“We’re not having hamburgers and hot dogs!” Debbie declared as my cousin Maryann, her son Mark and I began filing into the lovely home she and my only elder cousin, Jerry, have lived in for almost twenty years. The aromas were tantalizing but we sat at the table where fruit, cheese and my salsa mix with blue corn chips were available to munch while waiting for the finishing touches on the meal she spent two days preparing for us. We walked around the yard, taking pictures of flowers, each other and what ever caught our fancy. When their daughter, son-in-law and their three children arrived, hugs and chatter were exchanged and there was more going out to the deck, getting seated, selecting drinks and wandering back into the house until Debbie announced that all was ready.
We formed a line and took plates and sniffed and sighed appreciative comments helping ourselves to portions of boneless breaded chicken, steaming green beans, pasta, green salad and sliced bread. With our full plates we sat at the dining room table and had a leisurely feast. After coffee and cherry pie or gingerbread squares, the children helped clear the table and we all went out to sit on the deck. No, we did not play croquet, or corn holes, we were happy to park ourselves into one chair or another and just talk. No electronic devices went on and no television or video games vied for attention.
Something, however, did clamor to be heard above our voices. Wendy thought it was a woodpecker, and while it did not sound like any bird I’d ever heard I could not identify the sound. To me the sound was coming from the roof in a corner closest to us. Wendy and two of the kids walked around to the front of the house and got no clues. Maryann thought it was a frog. I’ve heard bull frogs and spring peepers, but no frog that sounded like this. There is a small pond in the yard and we had seen a small frog there peeking out earlier in the evening. Later Debbie suggested that the loud calling we could hardly not hear was the little frog trying to round up a girlfriend. With the mystery solved and the sun setting, we headed back into the house to gather our things and start heading homeward, thankful for another lovely family gathering and sumptuous repast.