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Saturday, July 19, 2014

Cleo's Pool Party

Cleo's pool party is an annual ALDA Chicago tradition dating back to 1987. I consider it one of our group's signature events. There are three gatherings each year that our members really come out in force for - the holiday party in December, the birthday party in the spring, and Cleo's pool party in the summer. Last year I missed out on it, so I was bound and determined to make it this year.

Pool during one of the rare moments it was empty.
The morning of the pool party, the Chicago area received heavy rains. Not a good sign, but the party is on rain or shine. Fortunately, the storm moved off by early afternoon. But I didn't realize that because I had dozed off while waiting for the storm to pass. As a result, I got to the party rather late so the socializing was in full swing when I arrived. I filled a plate of food and started mingling. It sure felt good to be around my deaf and hard of hearing friends again, giving and receiving hugs, sharing stories, and signing as best as we can.

My dear friend Cleo and me
I got to know Cleo when I was brand new to ALDA Chicago through working on a project together. Cleo is one of the charter members who got the group going 25+ years ago. Cleo and I are email buddies and my day is always brightened when a message from her comes to my in-box. She likes to include bright yellow smiley-face emoticons in her notes. I am so blessed to know her and just want to take a moment to say publicly: 

Thank you, Cleo, for all of your hospitality and friendship to ALDA Chicagoans over the years. We love you, Cleo!

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