jeff had cut two panels out of the open umbrella and covered with a clear plastic. We thus had one for shooting through, and one for peering through. It worked pretty well, especially when it began raining! Pumping up was a bit awkward, but well worth it for the overall effect.

'Twas interesting to compare the different strategies of watergun attacks. Some chose to unload all their water/ammunition at once, with the goal of drenching the opponent as fast as possible. Some chose strategic sniping locations, or ganged up with others to launch an attack. "Safe" zones were the children's tent in the corner of the backyard, the covered deck, and the hose area where people were reloading.

After the watergun fight, we all went swimming. Some brought swimsuits (Bryan's was especially festive), some jumped in with all their clothes, still with their waterguns. Luisa and Reid had cranked up the heat in the pool. From time to time we'd create a whirlpool (see above photo, taken through a screen window) by swimming/wading quickly around and around in one direction. Everyone should try this sometime; it's way fun. Done correctly, the resulting whirlpool action actually creates a dip in the center of the pool (those who prefer quieter waters stay here). The force of the water motion is surprising...I tried grabbing hold of the pool ladder as I was swept past to see if I could, for example, was pulled away despite my best efforts.

A ton of yummy food...barbecued chicken, sausages, hamburgers, hot dogs, fruit, vegetables, cookies, pie, more. After pigging out, I snuck away and took a brief nap in Ronnie's room before going back for another swim. Reid and Luisa turned on the pool lights when it got dark; the steam rising from the water created a wonderfully other-worldly effect, especially Luisa brought out a big air mattress and the smaller kids piled on top the improvised raft and Jeff Kesner pushed them around the pool.

Great party, great group of people, and the kind of event which appealed equally to adults and children alike..mainly because all the adults there were kids at heart themselves. :-) One of the things I enjoyed most about the party was wandering around the house and yard, checking out what the various clusters of partygoers were up to. Some spent the entire time outdoors with waterguns and in the pool; others went downstairs to play computer games. There were pockets of interesting conversation going on all over the house. No smalltalk. :-) This is my favourite kind of social party, with nuggets of good memories to take away and savour for years after. I've never been much for the formal "mix and mingle and smalltalk with people you'll likely never see again" type of gathering.

Many hearty thanks to Reid and Luisa for hosting this event!

Today's Blatherpics:

Photos from Reid and Luisa's "Watergun Fun 2001" party. For more pictures, see this photo gallery.

Feel free to suggest a daily poll question.

Today's Poll:

Do you own a watergun?

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