I have been married to my beautiful wife for almost 25 years. She knows me well and it's pretty hard to pull off a surprise. Her birthday is coming up in a couple of days. It's a milestone and she doesn't want to make a big deal out of it. She knew I would want to do something. She planned a weekend for two next weekend in Estes Park, Colorado, just a few miles to the north of Sunshine, assuring that I would not throw a surprise Birthday party. We will be enjoying a quiet weekend together, away from friends and family.
I knew her friends and family would want to share their best wishes so I went ahead and planned something anyway. Several weeks ago I started planning a surprise party. Our Sunshine neighbors, Steve and Dee offered their house as a location for the event. We set the date for last night, January 26th, 7PM. (You understand I couldn't have shared this until today or it wouldn't be a surprise.) I sent out e-mail invitations and started making the arrangements. Several neighbors volunteered to help. We had to work very hard to keep it quiet for I knew if Jan found out about it she would not attend (She's really not a party pooper).
I casually mentioned that the band was going to have a drinks and a meeting on Saturday night, then dropped the subject. On Tuesday Dee called and invited Jan to join and to bring a Veggie plate. "Be there at 6:30 sharp" Dee told her. We figured it would be better if the guests arrived after we were settled in with a drink or two. All went as planned. We were all sitting around chatting when several neighbors showed up at 7:05. Our neighbor, Mary came in the front door and wished Jan a "Happy Birthday". Jan looked as surprised as I have ever seen her. Within a half an hour over 30 guests arrived. Wane and Hildegard were out of town so Hildegard baked one of her famous cakes (White cake with a fruit filling, covered in chocolate and dressed with strawberries). Mary baked a cheesecake and a carrot cake. Almost everyone brought a snack tray to share. Our two son's, Mike and Nathan joined us. There was plenty of wine, beer, soda pop and iced tea to go around. We sang "Happy Birthday" and engaged in friendly conversation. Before long 3 hours had passed and we all tired. It was a wonderful evening in Sunshine.
Remember as my old friend Texas Bix Bender said "If you get to thinkin' you're a person of some influence, try orderin' somebody else's dog around."