Saturday, May 10, 2014

Party for the Young at Heart

The very day after my nephew’s party, we had my aunt’s 80th birthday party. 

The largest carrot cake known to humankind.
It was delicious.

It seemed as if the world put on its finest spring colors for this party.  This was appropriate, because not only was it a birthday party, but it was also a celebration of my aunt’s art show at the Old Folks’ Home.  My aunt was in high spirits, basking in the company of all her friends and relations and in the praise for her paintings. 
Partying With Art

Finest spring colors - red tulips

I took 500 photos of these flowers, trying to
get a bee in action.

God's art work

Unfortunately, I cannot show you photos of her paintings, lest the images be stolen by internet low-lifes.  But I will leave you with these party hints.

Ÿ If you are turning 80, go ahead and invite everyone you like to your party.  My aunt invited 82 people.  She’s an extrovert and also knows how to have a good time.  Fifty people attended, many of them driving in from out of town.  More would have come but were not able to make the trip.  Some people were from right there at the Old Folks’ Home, friends she has made since moving there 2 years ago.  I understand that it is not easy to make friends when one is elderly and losing vision, but my aunt has done well despite her limitations.  It was glorious for her to be able to enjoy the presence of all these people from her life.

ŸŸ If a party invitation says “No Gifts, Please” then you should believe it, and just bring yourself.  We had very good reasons for specifying ‘no gifts.’  If you feel you have to bring something, bring a nice card. A few people just had to bring a little something, and sure enough, one of the cards got separated from the gift, leaving my aunt in a quandary about where to send her thank you note.

ŸŸIf you have a party that requires announcements to be made, try to find someone comfortable with public speaking for that task.  Although I detest speaking to large groups of people, I was called on to:

- make all the announcements,
- say the prayer,
- keep one certain family member from being obnoxiously demanding to the wait staff,
- lead the singing of ‘Happy Birthday’, and
- generally move the party along.  
Fortunately, to aid me in these tasks there was wine.

ŸŸ  If you are having a party where the median age is 75 years old, try to have it in just one location.  Our party started out in the hallway where my aunt’s paintings were on display.  Lunch and the rest of the party were in a nearby building.  I announced it was time to move to the other building, said, “Follow me,” and marched off down the hallway and around the corner.  I looked over my shoulder, but found no one behind me.  A full five minutes later, a phalanx of walkers and canes came into view.  It took some of these people fifteen minutes to walk to the next building, and they were exhausted when they got there.   
Hurry, get out of the way!  Here they come!
ŸŸ Do not bring your dog to a party, unless you are a character in Go, Dog, Go, by P.D. Eastman, or it is your service dog which you yourself need in order to get around.   Don’t give me any excuses, such as “But my dog is a nice dog” or “my dog is certified to visit sick people so I can take him anywhere” or “everybody loves my dog.” Just don’t do it.   

ŸŸOther than that, everyone behaved themselves.   This was remarkable, and that is all I will say about that, in order to preserve good relations in the family.

ŸŸ If I reach the age of 80, I will hope to have a birthday party with bright red tablecloths. 

Update:  I do not know why blogger is putting in those weird Y-hat things around my bullets.  Clearly I need some lessons from the Crislers on how to make a list on a blog.


smalltownme said...

Your aunt sounds awesome.

I think your bullets are pretty and festive.

Congrats on the public speaking! That's not my favorite thing, although I will do a decent job of it when forced.

Angie said...

Glad you had fun at the parties. So good to see you last week!

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

What a way to party in style.
She sounds like someone to celebrate in a big way--I always admire people who stay creative and involved throughout their "golden" years. I know too many who shut down, stay home and watch TV.

The Crislers said...

I was just wondering how to get myself some fancy bullets!

This was a wonderful list, as it contained some of my favorite things (in no particular order): The elderly, cake, flowers, a ban on needless gifts, humor, a rail against animals in places they don't belong (grrrr!), and the statement "If I reach the age of 80, I will hope to have a birthday party with bright red tablecloths," which struck me as especially lovely.