The Fin had his first birthday this week!!! So my sister planned a big family party for him at her awesome farm house in Pennsylvania.
It’s a 200-year old house on 10 acres with a pond. And she has a turret for god’s sake!! Everyone was coming – Moomksers, Moomskers’ brother and sister, my brother’s family, my brother-in-law’s family….everyone!
Except for me. Cuz, well, I live 2000 miles away and we had just celebrated Fin’s birthday here in Denver two weeks ago.
But every once in a while, The Zadge gets a wild hair (Every once in a while? Are you kidding me? It happens about once a week!). And she got one two days before the party,
See, I was feeling an anticipatory monetary flush from the impending sale of the Little Yellow House, so decided to throw caution to the wind. I impulsively bought a plane ticket to fly out the night before the party and surprise everyone. This involved a series of lies to the family — “oh, I’m going to be tied up in a meeting all day Friday [uh, really traveling for 12 hours] and will have to have my phone off” and “oh, I’ll call in on Saturday to the party and will miss everyone!”
So at 6 p.m. on Friday evening, precisely 12 hours after I left my Denver house in the early morning darkness, I snuck into Sista’s farmhouse. She heard the dogs barking and walked into the kitchen staring at me like she was looking at a ghost —- you should have seen the look on her face!!! Then the screaming and jumping around began. “Oh my god!!! What are you DOING here?!! Oh my GAWD! Mom is going to die!!”
The Fin was very excited too:
After we stopped screaming and jumping and hugging, we all gave The Fin a bath…
He drank a toast to my big surprise:
So then Sista and I had to keep it secret until everyone else arrived the next day. We giggled all night about how Moomskers would react the next day and how we would keep it from her….including strategizing over the “Friday Flowers” blog post — those were flowers I cut from Sista’s garden!! I went to sleep with one of Sista’s dogs snuggled up next to me, under the utter quiet of the country, happy as a clam. (Clam??? Who came up with that? Since when are clams known as really happy crustaceans?!)
Saturday’s party arrived, and The Zadge got to pop out over and over again saying, “Surprise!”, as each of the guests arrived…..I haven’t had so much fun since The Fin Fan Club was in town!
The boys all went fishing at the pond:
My brother-in-law’s brother-in-law (let’s just call him “Big Sean”) was the only one who caught anything other than a breeze:
The Zadge decided to show the boys that a girl can catch ‘er some fish too! My 10-year old nephew patiently showed me how to throw out the line and reel it in. I gave it a whirl – and lookout! – the fly went out almost to the other side of the pond!!! Yippee!! “Wow,” said my 10-year old nephew, “look how far she threw it out.”
Then I went to reel in the line….spinning the reel, spinning the reel, but nothing came.
Turns out, I hurled it so hard I broke the freakin’ line off and it was floating in the middle of the pond!
We grow ‘em strong out here in Colorado!
Then it was back to the house for the cake and the presents!
He loved his card that sang George Clinton’s “Atomic Dog” the best!
So did The Zadge’s posse:
But very clear in the morning….
A beautiful place, a beautiful family, a beautiful weekend.