Last Sunday afternoon our children surprised us with a party in honor of our 40th wedding anniversary. We had chosen the date of our trip to Greece to coincide with our actual anniversary date so that our kids would not feel as though they had to do something for us. With four of them living in Virginia and the two living Near Philadelphia having a Toddler underfoot, we didn't want them to feel burdened with feting us. Obviously, we were wrong.
They started planning way back in April, they told us. Tom, Anastasia, Amy and Andrew arrived at Sherry's home on Friday night and began preparing. Chris had taken Sam to the Grange Fair. Here are Anastasia, Amy and Sherry hard at work in Sherry's kitchen on Saturday. We had no idea the Virginians were in town -- we thought that Sherry had gone to the Grange Fair as usual.
On Sunday, thinking we were going to a small family picnic at Bonnie's for the purpose of sharing vacation photos, we were greeted by about fifty of our favorite people!
The cake was made by a colleague of Sherry's. The woman had been told that one of us was a quilter, one of us was a sailor, and that we had recently returned from Greece, where everything is blue and white.
There was so much yummy food including barbeque, chicken salad, deviled eggs, cookies, veggies, coleslaw, cheese, crackers, dips, cookies, hand-made candies. Sherry made her famous limeade, Anastasia put together a wicked Sangria, and Amy made calligraphy labels for everything.
Everyone said, "Your kids sure do know how to throw a party!" Everyone was right.
Some of the guests found the centerpiece surprising. We didn't. Among the guests were the Good Guys, a group of women and their husbands/honeys who have been together for more than twenty years, supporting each other, celebrating special occasions, throwing amazing theme parties, and laughing a whole lot. Early in our history together, one of us received a rubber chicken as a surprise, and the chicken (and many subsequent replacements) has been part of our events ever since, often being dressed in an outfit suitable to the occasion. He's been a bride, a bridesmaid, a Santa, among other things, and when I went off to seminary, he was dressed in a little black shirt with a clerical collar to honor the occasion. Of course he would be at our party, and look how happy he is to be aboard ship!
We were, as I said, totally surprised. We had no idea we had so many friends! And that they would all be available to be with us on an August Sunday. Andrew had prepared funny door prizes. One was a bag of "things Mom likes" and included quilt blocks of cats and Swedish fish; the complementary bag was "things Dad dislikes" and held Kellogg cereal and a squirrel mug.
If it weren't enough to have all these wonderful people present, some brought gifts. We were just amazed and thrilled. Above all, we felt blessed.