Sunday, October 4, 2009

Party in the Chicken Coop

Back in college and in my sorority days, we used to have a photographer called "Joe Photo" show up at all of our events and take pictures.  Afterwards, we could order pictures from him, labeled with the event and the date.  It was great because we never had to worry about carrying our own cameras around all night, which was a blessing because before the digital era, any time a group of girls wanted to take a picture when Joe Photo wasn't around, we had to take one with each. girl's. camera.   So we ended up with like 10 cameras all with the same photo.  Remember those days? Anyway, I've decided next time I host a party maybe it'd be a good idea to call up Joe Photo and have him take pictures for me.  I LOVE having pictures, but when I am playing host at my own party, which I did last night, I hate to disrupt a good conversation with my guests to take pictures.  So even though my camera was dangling from my wrist all night with the intention of capturing some good photo opportunities, I only got a few from our 2nd Annual Harvest Party.  They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but in this case, I need a thousand words to describe a picture.  Or event.

No, I didn't get a picture of all of our guests who stopped out for the night.  Or of the big bonfire out in the field and our pathway of tiki torches that led down to it.  And no, I didn't get a picture of the women, who showed up in cute mary jane shoes and black leather boots who walked out to the bonfire and got their heels stuck in the mud. Or, a photo of the group around the bonfire once it died down to just a flat surface of hot coals, with all the men holding shovels to poke in the fire, looking like a bunch of Paul Bunyan's.  And when we decided to let the dogs out from the basement to have them mingle with our guests for a bit, I didn't get a shot of our sweet neighbor after the dogs tried to lick her face and left four mud prints all over the front of her sweatshirt.  And I didn't get a photo of my two year old nephew who in the most adorable way, thought he was being helpful and safe and kept blowing out all the candles, including the one under the serving dish that was keeping the apple crisp warm.  Those are just a few of the things that I did not get pictures of at this year's Harvest Party.

I regretfully never got a "before" picture of the inside of the chicken coop, which may be a good thing, because I don't know how well a building all walled up into little rooms, filled with corn feed, insulation and chicken poop would photograph.  And because I didn't get a "before" picture, it makes any "after" picture much less impressive.  Last year, once we decided we would not be raising chickens here at Schram Vineyards, Aaron opened it up by knocking down all the walls, except one with the old half barn door that we wanted to keep for originality.  Then I shoveled out all the chicken droppings, and powerwashed the whole interior. If Aaron wasn't already completely head over heels in love with me before then, the day he watched me powerwash the chicken coop and was covered head to toe in chicken poop, was the day he started looking at me with little hearts in his eyes.  That day he saw for certain his uptown girl could really rough it. 

It still has a lot of re-structuring and a long way to go before it will be an acceptable tasting room, but for the time being, with white lights wrapped around the rafters, the aromas of chili, hot cider and mulled wine wafting the air, and a propane heater in the corner, it makes a pretty mean party central.

I snapped a few photos, but the only decent one was, coincidentally, of me with two of my sorority sisters who were able to make it out, one who even traveled from Illinois to be here!  Here we are 10 years later in much less formal attire than above.  Even without Joe Photo, we did get one picture from "Harvest Party, October 3rd, 2009."