Friday, January 8, 2016


Yesterday was Ellie's birthday--one of those landmark birthdays that need to be celebrated in some significant way. For the past several weeks I have been plotting with Maggie, our trusty assistant, to put together a surprise party with some close family and friends. Not an easy thing to do, because Ellie is by nature nosy and, after all these years together, knows me too well to not suss out any secret I might have...

Still, we pulled it off. In the afternoon, the two of us went out on a gallery tour--not only to see the art, but to continue the search for a suitable space for the launch of an art foundation in which we are playing a key role. More of that at a later date. In the meantime, we had a pleasant, purposeful and concentrated afternoon, and had some success in making in stimulating interest and support for our project.

Meanwhile, back at home, with Maggie's help, I had arranged for guests to arrive at six o'clock and await our arrival at six-thirty. They were to hide in the living-room, out of sight from the front door, while little Luka was assigned the task of opening the door. Having told Ellie that we were booked into a fine restaurant for a surprise dinner, I blindfolded her for a drive to a (to her) unknown destination--though I think she began to suspect something when she felt us headed up into the hills...

All went as planned. I led her to the front door, still blindfolded, and she knocked. A beaming grandson opened the door with a "Surprise! Happy Birthday, Grandma!" followed by his mom, down the hall corridor. Well, Ellie was delighted, of course--and still more delighted, walking further into the house, to be greeted by a room filled with some of her oldest friends and family--including cousins we had not seen for quite some time.

There followed champagne and pizza and birthday cake...

The birthday girl
Despite our numbers, we all managed to arrange ourselves around our quite small dining table, in a communal gathering in which we could all talk as a party, not split off into little separate groups. Great fun, great conversation, great conviviality.

In background, our friend and neighbor Damian; foreground, from right, cousin Judie, friends Judy, Tim and Trini
Cousin David, little Luka
Ellie and our daughter Sarah; Maggie is the photographer

Friends of 45 years, Sheldon & Linda

(Sorry not to have good pictures of everyone at the party. Some of them turned out... not so great. If anyone has pictures, please send!)

I was delighted with our success; and, more important, Ellie was delighted too. As I had hoped, it was an occasion to remember.

A special thanks to Maggie


Jean said...

Sounds just perfect - belated Happy Birthday to Ellie!

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