Sunday, July 21, 2013

A wonderful birthday and a new deck

Last night neighbor Susan Halbower and I shared a birthday party--she's twenty years younger than I am. It was a wonderful affair--about forty-five people for brisket, beans, potato salad and marinated vegetables, followed by Black Forest Cake.
I am always proud of my children but never more so than last night when old friends could catch up with them, and I could introduce them to new friends. All seven grandchildren were here, along with several other children so it was far from a quiet affair--at one point a friend conveniently knocked out that loose tooth that Jacob had been worrying with.
My three granddaughters
The deck was a hit, and the children presented me with a tile top table that seats six. Neighbor Jay Mitiguy (Susan's husband) got the chore of assembling the table and chairs. The chairs had, so I heard, thirty pieces each, so many thanks to Jay. But it looks terrific on the deck.
The deck was festooned with Japanese lanterns and white lights, and even Scooby' s old dog house was decorated with colored lights--again, a touch accomplished by Jay and Susan. The yard was festive, a real transformation for what was once just sort of ignored as a dog yard. Susan worked hard to clean the side bed by their guest house of old leaves and debris.
Much credit for starting this transformation goes to Elizabeth, the friend who moved into my guest house last fall. This spring she began to put plants and a few statues around the corner of her house, hanging baskets and bird feeders in the trees. Then Jordan brought over a no-longer-used patio table, and I pulled four green plastic chairs out of the tiny storage space in my garage. When one broke, I bought four new ones.
Somewhere in the back of my mind the idea of a deck had always lingered. In the spring with my tard looking so much better,I talked to contractors, Lewis and Jim Bundock, and we sort of talked around it for weeks. Finally I said, "Which one of us is delaying this deck idea," and Lewis said, "Not us." The results is a 10 x 12 deck with that permanent finished wood on the floor and railing so I'll never have to refinish. It's the perfect size for my smallish yard, still leaves Sophie room to run.
Speaking of Sophie, this was a hard weekend on her. We had thee visiting dogs, all at least half her size or smaller. She tended to overwhelm them with her enthusiasm for play. Eddie, my daughter's eleven-pound poodle, got really annoyed with this larger creature who kept jumping on him. Result? Not only did she have to share her space, Sophie spent way too much time in her crate. But last night and this morning, they all got used to each other and played together happily.
Grandchildren with two dogs on the bed--usually forbidden in my house
My kids and Jay hosted the party (the invitation actually read The Kids and Jay) but the out-of-town siblings were only to glad to let Jordan do all the planning and legwork. She is a planner and a good entertainer, and she did a masterful job, with lots of small touches that made such a difference. More about Jordan later, because she really is s huge part of my life, and she and I take care of each other in a wonderful fashion.
Tomorrow is my actual birthday, but it will be a quiet day, with supper out with Jordan and her family. I've had my big fling and loved it.
Every deck needs a fountain and a flying pig.

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