Fifteen people attended Operation Icicle which is few compared to most gatherings I have.  There were two waves of departure which left a core of six from 1am onward.  We talked for a few hours and before one friend left we chatted:
Me: Did you enjoy yourself?
Him: I suppose.  It wasn’t your best gathering.
Me: Noted.
Him: Better luck next time.
The wood was a little damp, the night rather cold, and the ground a little wet.  These added up to less than the evening I wanted.  While cleaning up, one of the guests fell almost directly on my surgical site and I declared a moratorium on fun for the evening.  I retired for the night smelling of smoke and disappointment.
Maybe Operation Icicle had run its course.  My first one was in 1999 and I held them regularly throughout high school.  I stopped in college but returned to having them a year after.  Of those attending this evening, Rachel had been attending the longest and was the only one from my high school group to still be in my circle of friends.  For about 1/3 of the people present this was their first one.  Maybe this history and ritual was lost to them.  I’ll be moving downtown within the next half year.  I probably won’t have outdoor winter parties then.

Operation Icicle is my once a year winter party where a fire is constructed and we collectively laugh at the cold.  Normally I have some help to set up for this event but this year my crack team of six Eagle Scouts proved unable to help.  I was feeling well so was comfortable taking care of everything myself.  I had visited my doctor the previous week who told me to continue to take it easy.  At some point where I had put the sixth tree log into the back of my dad’s truck I determined that I had officially ignored doctor’s orders.
The most glaring violation of this was when moving logs from the house to the camp fire circle.  As I exited the top driveway one fell out and began rolling down W. Bristol Rd.  I stopped the car, grabbed it and threw it in the back of the truck again with the motion of someone picking up and tossing a basketball.