We recently drove downstate to a revered Italian restaurant in a tiny Illinois town (the town of my mom’s roots) to attend a surprise birthday party. The surprise had been in the making for MONTHS. (The family who held the secret together may swear off surprises completely, so difficult was it to keep all their white lies straight!)
Susan (guest of honor) and her husband drove in to this well-loved home town from their current home in Colorado. Here, let me try to give you an idea of what Susan is like: Feisty! Red-head! Vivacious! Loves to dance! Tall and elegant! Loves people! Loves an adventure! Those words would be ineffective without their exclamation points. That’s just the way she is.
Naturally, among the top contenders in my mind for a gift for her was a blanket. I chose a lap blanket for this occasion.
For a starting point, I asked her husband, “What is her favorite color?” His answer: “Well, she doesn’t have just one. But she loves the color of the ocean. Bora Bora blue!”
“Directions: Open mind, pour in bora-bora-blue color plus all listed adjectives. Stir thoughtfully and allow to settle.” With just a bit more work, “Bora Bora Blue: The Sea Beckons Her” was cooked up. The red-headed mermaid begged for inclusion and then took off for warmth and adventure…and some dance-able Tahitian tunes.
Did we surprise Susan? Only she knows for sure. If the party itself didn’t surprise her, the sweep of people there did. We came from different parts and eras of her life. We came from eleven states and from coast to coast. The emotion most clearly evident on her face was: “Oh. my. gosh. All these people came?!!…for me!?!!”
We did! [exclamation point] !
We came because we love you! [exclamation point] !
Happy birthday, Susan!
“Bora Bora Blue: The Sea Beckons Her” (49″ x 40″)
This blanket has already gone to a good home.