We were in Michigan, celebrating The Mama's 80th birthday.
She hadn't expected to ever get this 'elderly.' To be frank, I never figured she'd make it, either -- her family (and mine) is notorious for heart trouble. In fact, if you'll remember, she had a heart valve replaced three years ago...she is fond of teasing about "mooing" now because of it.
(One of my cousins just had his own heart valve surgery this past week, only his is a pig valve -- hope you're feeling much better, Jack!)
For decades, The Mama (and my dad) hosted Spanish Suppers for the family -- lavish spreads of Americano Mexican food, decorations...and often a fierce Rook card tournament afterward.
Now she wanted one to celebrate her birthday. But she felt too tired to do it herself.
Of course, Mom! We'll do it for you!
Then Brother, Sister-in-Law, Daughter #2, Son #1, the Brick and I did a Spanish Supper.
For 97 people.
In the Mama's three-bay garage workshop. Thanks to borrowing tables from cousins, we had plenty of stretching room, plus an area for food tables.
A pinata. Pin the Tail on the Donkey. (Except the kids found it, and didn't know what to do with it, without one of us standing there. We had to draaagggg them out for the pinata at first, but word spread after the 5th child or so.)
Space for people to stand and blab.
Space for people to sit, eat and blab.
The Mama loved it.
We loved seeing her so happy.
Days later, she's still talking about how much fun it all was.
Well, Ma, sort of. Except for the prepwork and setup. And cleaning up. And washing dishes and pans until 1 a.m.
The trip back wasn't as long. We weren't hauling a truckload, for one thing. And there were four people who could drive, for another.
A bonus: Grand Island, Nebraska was right on the way home -- so we could stop to see the eclipse.
A week of limbo and work, mostly, with seeing some people we love thrown in, to sweeten the deal. (They helped us clean up, too.)
It was worth it.
Happy Birthday, Mom! We love you.