Last weekend we celebrated the patriarch of the mountain! Our beloved neighbor Aris turned 90!
I have mentioned before that our neighbors are like family to us. Most of them come and go for a few months out of a year, some come for the weekends, but until very recently, and for a long time, we were only 4 people living full time in the mountain: Mike, Aris, Uri and me (now we added Adiel and a wonderful couple).
Mike is an amazing artist and a very colorful character, it's such fun to have him around. Mike and Aris came first to this place and it is because of them that we all came to find our own piece of heaven in the mountain. Most of the neighbors know each other for a veeeery long time, some even went to high school together or were at some point related to each other, so I get to hear pretty funny stories of their youth.
Aris was born on March 10th, 1921, in Uruguay. He is an art teacher, critic and curator, acclaimed theater director, unstoppable and strong builder, devoted reader, sharp political analyst, amazing cook, fearless environmental activist, friendly translator, epic adventurer, crazy driver, animal lover, skillful researcher, gifted gardener, pizza oven guru and legendary pizza maker, mountain trail keeper, and a tremendous source of wisdom and inspiration to us all. Among his numerous anecdotes he met Botero, Igor Stravinsky and he frequented Manly P. Hall in San Francisco. He did so many things for art and culture in South America, including starting the Plastic Arts Movement of Colombia. The man is healthy as can be and he insists he owns it to never drinking water and eating no greens, haha... but that comes from a time when he lived in the Amazone where there were very unsanitary conditions. There is just so much to say about him... We love Aris.
So here is our mountain family (there is an extended mountain family that could not make it for the party) and Aris' celebration!
They all are art people in a way or another... below you see Aris, Mike, Adiel and Uri in the sangria pre-party and above are Mike's shoes, he always wears something funny like those. I like having these older close friends, gives me a different perspective on life (and they all looooove Adiel).
The view from Eddie's house on our way to the dinner party...
I decorated the place... you can't really see the decoration from the pics, but everyone liked it and I think Aris was happy. We ordered paella!! (Tough to make paella for such a great cook, Aris knows his way with saffron, but it was good)
After the dinner party we moved location again for cake and presents. Lots of love and signs of appreciation came through. There were poems to him, many toasts, thoughtful and creative presents and even a proclamation of a day in his honor! Aris was touched...
I think I always tell everyone else that our mountain neighbors are like family to us, but I guess I never told him before how lucky I feel to be a part of his family, so I told him that day...
It was nice to celebrate life after all those devastating images in the news... I am grateful we are safe, healthy and calm!