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This Day in My History

2001:  Dress Code
2002:  Don't Tell Bev Sykes Things She Already Knows
2003:  Hiding in Houston
2004Who Am I Kidding?

2005:  The Learning Curve

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"Spring Concert 2006"

"Happy Birthday, Jeri"

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Desert Nut

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Queenie, Bruno & Peanut

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(with the hope that everyone in my family will think about making a similar list before their birthdays and/or Christmas roll around!)


27 April 2006

Whew.  It's been like keeping the secret of Walt's 50th birthday for a year.  A year ago, on Jeri's 39th birthday, I got this crazy notion that we should fly to Boston to surprise her on her 40th birthday and bring her a t-shirt that said "Lordy, Lordy, Jeri's 40."

Ironically, the idea came from our friend Bill's 40th birthday (the Bill who just died, whose mother is Jeri's godmother).  The kids all got such a kick out of it when we bought him a "Lordy, Lordy Bill is 40" shirt that when the first of the group of 22 kids turned 40, she received her own Lord, Lordy shirt...it just seemed "the thing to do" to get one for Jeri.

And what fun would sending her such a shirt be?

So we planned to go to Boston and surprise her.  The original plan was that I was going to contact her landlady and see if she couldn't make reservations at some restaurant for Jeri and somehow we'd be there.  Of course that was before Phil and Jeri became an "item" and Phil could do the planning.

It was also before everybody started getting wind of the plan and deciding to join us.  Ultimately, Ned and Marta, Tom, my mother, and another couple who are friends of Jeri's all decided to make the trip.  Bill and Jeri had also decided to come, but then Bill got sick and their plans changed even before he died--but they had originally planned to be there.

Monday was spent getting Jeri's shirt, which I'd ordered the week before, saying goodbye to the puppies and getting both dogs to the kennel.  We had hoped to leave Kimba home but since she had become Miss Piddle Central, we couldn't ask someone to come in an clean up after her, so at age 16 she is having her very first stay in a kennel.  My mother also arrived Monday night so we could leave for the airport at the crack of dawn on Tuesday.

Tuesday was The Day from Hell, which I will probably devote a whole entry to later, but we arrived in Boston, 4 hours late, around 11 p.m. and made our way to the Taylor House B&B that Phil had found for us.

It's a marvelous old house, two blocks from where Jeri and Phil live, so we tried to lay low all day today. We slept in a bit--and I was thrilled that I was actually able to sleep in the very comfortable bed. In the morning I had a nice chat with David, one of the owners, over the homemade French toast. He had been to see Wicked the night before and we were raving about it to each other while Wags, one of the two Golden Retrievers, kept putting her paw in my lap when I forgot to pet her. (Her son Parker was begging for food at the other table.)

We tried to decide what to do to make sure we didn't accidentally run into Jeri, since we knew she was teaching today, but didn't know where she was teaching. We thought about driving out to Salem but ultimately decided to spend the day at the John F. Kennedy Library. Good choice! A gorgeous building on the water, beautifully laid out. Lots of stuff, but never felt overdone. Best of all there were lots and lots of films so lots and lots of time to sit for 10-15 minutes and watch history. Absolutely perfect afternoon.

Plus the weather was gorgeous with a beautiful clear blue sky.

At 7, we headed to the Sunset Grill and Tap, a brew pub. Through countless e-mails over the past few months, Phil had put this shindig together and it was just great. There were, at its peak, probably 30 people. Jeri knew "something" was going to happen, but she definitely was not expecting eight of us from California to be there. Grandma was the biggest surprise. Every time she turned around she saw another person who had come from California to help her celebrate her birthday.

The unfortunate thing is that the day before, in a very sweet gesture, she had sent us flowers to congratulate us on 40 years of parenthood. But, of course, the flowers arrived after we left and we won't be home until Sunday!

I cannot tell you how perfect this whole evening was. It was so much fun seeing all the people from this area who are her friends, and everybody got along well with everyone else. The food was great. Jeri's cousin had brought a big cake.

Jeri drank a yard of beer (which is a lot of beer).

We were there about 5 hours and had the best time. I think we are all still glowing, as I write this--those who are still awake, that is.

Ned and Marta bought Jeri an inflatable bed so that they would have someplace to sleep tonight.

Tom had flown in from Florida, where he is working this week, and will be leaving tomorrow, so we hope to spend the day with him and meet Jeri for lunch.

So I'm going to bed now. We are in Boston until Sunday and looking forward to have the chance to relax and keep it pretty low key.



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