Since Dulci was kind enough to ask, here's the lowdown on the party.
I have no idea how many people were here. The BardiacShack (tm) was VERY full, upstairs, downstairs, the garage (the grills were all just outside the garage so that the grillers could be mostly out of the rain). When I first thought of the idea, one of the people in the know suggested that we usually get 40 people at the picnic. Estimates last night ran from 50-70 from different people.
Everyone kept telling me how happy they were not to be outside. The proposed outside version somehow got the name "ick-nic" as opposed to the real indoor version, which wasn't icky at all. Outside it was in the 40s, and nastily wet. Someone said there was snow, or at least ice crystals in the drizzle.
Inside was an abundance of body warmth and the only wetness involved beer, wine, and whatever else people were drinking. (I'm an anxious host; so I forgot to eat or drink until the grill stuff had come off the grills and there was a major lineup in the food area. Then I found some food and had some water.)
A colleague from another department came and told me, late in the day, that while her department seemed to get along well, she could tell that we really like each other, and that it makes for a whole different level of interaction.
Happily, the students who were a big part of the sponsoring organization and their faculty advisor stayed to clean up, and by the time they left, the BardiacShack (tm) looked pretty darned good. I stayed up to vacuum and mop the tile areas because they were sticky and I hate walking through a sticky kitchen on the way to my morning caffeination. I still have to wash down the garage floor, though.
So, my anxiety level is back to grading red or something. A couple bottles of unopened wine have found their way to my cellar, an unexpected bonus.
The worst of it is that one of my favorite colleagues is retiring, and we're all going to miss him in big ways. He's the colleague I'd like to grow up to be someday. It's good to have role models, and better to have them near to remind you.