They had live music this time, quite a charming band, including a mountain dulcimer player. It's not often that I like live music because my tastes are different than the usual, but this was really nice.
The food was a huge disappointment. It was catered instead of the usual potluck. I had high hopes because it was catered by Smokey's, a favorite restaurant. Their catering is greatly inferior to the restaurant. The barbecue pulled pork was fine -- but they had grilled pineapple and portabellas that they wouldn't let me have, because they were "for vegetarians only," and the two sides they had weren't suited to me. >_< So all I left with with was the sandwich. Later a couple other people shared some of their food with me, which lifted my mood a little, but this is probably the last time I'll eat a meal catered by this restaurant. It was completely inappropriate for a whole host of dietary needs, and most people won't say anything about those because it embarrasses them. They just won't come back.
Compare this to the dessert potluck last month where we had over a dozen delectable things to choose from. The usual Fall Fete potluck would have over two dozen sides and desserts brought by members, plus hot dogs, beef hamburgers (with or without cheese), and veggie burgers bought by the organization. You could take whatever you want, depending on your personal needs and tastes. There were usually plenty of things to please a very wide range of folks. A lot of people layered a beef burger and a veggie burger together. Today was one main dish, you couldn't take both options even if you couldn't eat the other stuff, two sides, a pre-mixed salad, and soggy cobbler for dessert. Total mood-killer.
They had printed plastic cups, though, in four colors. Those were new, and really cute.
We didn't spend half as long there as usual. It was nice to see some people we knew. We did stop to explore part of the new trail, which has a very nice little parking lot at the far end. The forest is in great shape -- oaks, hickories, maples, sycamores, all kinds of trees. The trail is pretty good, a nice moderate challenge level. But it's going to need maintenance by spring. They cut of a lot of saplings at chest level which are, obviously, already sprouting new branches and will be right across the trail in late spring. To say nothing of spiderweb frames in any season. Also I spotted at least one trickle cut across the trail, which means they didn't put pipe cuts or even gravel under it for drainage, making it prone to wash out in the rain. The concrete blocks across the creek (currently dry, but it'll fill with rain) were turned holes-up, which is not only a tripping hazard but will make the creek back up. Turn them flat side up, and the water goes right through the big holes. :/ But eh, it's a beautiful new route for hiking, and I don't have to maintain it.
After that, I had great luck shopping for flower bulbs. Mixed tulips, white narcissus, pale blue squills, all kinds of stuff.
Not a bad day overall, just had its ups and downs.