We had a very successful surprise party for my aunt and uncle's 50th anniversary...although it almost didn't happen. Surprises are fun, but they are certainly hard to keep when too many people are in on the surprise in the first place. Then having to hide my parents for two days and cover mouths and give the dog spoonfuls of peanut butter so she wouldn't bark when my mom was talking to them on the phone(since Mom and Dad no longer have a dog)...it got stressful. This combined with the fact that they are not people who enjoy any kind of spotlight...we were a little worried about exposure and explosions. The day was full of hastily executed trips to Kroger where Mrs. Mary kindly decorated cupcakes for us in the wake of realizing we were a few short. I think she saw the desperation in my eyes and knew I was either going to cry or have a full on mental breakdown in the bakery department...all true. The patio and siding managed to get pressure washed in between the prepping of trays and the mad dash to get the balloons filled. SO when we got everything set up and readied ourselves to surprise them out on the lawn when they drove by to get ice cream, we got a text: "They won't come. They will not come with us." Uh, well that wasn't part of the plan. Ideas from family members started flying: "Tell them I fell down the steps of the restaurant and I can't get my husband on the phone." "Tell them Jenny got hurt at church and she needs their help since they are the closest." All of the scenarios involved one or more of us in grisly and clumsy home and business accidents, all requiring hospitalizations and possibly surgeries. I finally came up with an idea and called their home. "Hey, Uncle J? I was able to get the gym at church for the kids to roller skate. Since all the grands are here, why don't you bring them all down and you all can take pictures of us." Uncle J: Let me ask S(cousin). (Insert mumbled retelling of exciting fun filled scenario to which my cousin immediately says YES...LET"S GO NOW!). He puts her on and I say, "Get down here!" to which she says, "Yes, Jenny. Sounds like loads of fun!". We disconnect, and after what seems like an eternity of them readying themselves and driving 2 minutes to our location while I pray unceasing prayers of forgiveness for lying to my sainted aunt and uncle, they arrived. We all screamed and waved! They shook their heads and pointers at us. My uncle got out asking, "Where are the skates?". We feasted, photographed, fellowshipped and wiped tears away at the joy of their union and the chance to all be together as a family. It is so rare these days that we get that chance. I am so grateful it worked out and so very grateful for them. 50 years is quite an accomplishment.
After all that deception, a body gets tired. Night all.