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Just a thought…t

By Staff | Jul 31, 2012

My mom turned 85 on July 21. On Sunday, July 22, we had an open house cake and coffee party in Fargo where she lives. That’s because she was too busy to have it on the day of.

My brother, Boliver (names changed to protect the nearly innocent) and his family came from Omaha. We hardly ever see them because they have busy lives and so do we, plus they live 7 hours away from Fargo. However, for important occasions like my mom’s 85th birthday, we all get together.

My other brother, Sam, his wife, Dee and their three daughters and three granddaughters came from Minot for the occasion. My third brother, Donahue, couldn’t make the party, but his family and granddaughter came. Of course, my sisters, The General and Esmeralda were there.

The General informed Esmeralda and me that she would not be involved with planning the party at all because she had to work. Our mouths dropped open in surprise, the General is an organizer and plans everything in our family. However, that Saturday, she was needed elsewhere. (How convenient! Just kidding, of course)

Esmeralda plans nothing and doesn’t care about details at all. I have organized a few soirees in my day and have also fed five guys, which is a lot like feeding the masses. So we put our heads together and planned two suppers, one for Saturday night and one for Sunday night for about 30 family members. Esmeralda has a community room in her building and so does our mom, so we had a family meal in each one.

The party itself was kept simple with cake and coffee as it was an afternoon open house. We did have to instruct the cake baker to make four different kinds of cake attach them and put them together under one frosting. My mom likes to have choices and I am quite sure she tried a bite or two from each flavor. We had cake for just under 100 people and we had 10 pieces left over so I guess there was a good turnout for the party. No invitations were sent. We put a photo and announcement in the newspaper.

Esmeralda, bless her heart, gave me her bed to sleep in while she slept on the couch, even after she tripped over her dishwasher door and injured her tailbone. What a trouper! She is the klutziest of us three girls having already broken both her ankle and shoulder in two separate accidents.

On Friday night, we shopped for the two dinners we were going to prepare. As I filled up a cart, my sister who lives alone, couldn’t believe how much food it takes to feed 30 people for two meals. She was in awe. Having fed five guys for 20+ years (by the time they all graduated) I knew 20 lbs. of potatoes for au gratin potatoes was not too much.

Our biggest laugh of the evening though was when a precious 3-year-old, grocery shopping with her soon-to-be mortified mother, asked me if I was carrying a baby in my big tummy. I replied, “No sweetie, I am just fat.” Her mother apologized up one side and down the other, while I laughed so hard and reassured her that I had raised children, also. When the little girl asked me an even more personal question, her mother fled the store with the innocent little girl in hand. I am still laughing about it.

Well, somehow, the party turned out great even without The General. She did work at the party cutting cake, serving coffee and washing dishes. We couldn’t let her escape entirely. She’s our sister for goodness sake!

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