Friday, November 15, 2013

Deep into the Autumn, and a Very Special Day


There is something about the Autumn that pulls me in deep. Farmers Markets are full of Fall harvests of apples and pears, persimmons, grapes, squash and pumpkins, nuts and jams. Skies are bright blue and the leaves are brilliant with breezes are twirling them into little whirls in the streets. The light is farther down in the sky shining through trees from the side lighting them up like lanterns in the afternoons. And there are fires starting in fireplaces, making the air smell a little smokey for the first time this season.

My mother's birthday is in November, and as she graduates every year to the next, Autumn seems all the more poignant. The season seems all the more important and lovely. This year Mom turned 88. We did not have any great and wonderful plans. I could not think of any great gift that would not just be something else to find a place for, or any great adventure that would not be too tiring for Mom. Tim and I were going to take her to a nice restaurant for dinner, but it seemed a little like an afterthought.

Then it struck me.....the important thing. The best gift. And I was on the phone in a minute. I called my brother who lives in Seattle. Mom's birthday was only a little over a week away. Could he fly down to see us? Was he too busy? Mom had not seen him for over a year, and did he have time in his schedule? Did he have a little extra in his budget to make the trip? He would get back to me soon, he said. Then I called my girls....one was in Portland, her first year in college. Did she have too many tests or school commitments? Could she come? ....She would check. Then my other daughter at UC Santa Cruz...it was a long weekend, could she take the train home? Well....her friend was driving up from LA for the weekend, so.....she would have to think about it.  I said he could come too! She said she would check with him.

The next day, I could not wait. It was pins and needles. Then there was a ping on my phone....and a flight time and day from my brother. He was coming! Then a call from my Portland girl....Dad had already bought her ticket and she was so excited for the surprise, and no, she was not going to be missing anything at school. Then my Santa Cruz girl....she did not have to take the train because her friend was going to drive them both and they could even pick up her sister from the airport!

It was now officially a party....a BIG FAT SURPRISE Party of the very best kind......

Everyone arrived late Friday evening (girls and friend) and at midnight I brought home my brother from the airport. Everyone snuck into the house after Mom had gone to sleep and stayed upstairs until morning. The next morning, I let the girls sleep while my brother, Tim and I went to the Farmers Market for flowers, grapes, strawberries, persimmons and walnuts......


I quickly arranged flowers with extra things from the garden, and the girls were up by then to help make breakfast....bacon, eggs and pancakes...just like Sundays when everyone was home....but a little fancier....after all it was a very special day!



Then it was time to call Mom for Breakfast. Everyone was quiet....and then....









A birthday gift of the very best kind. 

For all of us.
......................

And brunch was not bad either!


We all ate ourselves to bursting and toasted to long life, and being together....

and later that night....

there was cake....


Have a wonderful weekend everyone!


14 comments:

Linda@ Lime in the Coconut said...

This brought tears to my eyes. Just beautiful!!!

ArchitectDesign™ said...

what a wonderful surprise and so lovely -thanks for sharing it with us. Admittedly I teared up a bit -these photographs are wonderful. What a lovely day it looks like.

cindy hattersley design said...

Katy

Such a sweet birthday surprise! My father will turn 92 in December. He still cooks, drives, and works out! We have treasure every minute! I can't imagine a nicer gift to your mom.

Kelly said...

This is the best thing I've seen on my feed all week. Thank you for sharing...so glad it all worked out! And Happy Birthday to your mom.

Anonymous said...

Such a class act Katie. Your story brought tears to my eyes. What a great example for your girls, Katie.
Miss you on the East coast. Xoxo Jill

Teresa Hatfield said...

Teared up on this end!! This is such a sweet post. You did a wonderful job of getting everyone together. I know that your mother was so happy to see all of you!!
Teresa
xoxo

Merlin said...

I'm bawling my eyes out....on my Mom's 88th she said..."you know, I've always wanted to ride on a motorcycle!!" She did....it made the local newspaper. GOOD FOR YOU! franki

Anonymous said...

I am certain every person who read this absolutely loved it and thought about her own Mom........

MJH DesignArts said...

Hi Katie, The best of the best of days. Congratulations to all.
Mary

katiedid said...

Thank you everyone for your kind comments! It is still rattling around in my brain that the day turned out like it did. It just made me realize that all the gift buying, all the planning, all the running around for the holiday season is not necessary. Starting a fire in the fireplace, a little hot cider and a group of friends in to play Apples to Apples, or Monopoly is all it takes for the best memories. (And we did all play Apples to Apples on Mom's birthday. Best of times!) The pressure is off! And I have a whole new perspective for the upcoming season. :)

designlit said...

That would be everyone's weakness, our parents. great way to celebrate autumn too. A start for everything, a season to leave it all behind.
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Kathy said...

So sweet, such a wonderful surprise!
Beautiful brunch.

Libby said...

What a wonderful, really wonderful "story"! I just came over here for the first time: i"ve seen your name and blog around for ages, but hmmm where did I come from? It was My Little Bungalow I think!!
Anyway, hi, I'm Libby and I hope you will come visit. I'm going to subscribe up top, right now!!
P.S. My Mother died just a year ago, at 88, so this post was particularly poignant and meaningful ...

michele@Portlandia Vintage said...

Beautiful story. Well done to you and your family