I have a birthday most people remember. Its February 14th, Valentine’s Day. As long as I remember, my dad handpicked chocolates from Brights Candy in Walla Walla and placed them in a special heart shaped box. Mom made heart shaped cookies or a cake. In good times and in bad times, they always tried to do something memorable.
Mom and dad have been gone awhile now. I have the cookie cutters and the cake pans at my house. There really is no reason for Charlie to drive to Walla Walla to get my favorite chocolates, but making my birthday memorable, that is something he observed my parents doing and picked right up on it.
On my 16th birthday my brother John had his first acoustic guitar send to me. I played that guitar until it was unplayable. And I still have it.
When I had my 29th birthday, Mary Kinsch proclaimed it to be St. Carol’s Day. I am not a saint by any measure. It was always nice though to have someone proclaim it.
On my 50th birthday Charlie filled the cafeteria at Hermiston high school with friends and colleagues who roasted and toasted me. And that year I received a welcoming into the elite group if 1 million people in the US who have Parkinson’s disease.
Charlie dreamed up a birthday surprise that had me laughing from the get-go. He told me to get dressed up so I sort of did. Although there are many friends I would love to have join me in the celebration, Charlie chose two excellent individuals to represent everyone: Erick and Nancy Peterson. We met this couple last summer and we hit it off all around. When I saw them walk into our front door tonight, I was exuberant.
Charlie announced we were going to a progressive dinner. He proceeded to drive to the Ice Harbor Brewery in Pasco, WA where we had appetizers and I had a cocktail. We entertained each other with stories and jokes until 7:20 pm. Loaded back into the pickup (guys in front and girls in the back seat) Charlie drove us directly to the Cameo, which is a special event venue built into a hillside amongst the vineyards and alfalfa fields of the Walla Walla valley. A bumpy gravel road took us over railroad tracks, across the Walla Walla River and past a heard of grazing deer to the restaurant portion of the Cameo. Erick provided a commentary about the axe murderers we were going to meet. Nancy and I got out of the truck wielding our canes and ready for any attack. We weren’t disappointed to be met by a pleasant wait staff who attended to us through out a 7-course meal. I must admit I haven’t been drinking for quite some time so tonight bottle of wine caused quite the sense of silliness. Let’s see how I feel in the morning.
I am tired as I end this story…
Charlie delivered us home safely.
Hugs and kisses were exchanged in gratitude for the terrific night out.
And folks that it in a nutshell. I had an early birthday celebration.
AND…it was great.