Have you ever attempted to plan something, and it didn’t quite go according to plan…initially? Well, in a sense, that is precisely what happened last month. I talked about the differences in how I was raised versus the experiences of my son. I definitely am not an only child, but I can say I was the spoiled one. I tried to follow my brother around, hung on his every word, and wanted to be just like him. In other words, I was a little annoying growing up. Now, I had plenty of cousins on both sides of my family that I celebrated birthdays, holidays, and any other occasions we decided, together. My best friend growing up was my cousin, Lisa, and we were inseparable. Before Lisa was born, I was the first girl born on my father side, out of all of my cousins. So, that meant, either I had to be tough or cry a lot. I did a little of both. My son is the only child, and his relationship with his cousins is very different from mine. He knows they exist, but he couldn’t pick them out of a lineup. As I thought about this, I wanted to fix that.
So, I set about the task of attempting to plan a family and friends gathering on my grandparents (great grandparents) farm. Of course, I could not have done this alone. So, everyone in the house chipped in. We made plans to have a tent, to ensure people were comfortable. We made signs, a family tree, painted chairs, tables, and even rented an RV to get things prepared on the farm early. While we were planning, we knew we would need a portable restroom because an outhouse was the only amenities the farm had ever had. I was not going to risk telling my aunts, uncles, and cousins they had to go into the tree line. So, we made the request for an accessible port-o-potty. Then, we order a tent from some site that shall remain nameless (for now). Now, bear in mind, we started planning for this event six to eight months out to provide us with ample time to handle logistics.
We got down to the month before, and we began receiving calls about the risks of snakes, the liability involved with someone being hurt, and cancellations of guests. I was starting to get a little frustrated thinking, all this planning, and now, no one would show up. Somehow, we got in contact with one skeptical family member and reassured them that we had thought of everything. Luckily, that did the trick, and people decided to attend. Now, keep in mind this was an entire month before. Plenty of time for challenges, right? Right. Two weeks before the event, the tents had not arrived. When we contacted the company, they had no record of us ordering the tents, and it would take three to four weeks to ship to us. What the flibbity gibbity? Guess what, when you do good, you get good. We contacted an awesome guy, Tony Lawrence, and he was able to accommodate our needs for, not only, a tent, but he provided additional tables and chairs for the event. Yes, it was significantly less expensive than purchasing a tent that might only go up once.
Lawrence Rentals provided us with fantastic customer service. They didn’t even hassle us about being last minute or the fact that we were so far out in the boonies. Side note: Apparently, the directions I provided were a little backward, but they didn’t hold that against us either. Mr. Lawrence and his family came down and set up all of the items we needed without a second thought. I recommend them to anyone looking for outdoor (or indoor) tent or table rentals.
Dig a Hole
Now, we were down to the night before the event. The port-o-potty rental company that we reserved our units from contacted us (YES! The NIGHT before) to let us know that our party location was out of their service area. Uh oh! Now, I will have to force my aunts an uncles to dig holes in the woods. As luck, God, and/or the universe would have it, there was a local company (of course, I cannot find the invoice) available to provide us an emergency rental. Yep, we received the unit the morning of the event, and he allowed us to keep the unit for two additional days. He was amazing. He set everything up, had a brief conversation with us, and headed to his next install.
Surprisingly, even with a few setbacks, the event was terrific. The air conditioning unit was on its last leg and was entirely too small to accommodate the space we had. Guess what, we unzipped the sides of the tent, and everyone had a blast talking, eating, and enjoying the fellowship. I am so grateful for the opportunity to see everyone, and maybe we can make it happen again soon. Keep making connections. Until next time.