Last October I experienced the most incredible surprise of my entire life. . . and that is a l-o-n-g time. It was so unexpected that I wanted to tell you about it. You might have read about it last fall when it was first posted, but now some photos have been added. Such a great story deserves a retelling. **********************************************************************************************
Last year, about this time, Hannah quietly shared a little nugget with me:
“Mom, I want tell you that there is going to be a party for your 60th birthday.”
“But, that is 8 months away!”
“I know, but anticipation is half the fun.”
“OK! I love surprises.”
“That is all I’m going to tell you. One more thing. Get a dress, a really nice dress, sometime before November.”
So that was my introduction months ago that something fun was in the works. I love surprises but it is hard to surprise me. I guess I’m pretty aware of what is happening around me and I sense things. You know, I wish it was different but this is me.
I knew. But I didn’t know when. Could they really pull this off?
Months later, following many tall tales (lies to protect the surprise) along came Halloween.
Hannah told me that she wanted to host a little Halloween party for a few of her friends. There were people from work, a few neighbors, some with little kids. No big deal. Could we have it at my house? We live in a big house that can be made to look pretty spooky so I agreed.
“Why don’t they host it at their own house?” I was asked.
“This house is spookier.”
Nonchalantly we decorated with crafty spider webbing. A branch had fallen out of our tree and was picked up to add to the spooky scene. It all seemed so last-minute, unplanned, a real “let’s figure it out as we go” kind of feel. I didn’t know what costume to dress up in so a few hours before the party, Hannah came over and helped me come up with Rosie the Riveter. It was perfect since I didn’t have time to go buy anything. Brian had thought ahead for a change and was ready with his own idea of a funny get-up.
One of Hannah’s friends came early, dressed as a press person, camera in hand. Her other friends dilly dallied and I kept asking when they might show up.
“After work, they probably went to have a drink. They’ll be here soon, I’m sure.”
The doorbell rang and I ran to get it. Imagine my delight when at the door stood three Despicable Me minions. Oh my gosh, it was Joel, Rachel and Lucy! Here! On Halloween! I was delighted that they drove all that way to join in our little party. Overjoyed that I got to see their costumes for real, I stopped checking instagram, hoping for a peek.
“Come in! Oh my goodness! Lucy you look delightful! Where did you find overalls for each of you? Those glasses! Lucy looked so serious and kept them on for a long time.
“Are you staying the night? You’ve come a long way for a Halloween party!”
“Well, we haven’t really decided yet…guess we should have thought ahead!”
Soon the doorbell rang again. Hannah told me to get it this time. She had been greeting trick-or-treaters so it was my turn. I went to the door and a lady with an umbrella covering her head and face said in a deep voice, “Trick or Treat!”
I put some crackers in her hippy purse only to find out that it was Onalee (my good friend from college)! She had driven all the way from Spencer to join our party!
Ah, my little mystery solving mind went to work and wondered if THIS was the party I had been told about. Then a big group of folks showed up at the door. Again, I was asked to hand out the candy. There stood one of the ugliest wolf masks on someone with a fur coat draped over their front from chin to ankle. Another with a creepy shiny skeleton mask. Two dressed in orange sweatshirts. I looked at them with wonder. Who were these odd folks?
I started to recognize a few things. The bright yellow coat – my brother from Estherville, Little red riding hood had the face of my sister-in-law standing next to that awful wolf, my brother from northern Wisconsin. Those two short bright orange Bronco fans? My sister and husband from Denver. OH my goodness! Are you kidding? You’ve all traveled this far? Come in. Come in!
“Hannah, is this my birthday party?”
‘No, this is MY party!”
No time to argue because two more incredibly spooky folks were at the door. Dressed in long black capes with full masks hiding their true identity, they quickly walked in saying something about being here for the party.
“But I don’t know who you are!”
“Well, we know who YOU are!”
I’m totally sure now. This has to be my party. No one flies all the way from South Carolina to just attend a little Halloween party. I didn’t have to buy a really nice dress after all! I could just relax in my Rosie the Riveter costume.
But nothing could have prepared me for the next and final set of trick-or-treaters to show up at my door. There stood our dear ones from Germany with their little 2-year-old daughter standing between them – dressed as though they were from Bavaria.
I jumped up and down in amazement as hugs and kisses and delights filled the air and our hearts. At that point I was handed an invitation.
You are invited to a birthday party, tomorrow night, in your honor!
I think I might have just fainted from all the excitement, surprise, shock and amazement.
But this was just the beginning…and those friends of Hannah & Greg’s? They never did show up!