Sunday, November 29, 2015

Mom and Dad's Anniversary Party!!

Today was the day. It was the day of my parents’ fiftieth wedding anniversary party. My sister-in-law and I have been planning this party for the last two and a half months. I took care of arranging the venue and my sister-in-law took care of the decorating. Such special memories were made today and I want to share just a few with you!!

We found out that one of my friends from high school has a cake decorating business, so I did my due diligence and checked things out. Oh. My. Goodness. Her cakes are gorgeous!! I contacted her and she was excited to be able to make a cake for my parents. Before I went back home, she brought cake and icings and fillings to the house for us to taste. What a treat! The flavors were all delicious, but we picked out the ones that we liked the best. My sister-in-law took care of working with Stacy to choose what the cake should look like and they did an amazing job!

Our photographer was a good friend of my brother and his wife. She did a lovely job of all the photos, as you can see. She also staged a picture of Mom and Dad cutting the cake just like the one from their wedding fifty years ago! What a special memory!

The first couple that came in the door were people that I haven’t seen in 30 years, but I would have recognized anywhere. Our families used to do lots of stuff together when I was a little kid, back 40+ years ago. They moved to Okeechobee in the early 1980’s and we saw them only sporadically after that. They brought my parents a couple of sheets of photographs, including a picture of me and my brother riding horses in the 1980’s. There were also pictures of my Mom’s and my graduation party in 1990. And I got to hear about what their children are up to these days!

Another guest today was my very first piano teacher and Spanish teacher. Her daughter is a good friend of my mom’s from the church choir and this woman was her daughter’s “plus one” for the party. Starting in first grade, I went to a private, Christian school. In elementary school, we did Spanish one year, alternating with German the next year. Mrs. Chase was the Spanish teacher and Mr. Chase was the German teacher (and also an administrator). Mrs. Chase was also the piano teacher. Once a week, I was taken out of my regular classes for a thirty minute piano lesson. Mrs. Chase was also the choir teacher for elementary school. Today was the first time that I have seen Mrs. Chase in 38 years!!

There were two couples that were friends with my parents early on in their marriage and were mentors to my parents. Of course, I didn’t recognize them, but I was thrilled to meet them. One of the women is also an avid knitter, so we bonded immediately over yarn. It’s a little strange to meet people who have known you since birth when you’re 48 years old!!

Wild Man and Rosie Girl performed “Love You Too Much” from “The Book of Life” and “Love Is An Open Door” from “Frozen”. They got a great reception from everyone there. It was great fun for me to hear from people I didn’t even know how talented my kids are. I agreed that they are very talented and that they had worked very hard. At the end of “Love Is An Open Door”, the kids changed the dialogue to the following:
Wild Man: “Do you think Grams and Grandpa sang like this on their first date?”
Rosie Girl: “I don’t know. Can they even sing?”
Both: Shrug shoulders
This is hysterical to everyone in the room because both Mom and Dad sing very well and have been in choir off and on for many years!

We had a request from someone to sing my Dad’s favorite hymn, “Victory in Jesus”. The problem was that Wild Man, our resident worship leader, doesn’t know the hymn and wouldn’t be able to lead it a capella. I remembered, though, that our Minister of Music from when I was in high school (he is now a Minister to Senior Adults) was at the party. I asked him if he was willing to lead the hymn. Not only was he willing to lead the hymn, but his wife was able to play it on the piano. It was wonderful to have everyone standing and singing together with Bill leading the music just like it was 30 years ago!

Our programming during the party was my brother giving a short speech that included implying that I had vodka in my water cup as well as explaining that the secret to a long marriage is having great kids! I then gave a poetic prayer and the kids sang their songs. After the music, my dad came up to give a short extemporaneous talk on the nature of faith. That’s my dad – don’t give up the opportunity to talk about Jesus!

My brother’s two friends and their families were there. They called themselves the Three Musketeers. I prefer to call them the Three Troublemakers. They may be married and have children and be upstanding members of society now, but I remember the days when they were a bunch of high school hooligans. My brother is the only one who had real trouble with high school. He ended up getting a correspondence school diploma and joining the Marines. He’s now an electrical engineer with a masters degree working on defense contracts at Lockheed Martin. Another friend went on to become a lawyer and is married with a lovely daughter. The third guy has a degree in business, is married with three kids, and is teaching math. I guess the three troublemakers made good, after all!!

During the afternoon, one of the servers came up to Dad and talked very seriously to him for several minutes. I asked Dad about the conversation later. Apparently, this server has been with his girlfriend for a couple of years and wanted to know about how to know when it was time to get married and how to stay married for so long. I think it was really cool that this guy came to the man who had been married for fifty years to get marriage advice!!

It was a wonderful afternoon of friends, family, and fun! Mom and Dad truly enjoyed themselves, which was the ultimate goal. I hope you enjoyed these stories and pictures as much as I enjoyed the reminiscences. If you haven't hugged your loved ones lately, go do so. Don't wait for these big events. Enjoy every single minute!! 

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