Simple pleasures are the best. The lone party blower with the bright aqua and silver metallic stripes has been buried in the kitchen junk drawer for over a year. A remnant of my daughter, Dena’s, surprise 18th birthday party, I tossed it there thinking it could come in handy someday. Maybe I’d use it to startle our yappy, little cockapoo next time the doorbell rang. Or, tease Charlie, the cat with it, on a dreary, gray day. Blow it at myself in the mirror; a reminder to take myself less seriously the next time I get worked up over trivial things.
Like yelling at Dena about her messy room. In two months, she’ll be living away from home, messing up her dorm room. And I know I’ll long for her. I’ll need that party blower when I’m all alone and the hollow echo of the house makes me wish she was there with me, throwing dirty clothes all over my pristinely clean floors.
I could have used that party blower 19 years ago when my dad passed away and I had no one’s hug to cheer me up. Or when my beloved grandma, Gentchen died. I was only eight years old and no one wanted to talk about it. A party blower might have helped then, too.
I’m a party blower fan from way back. They were an essential piece at every birthday party from kindergarden to at least fourth grade. My mother said it was the one thing that brought me out of my shell.
I was always fascinated by the tightly coiled tissue end piece, unfurling like like a frog’s tongue darting at a fly when I blew on the other end. Such a wondrous invention.
Life was uncomplicated in the fifties. We played outside with hula hoops and pogo sticks until way past sunset . One neighbor on our block had a television; the Olsen family. My older brother, Ed and I, would go over there to watch Annie Oakley in black and white. The show inspired me to ask for my own cowgirl costume with a gun holster and cap gun. I slept in it.
I’d like to find a time machine to take me back for a while. To refresh the memories, moments before my party guests arrived for my 2nd grade birthday party. When I ran around the table and blew on each and every party blower to test them out once or twice, just for the heck of it. Anticipating the boisterous cacophony of all the blowers blaring in unison. Lit by the afternoon sun, the green and blue metallic streamers, sparkling and lifting our spirits as we’d chase each other around the cherry trees in the yard.
Maye I’ll bring my party blower with me when I drive Dena down to college in September. And when she waves goodbye, I’ll pull it out of my purse and blow. It’s a simple thing, a party blower. But it’s the best.