A week of surprises and now I’m trying to come back to earth.  Monday last week I arrived home to find my sister Beth in my kitchen, “Surprise!”. Beth lives in Michigan and was last here in May, I hadn’t expected to see her again until next year. She said she had come to take me to lunch on my birthday.

Thursday we went to the Wenham Tea House for lunch and then shopping. I was expecting to go to dinner with Beth and Max at The Market in Annisquam in the evening. We arrived home to find the driveway filled with cars. Surprise, a party! Our neighbors Tom and Mariann had opened their home to the celebration. I was stunned, especially when I saw the people who were there to fete me. Cousins from South Carolina, Michigan and Ohio. Friends from Michigan and Rhode Island, family from Connecticut and New Hampshire all mingling with Massachusetts family and friends from many parts of my life. It was an amazing evening.

There was more, family and friends who couldn’t make it to the party had sent video clips and our Haitian friend in the Dominican Republic sent a greeting with a birthday cake photo. I received online greetings from friends in England, France and Germany. Such riches!

I guess it is a sign of how oblivious I can be to what’s going on around me to realize how many people were so able to keep the whole thing from me. My daughter Laura seems to have orchestrated the event with the help of her brothers and Beth. I am still enjoying the afterglow of that wonderful evening.