August 13, 2008 Country Cousin did not appear last week because the reflective juices were not flowing due to a mental block. It was caused by exhaustion from a bittersweet weekend. The sweet being the wonderful 90th birthday celebration my family gave me and the bitter being the loss of longtime friend, Helen Eschenburg.
The 90th celebration began with the deluge of rain bringing Grandson Curt and his wife Susan in from New York City Friday evening. Carol and Bob had fixed us a yummy dinner. The wind blew the rain away and Saturday dawned beautiful for a memorable 90th birthday celebration at the pond. Ryan Feys had staked up a large tent for us and grandchildren and Alan and Pauline circled the pond with their trailers and a tent.
Kelly Stanley from Shooting Stars of Almont photography came at 1 p.m. on Saturday to take photographs of all my family together, then individual families and shots of me with my three children, then grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and individual families, also many others.
The caterers arrived around 3:00 with gobs of good food and then, the birthday cake and the singing of "Happy Birthday to dear Grandma."
The grandchildren presented a book they titled, "Memories of Grandma" and all were to write a favorite time spent with me. What a joy it has been reading and rereading it. Of course, there were presents to open.
Great-granddaughter Jordan Lampton suggested we have a "Stump the Granny" via the computer screen. It consisted of lighthouses and I was to name them. I failed on a few but they gave me benefit of the doubt. Susan had put together a showing of me from infancy through the years. I presented a memory of each child and grandchild when they were children.
The evening was spent around the bonfire with much joviality and visiting. Daisy and I withdrew at our usual bedtime in preparation for Sunday.
Carol prepared a Continental Breakfast Sunday and served it on her deck overlooking the pond, trailers, tent and "The Shack" that Red and I used to enjoy staying in now and then. Early in the morning grandchildren and great-grandchildren were already enjoying the pond and building sand castles. At noon we ate leftovers and I was sad to see the trailers and tent being readied to leave. We all said our goodbyes, all remarking what a great weekend it had been. I pulled up alongside Granddaughter Kelly Pendrick and her family and their trailer from Cadillac at the stoplight where windows were rolled down and "Goodbyes!" said again.
I hadn't been home long when Teemie Eschenburg drove in with a beautiful birthday gift from Helen. I had been to see her several times that week and now I would go back again for the last time. She passed away a few hours later.
A bittersweet weekend.
— Country Cousin
P.S. Don't forget The Amazing Clark magic and puppet show, Almont's Music in the Park free concert on Thursday evening, August 14, 7-9 p.m.