I knew I was in trouble when Knobbleknees said that she was pregnant again this past April.
Once all of us James kids turned into adults, we started having birthday dinners as a family, usually at a reasonably priced restaurant (Perkins, Charcoal Grill, etc). As time elapsed and kids got married, divorced, remarried and so on, it started to become more expensive. Since all of us kids have birthdates within two calendar months, once spring rolled around it became quite a financial commitment. An idea to rectify that would to instead have one birthday party a year to celebrate everyone's birthday, and we would have it at a restaurant that we normally couldn't afford.
This lasted five or six years, until Knobbleknees suggested that we change it to a family picnic. I hypothesized that it was because I set the bar so very high last year at the Five O'Clock Steakhouse that it couldn't be topped, so the idea was retired. (Sponsor's Name Here)'s Official Mother suggested that it was not the case, but I think I know better.
I gave Knobbleknees a slight break when she Pregnant Brained the date, which was yesterday. (Side note; All I ask for is for two weekends a year with nothing to take my away from my yardwork. Two weeks. Is that too much to ask for?) We had asked a neighbor to park cars in our yards and he agreed to for a split in the income. Sounded like a good deal to me, so off to Fontana we went.
By Noon, we had the car loaded with picnic supplies and an overabundance of children. Reid Park in Fontana (on the western shore of Lake Geneva) is a really nice set up. They have a boat launch just near the beach, and the long, narrow beach had plenty of shade for the non-swimmers/non-sunbathers to hang around.
We set up shop near the playground. Dick Clark was in his own little world as he buzzed all over the place...
But Rockin' Eve wasn't quite as adventurous....
we played, we laughed, we cried...
But we did not go to the lake. Admission was $6 per person to get on the beach, and what sounded like a good idea at home was not as much after lunch. Everybody picked out a lawn chair and just kind of chilled, like Hammock Day without the hammocks...
By 4:30 or so, the fun was over and we packed-up the cars and headed home.
Upon return, I had wondered where I would park my car, assuming my yard would be filled. To my surprise, yards had cars parked as far as the eye could see... except mine. My yard was an oasis of green amongst the scene of a used car lot.
The good news is that I was the closest parking area available for blocks in any direction.
More good news is that we were able to bump the pricing to $10 (a neighbor suggested we go to $15, but I had a lot of inventory go to through. Had it been one or two spaces, we might have tried $15) We actually got more for one car who tipped me handsomely for letting him use our bathroom in the house.
More good news is that the 13 spots were all sold in less than one hour.
The bad news is that parking all of the cars between 5:30 and 6:30 meant very little chance for flipping the spots. As a matter of fact, when I went to bed around 10:00, only three cars had actually left.
The good news is that because the neighbor didn't park any cars, we didn't have to split the money.
In all, a good day in Jamesland... a family picnic and still managed well over a benny in parking revenues. The total after three days is 45 cars, and the revenue is 3/4 of the way to what was made last year.
As I enter this, it is raining pretty steadily, but the Weatherdick on the Weatherdeck says that this band of showers will end and we will get a nice break before the next band rolls in. My fingers are crossed that the break in the rain will bring out lots of families.