Feb 22, 2015

The Marathon Birthday Celebration...

I recently celebrated one of those "milestone" birthdays -- three-quarters of a century.  How does a person ever make that sound smaller?  I guess it is what it is.  All I have to do is overextend myself on physical activities and I can feel the proof of the number.  I was not eager for people to make any big deal out of this event.  It was as if I thought if we let it pass quietly, maybe it wouldn't really be true.

The Balloon Corsage - Wow!
Some people apparently didn't see it the same way.

On my 60th birthday, the folks at work had ambushed me by having a Dolly Parton impersonator (a couple of her features did, in fact, remind one of Dolly Parton.) enter a conference room in which I was holding a meeting with my customer at the time.  This robust lady proceeded to take up residence on my lap and serenade me with "You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby" while my co-workers streamed into the room.  One gent even video recorded my embarrassment so they could extend their appreciation of my birthday.  I decided that this year, I'd simply take the day off.  There'd be no way my colleagues could pull another caper like that.

I fully expected Mary Ann to outdo herself in the gift department.  She is, after all, the Ebabe of Ebabe's Gifts.  She didn't disappoint.

The first surprise occurred on the day before my birthday.  When I showed up for work, I found my office bedecked with streamers celebrating the aging process.  The floor was covered with little confetti cutouts of the number 75.  There were cards on my desk.  The Mary Ann elves had been at work.  Later in the morning a bouquet of balloons was delivered.  More laughs.  Then, I heard my co-workers gathering in the conference room and was summoned to hear the almost-all-male-IT Department-choir sing it's rendition of Happy Birthday.  We all enjoyed the cake that Mary Ann had arranged.  So much for secrecy...

Mary Ann's Gift Trove
The next morning, the day I had taken off, was no disappointment.  As I entered the kitchen I was greeted by the Sesame Street gang singing their version of the birthday song.  On the love seat where I normally sit to watch the morning news, there was a mountain of gifts topped by several cards.  I slowly opened each card and gift so that Mary Ann and I could enjoy the moment.  We spoke of gratitude for health above all things.  There were clothing items, shirts, gloves, and even a baseball hat that says "HEMI," referring to my under-construction hot rod.  And there was a new, larger GPS for my truck.  There were gifts from family members and lots of thoughtful cards.  After the gifts were opened, we enjoyed a leisurely breakfast and I spent much of the day in my shop working on woodwork projects.  I thought my birthday was over.

Part of the feast in preparation by
Master Chef Noe Morin
As they say on the TV commercials, "But wait! There's more..."

The following week I was going to be working in Corpus Christi, Texas.  Unbeknownst to me, the Corpus crew was planning even more festivities.  I flew in earlier than planned because of threatening weather in Huntsville.  I went to work on Monday unaware of the celebratory plans being worked in the background.  At lunchtime, I was summoned to the conference room where a feast had been prepared.  The Corpus Christi crew knows that I love Mexican cuisine.  There was a spread of home cooked food fit for a three-quarters-of-a-centegenarian!  Home cooked fajitas, stuffed jalapenos, salads, guacamole, casseroles, and spectacular desserts, were all laid out in a beautiful presentation!

And on a table separate from the rest of the feast was a gorgeous cake with an image of me in my 1932 Plymouth coupe.  Next to the cake was a framed "Fact sheet" of all the interesting things you could ever want to know about 1940, the year I was born.

To everyone involved -- Thank you sincerely!

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