Dinner for Thousands

Today I am pleased to share my platform with my dear octogenarian aunt, Elsie who recently sent me this story that she wrote years ago. She never got the opportunity to publish her stories and I am delighted to share this one with my readers.

Tonight my husband and I served a conservatively estimated crowd of 2000 at an impromptu fly in dinner.

Some came gliding silently, while others arrived squawking in anticipation of the feast ahead. Unlike most social functions of today’s hustle and bustle, all guests arrived right on time, and without exception, unabashedly enjoyed their visit to the limit!

Not one looked askance at the menu. Each and every one went home full, contented and appreciative. Between courses they very politely moved aside. They took the quiet moment to stretch, yawn or preen their dinner suits.

They all looked so lovely in their basic white jackets, trimmed with grey, their black headgear and each so immaculately groomed. It appeared they had primped and readied themselves the whole day for this festivity.

Not all conducted themselves according to Emily Post. In the beginning there was a certain amount of shoving and elbowing but when they realized there was more than enough food for all, they settled down to act the ladies and gentlemen they were.

The only cleanup to do will be to wash down the tractor in the morning. Despite that, we wish them all well and hope to see each and every one again when we work the summer fallow the next time!

Here is a picture of our dinner party:

Sea Gull Dinner Guests, June 20, 1974

Sea Gull Dinner Guests, June 20, 1974

It was one of those unexpected happenings that make you so thankful to be on the land and not in the city. The gulls had always visited as we worked a field, but not in the unbelievable numbers as this evening. They must have homed in on the only tractor moving for miles and miles.

It felt like a scene from a Hitchcock movie, The Birds, with the gulls making the fallow white for a hundred yards behind, above, and to each side. Eerie but beautiful.



Sadly, after years of spraying anhydrous ammonia on the fields, the seagulls disappeared. The soil may never recover. A hard lesson that some have yet to learn.

Elsie Matthie