Growing up in a family-friendly neighborhood outside of San Francisco, I had plenty of kids available to play with on a moment’s notice.
Summers were spent swimming in backyard pools; orchestrating epic games of hide-and-seek that extended across several front yards; and sharing treats from the ice cream man, who announced his arrival every afternoon with a tinny tune that blared from his truck and echoed through the streets.
For us youngsters, there was never a shortage of good company, fun and entertainment.
Now that I’m (chronologically) an adult, I long for that laissez faire summer feeling that I had in spades as a kid.
Now, the ongoing demands of work and other responsibilities don’t just stop once the days get longer, but my neighborhood has found a way to collectively slow down, sit down and enjoy the sweetness of summer together.
Every other Friday at 5:30 p.m., starting the day the kids get out of school and ending the week they go back, someone in the neighborhood hosts a casual gathering in their front yard.
We all know where the gathering will be by the presence of a rather large (and very pink) flamingo that is placed prominently on the host’s property that week.
There are no frills or formalities with this event: no RSVPs, hosts may choose to set out some chairs and light snacks (or not), and it is a BYOBAC (bring your own beverage and chair) affair.
Everyone is invited. Guests are invited to come for as long as they please (typical gatherings last an hour or two) with the stipulation that at some point in the evening, one of them will pluck the flamingo from the front yard and put it in their own yard the Monday or Tuesday before the next get-together.
The event is called Flamingo Friday. Festivities like this are held in places across the country as a way for people to come together and connect with their neighbors in a fun and easy atmosphere.
This is the second year our neighborhood has hosted the gatherings, and they are a brilliant way to get to know the wonderful people all around you that you might not have ever had the opportunity to meet.
And did you know a flock of flamingos is called flamboyance? How’s that for putting a little fun in your summer?
Flamingo Friday is a sweet and simple way to get outside and savor the summer months, and hey, you’ll likely make a few new friends. Why not start a Flamingo Friday tradition in your own corner of the Ranchos?
Meneley Elementary library opens its doors this summer
Students enrolled at Meneley Elementary are invited to visit their school’s library this summer 8 a.m.-noon June 25-30. They’ll be able to check out library books and participate in the county library’s summer reading program.
A signed parent permission form (available at the Meneley library) is required to attend.
For information, contact Meneley Librarian Dianne Deadrich at email@example.com.
Amy Roby can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.