We were ready for grandson David’s birthday before he woke up. John bought a helium balloon the day before and hid it in the garage. I had sweet roll dough in the refrigerator and baked it as chocolate coffeecake. We enjoyed a leisurely breakfast, with the oldsters doing most of the talking. David is as much a night owl as I am an early bird. He was content to sit quietly and eat.
David had to work at 2, so we went to Bogart’s for an early lunch. Son John $ was finally rejoining the human race and went with us. He was in the woods hiking the previous week when an attack of gout started. He soaked his foot in a mountain stream before walking the remaining two miles to his car. Using that foot to shift was nerve wracking, because he wasn’t sure he could force it to move. He managed to drive to our house, which was much closer than his. His days were turned upside down, since the pain kept him awake at night. Medication finally brought it under control so that he could hobble again.
We were ready for a snack when David came home. Months ago he requested chocolate cheesecake for his birthday. We should have weighed it. The recipe began with two pounds of cream cheese, and it was heavy. After John lit the candle, we sang Happy Birthday. $ wasn’t visible, but he was sitting on David’s left telling a story. David was snickering at his uncle’s tale when I snapped the picture.
There is nothing like it when $ is in a story-telling mood. Some years ago, he and a friend had gone to the supermarket, and the friend was bummed out because he had no money left. As the story progressed, $’s accent changed to that of a mountain man. That in itself is amusing. All vestiges of his New York accent disappeared. He wanted to make his friend laugh, so he pulled into a McDonald’s drive-through.
When it was his turn to order, he said into the microphone, “I wont skillet-fried ‘possum.”
The worker asked for a repeat.
“We don’t have that,” and he began to read some items from the menu.
Before they pulled away, $’s friend and the worker were laughing. Mission accomplished!
We all headed to bed after eating cheesecake. At the end of the day, we felt the birthday mission had been accomplished, too.