TRAVEL HERE: STROLL KICKOFFS BUNCO & BUBBLES
The Weekend Started Thursday Night
It almost felt like pre-pandemic days. Something came in snail mail which invited us to a free event. Those used to come all the time from The Dallas Museum of Art, The Dallas Arboretum, various premium car dealerships and other organizations. Then we all went into hibernation and the world had changed. Nothing comes in snail mail anymore and the only thing that might be free is a ZOOM meeting.
But by golly, several months ago, our HOA magazine invited us to a free event to celebrate their name change, the Stroll Meet & Greet. They kicked it off with great fanfare, suggesting that once I made my reservations I’d be inundated with all kinds of follow up information. That didn’t happen. In fact, I had to do a little investigative research to figure out if it was actually going to happen or not.
Once we made the drive across town and arrived at the event, we discovered we were the only couple from our neighborhood to make the trek. The editor of our magazine and her daughter were there, but no one else. I would say that should give you a clue about the magazine’s readership, but on second thought, I realized the location of the event required residents of Buffalo Creek to cross the bridge and many folks out here in the Lake Cities, Rockwall, Heath, Fate etc. don’t go anywhere that requires crossing the bridge, especially if it’s at rush hour.
Well, Bill and I are just misplaced Dallasites, so while we may curse, moan and complain about the bridge, it is not a barrier to us attending a free event in Far North Dallas. The location of this particular event was Starpower, just off the Dallas Parkway. If you aren’t familiar with Starpower, I’m not surprised. It’s a high end appliance and home theater store by Ed Kellum and Sons, but most folks have never heard of it. It’s a beautiful showroom and served as a great venue for an homeowner event. Bill even looked at a frig.
All in all, it was a pretty nice event. There were some food stations, a photo booth and adult beverages With six neighborhoods in DFW N2 Publishing’s stable and free admission, I would have expected a larger crowd, but there you go. I said it ALMOST felt like pre-pandemic days and people staying home in droves is just one of the post-pandemic realities.
Another post-pandemic reality is that most people have forgotten how much fun it is to dress up. “Cocktail Attire” was requested and some of us rose to the occasion, but most people did not. Business Attire was also an option, so I gave those people a pass, but the slobs (and they know who they are) put a damper on the gala atmosphere. They may be comfortable and doing their own thing, but I’d just as soon they stayed home, too.
The sponsors did avoid another post-pandemic trend, of which I’m glad. To be honest, it’s a Millenial/Gen X trend, but it all tends to fit in the same bucket, in my humble opinion. There was no virtue-signaling claim of a charity or cause benefitting from it. Everywhere I go it seems someone wants a few to many dollars for their cause or for me to buy their raffle ticket or to donate something for their silent auction. If I donated to everyone with their hand out, I’d need someone to have a gala for me, because I’d be bankrupt. But I’ll get off that hobby horse. I’m a voice crying out in the wilderness and I’m totally off-trend.
Lone Star CASA’s Bunco & Bubbles Brunch
While the Stroll Meet & Greet didn’t have a charitable agenda, the next event on my calendar did, the third annual Bunco and Bubbles Brunch. This was an unashamed fund-raising event for CASA and I heartily endorse Lone Star CASA and their mission. What I don’t like is the way a charity is tacked on to obvious marketing ploys, where someone or some organization wants to get credit for my donations to their charity. It just doesn’t sit well with me. Marketing is marketing and charity is charity.
That being said, this was a pretty fun event. Yes, they sold raffle tickets and yes there was both a live and a silent auction, but I can live with that. One draw is a brunch with bottomless mimosas. An improvement this year was the addition of cranberry juice to make poinsettias. My tummy cannot tolerate the acid in orange juice and apparently I am not alone. When I attended a couple of years ago, orange juice was all they had and a bottomless glass of champagne can be a little dangerous. I’m glad my car was able to drive home on its own.
The brunch itself was not exactly bountiful. There was a three-tiered plate stand with nibbles at each end of the tables. The choices were very skinny finger sandwiches, teeny tiny quiches and three-fruit hors d’oeuvres. Or you could go pick a cold glazed doughnut off a board with pegs on it. Were I in charge, I think I’d dump the brunch part and just provide a snack mix in bowls for finger food. A lot less hassle and expense. To boot, people like me wouldn’t show up hungry with visions of a buffet. They did refill the selections several times, but exactly how many mini-quiche can you eat to balance out your mimosas and poinsettias. If there were no brunch offered, folks would eat breakfast before they came. No charge for the advise.
The other draw was Bunco. I only play Bunco once in a blue moon and usually when I do, everyone has donated a few bucks to the pot, which is then split up among the winners. The head table (where the winners sit) sets the pace for the game, because you play until someone at the head table gets 21 points. If they roll a Bunco (all three dice have the target number) then it’s a really short game.
This game was played in four minute heats and were they ever hot. Some of the women were rolling the dice as if their lives depended on winning. Their goal was to get as many rolls as possible into the 4 minutes. That took all the fun out of it for me. With certain rolls, you’re supposed to call out for a token to mark your score, but instead of being able to celebrate your feat, these crazy women wanted you to continue rolling while you madly waved your hand to get your token – a cheap string of beads, which would be turned in for a ticket, which gave you a chance at a prize.
The heats were also very loud. You had some ladies coaching those who had never played Bunco, other women were counting the scoring dice rolls out loud, some people were cheering on their partners and then there was the desperate calls of “Bunco” and “Mini-Bunco”, so we could get our necklaces, while the self-selected Bunco bosses would shout, “Keep rolling! Keep rolling!” Over it all was the timekeeper shouting out how many minutes/seconds were left in the heat. Confession, it was all a little overwhelming for me.
Taking It Easy Sunday
After so much excitement, I was ready for a quiet Sunday. We visited Rockwall First Baptist in our continuing search for a church home. Like several of the churches we have visited, they were doing a lot of things right, but it just wasn’t for us. I grew up on 3-Points- &-A-Poem sermons, so it was all very familiar. Nothing theologically wrong with what was taught, it just wasn’t challenging enough intellectually and spiritually. I need something that’s going to keep me thinking all week long, until I can go back again the next Sunday to get more.
The music part of the journey is the toughest part. I actually liked the music they sang, but they only put the words up on the screens. I really, really need the actually bars of music or I’m left feeling around vocally, trying to figure out what the tune is. After struggling through several contemporary songs, I was so relieved to move to a very familiar hymn, that I could barely sing it for the tears. It shouldn’t be so hard to worship!
Next Bill got his Starbuck’s fix. I don’t drink coffee and relaxing is a very hard thing for me to do, but if he can go sit through a worship service he’s not all that interested in, then I can go hang out at Starbucks. From there we visited a few nurseries – also not my favorite things, but I was getting to spend the day with the love of my life, so what did I have to complain about. We did come home with some youpon hollies and a few nandina bushes – neither of which were on my short list, but at least we’ll get some shrubs planted. Bill and I have very different criteria for plants.
The day slid into evening and all too soon the work week started. Put the Bunco & Bubbles event on your calendar for next year and then come back next week for a little more NYC and some great Memory Keeping Advice. Then we’ll have another weekend report.