We celebrated the 70th birthdays of my parents on the long weekend, with a spring garden party in the grounds of their home. The azaleas were in full bloom and the garden had survived a few earlier cold spring snaps and wildly windy days. October weather in the mountains can be anything from a heatwave to a blizzard. Amazingly, this day turned out to be perfect.
Sunshine - tick.
My brothers had kindly deferred to me as oldest child to give the speech. (What are we? Ten year-olds?) I accepted the honour with good grace. To start with. As the event drew closer my grace gave way to panic and, I'll admit, a few tense text messages were sent warning the boys to have something prepared in case my speech did not eventuate.
Venting helped relieve my writer's block.
Speech written - tick.
Then my Mum, usually unflappable in most situations, had a small meltdown over some cooking malfunctions. I had rung the day before the event and was slightly alarmed to hear Dad say,"For the first time in her life Mum has attempted multiple dessert options... "
Meanwhile, Mum was yelling in the background: "And they haven't worked!!"
I was not encouraged when Mum came on the phone saying: "We won't have enough food, Sah."
It was time to ring the boys.
10pm: Family crisis conference call - tick.
The day dawned bright and sunny. We arrived late morning to give ourselves time to decorate the house and garden.
And to prepare the MOUNTAINS of food that filled the serving tables when we finally put everything together. My brother Nate had made a midnight dash and cornered the late night supermarket on all manner of nibblies. My friend Nic, had made me three dozen of her wonderful macaroons (last seen at my swish soiree), and even Mum's supposedly failed assorted tartlets had come up sparkling.
Food famine averted - tick.
The grandchildren were commandeered as waiting staff. My mum had sewn gorgeous black and cream aprons and head pieces complete with each child's name sewn on to the band. It was very Downton Abbey. They looked adorable, and rather amazingly, worked tirelessly. I'm not exaggerating. The older ones served drinks and savouries, cups of tea, cakes and desserts constantly for four hours. Even the younger ones like Morris (4), Darcy (3) and Archie (2 and 3/4) were busy dashing here and there with small plates of goodies.
The rest of the day passed by in a happy blur. The guests turned up - many friends and families representing past times and places from way back last century. It was lovely to chat with people who had been a part of Mum and Dad's lives (and part of our family history).
It was a great time to laugh and enjoy the company of many. My parents aren't used to having events held for themselves. They had a ball. And they deserved it. They are wonderful people who have given much.
And we love them.
I'm loving Spring.
Do you have any celebrations planned?
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