Meeting Week and Party with the Lang Gang
This has been a long, exhausting, yet incredibly productive week. There are so many big doings afoot at OakTree Software that we set aside this week for a series of long meetings on a variety of subjects, and a few of our out-of-state colleagues came in to participate. Since we don't always get all these folks together in one place at one time, my wife and I decided to make the most of it and invite everyone out to our place for a Christmas party. It turned out to be a wonderful way to close out a pretty intense week.
Now, a party at the Langs' house involves a certain level of commitment from our guests. We live in a small town about 40 minutes from the office, which is not a trivial drive after a long day's work. Still, the vast majority of the staff made the trek, and we had a full house of people. Dr. J and his wife even made the much longer trek up from Winter Haven.
Since I was tied up in meetings all week, I wasn't much help to my wife, Lisa, in preparing for the party. She ended up going above and beyond in making the house look festive, preparing all the food, and generally acting as the "hostess with the mostest." Our five kids were also a big help in preparing for the party.
As each carload of people came to the door, they were greeted by Toby, our over-enthusiastic dog, and Jo Jo, our youngest son. Both were in rare form and clearly excited to show off for the guests.
Our staff includes a surprisingly high number of talented musicians, so after we had all feasted, we enlisted some of them to play Christmas carols. I had previously asked Martha, our sales manager, to play piano, and I hoped Joel, who is a professional trombonist, might bring his trombone. As they began playing, my son, David, grabbed his electric guitar, and my daughter, Lexi, joined in on her violin. Dr. J, who normally plays bass, picked up David's acoustic guitar and played along. My other daughter, Bethany, even grabbed a jingle bell ornament to provide a little percussion. None of them had previously practiced together, so it amounted to an impromptu jam session, but it all sounded wonderful. A few people joined in singing carols, but most just wanted to keep talking and socializing. After we broke for dessert, Dr. J's wife, Gloria, took a turn at the piano, and Ruth, the wife of our newest employee, Paul, treated us to some amazing vocals. It was all a lot of fun, and I always marvel at our staff's normally hidden talents.
Eventually the party wound down, and our guests embarked on their long drives home. It was a great time, and a great chance to unwind after a busy week. I'm proud to say that the OakTree staff showed the same commitment to partying that they have toward developing insanely great Bible software.