My 77th birthday was one of the most delightful ever. First, there was the surprise party in New York with relatives and friends of long standing (not calling them old). Between that and my real birthday, I received lots of lovely cards, e-greetings, and phone calls. I was humbled by all the attention from around the world.

After church, I was given a fun story to write. Surely that counts as a gift. Ed and his wife were flying to Texas the next day to spend Christmas with relatives. Did he have a big family? Oh! My! Yes! He had 35 first cousins!! Those 35 were descended from 11 children, so Ed began life with 10 aunts and uncles. John and I wanted to know if he knew everyone’s name. You could see the wheels turning, so I suspect he could pull those names out, given time. He explained that every family member has a number. His dad was the seventh child, and Ed was his firstborn, so Ed’s number is 71. I think that is brilliant. If you know the number of the person you are talking to, you know exactly where s/he belongs in the family tree.

Rose and son John $pencer met us to go to a Thai restaurant north of Asheville. I last had Thai food three or four years ago, so I was excited about it. We shared an appetizer – spring rolls, crab Rangoon, and dumplings. John and grandson David chose orange sesame chicken, and Rose had a tofu dish. It didn’t matter what $ ordered, because he chose the hot version and probably couldn’t taste anything because of the searing heat. He turned all shades of red, while insisting he loved his food. I had pineapple curry with salmon that was only mildly spicy.

I asked $ to take a selfie of us, but we didn’t all fit in. $ overheard a family conversation at the next table, so when one of them offered to take a photo of all of us, he asked, “Are you also celebrating a birthday?” They were. It was a young woman on the far side of their table, so we waved and called greetings to each other.

John, Anne, Rose, David, and John

At home, I quickly looked at messages. Having had the phone silenced during church and dinner, I was behind. Neighbor Shawn texted to ask if they could come over in the evening, and neighbor Marla said she and her mother would like to bring something to our house. That was the beginning of the best impromptu birthday party. Connie and Marla arrived wearing festive Santa hats.

Sadie was enthralled when Logan arrived. Their play was so active that both boy and dog were blurred in the photo. Shawn, our son $, and Bob were in the background.

I liked the picture of everyone at the table after we devoured the cake $ bought. It was marvelous to have this congenial group together. I couldn’t have dreamed of a better celebration.

Rose, John $, Connie, Marla, David, Shawn, Logan, Bob, and John

44 thoughts on “Birthday

  1. Happy belated Birthday Anne. Your celebrations sound quite magical, like something out of a movie.
    The wonder is how so many turned up. That shows how much you mean to them.

    I also come from a big family and can beat Ed in numbers 😊.

    Continue smiling as you now have all the joy of the warmth of Christmas and the sharing it entails.



  2. I hit send by accident. I wasn’t through being astonished. ?!?!?!?!?!?!

    If my life were a movie, it would have to be a musical, because there was singing at appropriate times.

    Merry Christmas, Miriam.


  3. Sounds like you had a fabulous birthday celebration. Belated Happy Birthday to you!! Your birthday is certainly close to Christmas but not as close as my mom’s. She turned 91 on Christmas Day. xo


  4. Happy Birthday. One of the things I love about the pictures of your family and friends that you post is that everyone looks like real people, not people posing for the occasion. What a relief to see ordinary clothing, genuine grins, pranks, regular food and good times instead of “staged for Instagram” pictures. Real joy shines through.


  5. Happy belated Birthday, dear Anne! I’m telling you, I’d shave 20 years off your age, if I had just met you and didn’t know otherwise! Have another piece of cake on me! None left? Oh dear… well, have some, er… chocolates on me! 😀


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