Birthday Weekend Part I

You just know it was a good weekend when on Sunday night at 9 p.m. you’re tired and sober and your stomach and head are recovering from two nights of marathon drinking and laughing and talking and barely any sleep.

The company’s gone and my house is quiet and I’m still laughing out loud thinking about all the moments – the "time-whens" and what he said and she did and, my personal favorite, the "I-can’t-believe-I-did-thats." There were quite a few of those.

This blog will be short, but I’ll write more tomorrow about this incredible weekend. It’s not that I don’t have much to say, but my head is swimming and so this blog is my feeble attempt to start sorting out all that transpired.

The gist of the weekend is this: not much surprises my husband. He takes things in stride, doesn’t stray to extremes of emotion with most of life’s joys and heartaches. With his even-keeled temperament, Larry was ready to turn 60 years old in quiet dignity. I would have none of that and so six months ago I started planning a surprise party. And what a surprise it was. It took him a second to realize what was happening when we walked into Michelle’s Café last night, fully expecting a quiet family dinner and instead being greeted by 50 of his friends with drinks in their hands singing “Happy Birthday.” It was worth the months of planning and secrecy and worry just to watch his face in that moment.

It started Thursday when his sister Carol arrived from Arkansas, a bit shaken from the flight. I can understand how it might be a bit unnerving to hear the pilot say he can’t land the plane until the fire trucks arrive. Reason number 497 why I hate flying. I had her wine poured when she and Larry pulled in the driveway.

Larry’s brother David was in Niagara Falls on vacation with his three kids and drove to Clarion Saturday morning. Brother Bob tried to fly standby out of Houston to no avail and couldn’t join our little soiree. Two other out-of-towners who could and did were Larry’s friends from grad school, two of a larger group of his tight-knit group of Purdue friends whom I’ve never met, but hold the key to the Larry I never knew – the hippy science nerd from the early ‘70s known as “Chuckster T. Phool.”

Alas, my body is winning its battle of wills with my consciousness as I fall asleep in front of my computer. I will continue this tomorrow (I hope), but I leave you with a photo of John, “Chuck” and Denny on our deck Friday night. When I look at it I smile because there’s nothing more pure than secondhand joy – that feeling you get when you know someone you love is genuinely happy. And at that moment, Larry was all kinds of happy. Img_2009

I’m also previewing a new photo of me in the upper left corner of my blog home page. Denny took it the other night and I rather liked it, and as many of you know, I like very few photos of me.

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