Chiro and Lery said they’d make the pinchos for the relief sale again, but this year they’d be bringing reinforcements.
First it was just one of their sons and their daughter’s boyfriend (their daughter and niece are living here in town this year). Then Lery’s brother Joyto and his wife Heidi said they were coming with their three kids. Then Tony and Carmen (the couple that took our place and are living in our house) and their two boys. Then Chiro’s brother Rolando and his wife Glorimar and their daughter, but Shhhh, don’t tell anyone (they wanted to surprise their daughter who lives here). Then another Puerto Rican family who’d moved to Maryland a couple months back…
Thus their ongoing joke that Puerto Ricans are una plaga (a plague).
We cleaned house and borrowed an air mattress. I cooked butter chicken and taco meat and a big pot of beans and pans of regular granola and French chocolate granola and loaves of bread. My parents said they’d host one of the families. Rolando’s family stayed with other friends. Chiro and Lery’s crew stayed with their daughter. Heidi and Joyto with us.
Everyone arrived mid-week, and Thursday we swung into high gear: them (plus a bunch of local volunteers) cutting, skewering, and marinating 250 pounds of chicken and us on the doughnuts.
Evenings we ate together — one night I made a taco salad to feed the masses and another night Chiro made a Puerto Rican feast. We stayed up too late, making music and talking and playing games, and one night we went over to Mom and Dad’s for smores around the fire.
The day of the sale, a bunch of them popped in to help with the doughnuts (and thank goodness, too, since we were wildly understaffed)…
… before running off to make hundreds of pinchos.
Once again, their stand was a raging success!
Sunday, the day after the sale, everyone who was still here (a couple families had left), plus my parents, came over for lunch. I’d spent the morning making pizza rolls and, at the last minute, a surprise cake for Heidi’s birthday (the next day).
And then the goodbyes (though Chiro and Lery’s family is still here).
What a treat, to have all of them here, with us.
What a gift.