Going into last weekend I wondered how I would get everything done. Ever have a few-days period like that? Everything planned was good, but it was all a matter of timing to pull off.
We couldn’t get together with our daughter-in-law Allison on her birthday, so we had a belated celebration. When Brian reminded me that his brother planned to spend Friday night with us as a stop en route to a convention, it seemed the perfect time to have the kids in and call it a dinner party!
We all looked forward to it.
I can’t remember the last time I baked a birthday cake. Usually we get one at the grocery store or maybe an ice cream cake from Dairy Queen, but there was something nice about digging out the round cake pans and turning on the oven, going old school.
The party was fun, complete with a funny little game we made up (Brian and Steve helped me with the questions) called How Well Do You Know Allison? I learned that my DIL and I share our favorite color (blue) as well as our least favorite color (orange).
After Sam and Allison went home at 11, I went to bed, Steve went to bed, but Brian and Ben stayed up and watched basketball until 2 a.m. Takes me back to the days when we visited Brian’s folks in Rockville and Brian and his dad stayed up late after the rest of us called it a night.
Steve was up early Saturday to drink coffee with Brian before Steve left for his Kiwanis district meeting. I headed out soon after for the inaugural Alpha Tau Chapter of Tri Kappa’s Book & Author Luncheon.
Here’s my little secret. Because I felt the need to tweak and practice my 10-minute speech, I left the house early enough to pull over at my little "speech staging area" in a remote country church parking lot. I’ve stopped there, at Soul Harbor, a few times to quietly sit in the car and read a presentation aloud without prying eyes or people looking funny at the crazy woman talking to herself.
I find that having something on paper is quite different from speaking the words aloud, and so I try to run through speeches verbally several times before presenting them.
The day was, at least by all the accounts I heard, a huge hit! About 140 gathered for the fundraiser luncheon and to hear brief talks from each of the six local authors featured. I know that I left there inspired by what each had to say.
I was especially intrigued to hear local florist Teresa Southerland speak about how she has gotten gigs from The Smithsonian writing scientific copy for children’s booklets and pamphlets.
It’s encouraging to hear that unexpected opportunities abound out there beyond our own communities. She does a great job.
I did double duty, taking some photos at the event and then going back to the office to upload for the newspaper.
Sunday I had to be at church before the first service as it was my rotation to work the information desk. Our small life group also was tapped to prepare and serve the welcome lunch and we were invited to stay for the meal. It all went together so smoothly!
We were prepared to do clean up but told there was a crew for that so we got to leave and enjoy the afternoon before it was time to gather for our evening life group meeting. Brian and I even had time to get our weekly grocery shopping done, a surprise that I didn’t think we’d get done over the busy weekend.
It was a fulfilling three days to have so much planned but also to see it all unfold in positive ways. Missions accomplished!
TOP left: Chatting at the Alpha Tau Chapter of Tri Kappa luncheon.
TOP, right: Fruit-flavored water has appeal.
CENTER, left: The meal is served.
CENTER, right: Ruth Ann and Dick Willis look over some of Teresa Southerland's educational materials. She is a local florist and was commissioned by The Smithsonian.
BOTTOM, left: Citrus and floral water.
BOTTOM right: Our daughter-in-law Allison blowing out her birthday candles.