Thursday, August 16, 2012

Two Bashes For Flo

My mother in law, Flo, will tell you (without your even asking) to "don't ever grow old."   This sage advice usually comes accompanied by panting like a dog ("Whooo! It sure is hot out there!") and/or a wince and a hand to her bent over back. Despite her warnings we try to point out to her that we would just as soon delay following her suggestion on cutting short longevity as we are not ready for the alternative. Not an original thought by any means but heartfelt to be sure. As difficult as it can be at times for her to get around she is still getting up and down a flight of stairs a few times a day in our town home despite replacement of both knees and osteoporosis which increasingly forces her to stoop over. And she loves to eat.  Don't even think of getting between her and her targeted ear of corn on the cob or the last shrimp on the platter!  Not if you value leaving both of your hands and arms attached and in working order.  So even though she moans and groans from time to time, most often for legitimate aches and pains but sometimes just for seeking attention and sympathy, she is doing remarkably well for a lady who will turn NINETY years old in another week or so!  NINE-OH!!  Sandi's mother, Flo, was born in August, 1922.

To help her celebrate this milestone and to remind her of how much we love and respect her, we held two birthday bashes for her in the past few weeks. Since our extended family is spread between New England and Florida the first party was held in Massachusetts toward the end of our Cape Cod vacation in July. "90th Party - North" was planned and coordinated by Sandi's sister, Linda and her husband Paul. There were quite a few friends and relatives in attendance, mostly relatives because when you get to the 90th year in life there usually aren't too many friends left to par-tay so to speak. This observation notwithstanding, Flo's 94 year old sister, Elsa was in attendance to make sure the festivities were done up right for her baby sister.


Flo with granddaughter Lisa

Wow!  What a cake!!!

Mingling with the guests

Party girl with six great grandchildren

The guest of honor with granddaughters Lisa and Katy

Posing with nephew Bobby's family    

Sisters Elsa & Flo with Flo's daughters Linda (seated) and Sandi (standing)

Elsa has her arm around her baby sister's shoulders

Friends from Florida (standing) and Connecticut

Friends from Massachusetts

Paul (seated left) with brothers and sister in law

Flo looks hesitant to cut into a "work of art" cake!

Divvying up the cake

Sons in law standing, Jim (me) on left behind Linda and Paul  on right behind Sandi.

Shortly after we returned home to Florida, Sandi started preparations for "90th Party - South." We couldn't wait for the actual birth date because some great grandchildren would be away at school and unable to attend. With fewer attendees than the North party, the South version was held in the home of our son Rob and his wife Amanda. You might think two surprise parties within a couple of weeks of each other might be too much for someone forging ahead into their ninth decade but Flo accepted the elements of surprise with grace and gratefulness and was ready and willing to party at both functions. In all honesty, keeping the surprise parties a secret until the last minute wasn't a problem. The hard work was done by Flo's two daughters, Linda and Sandi, both of whom did a wonderful job.

Greeted by granddaughter Amy & her daughter Alyssa.

Kitchen birthday party deco

Granddaughter Cathie & her two girls celebrate with party-girl.

Three great granddaughters and Ron's son, Cade

Coco wanted to party too 

Alyssa just guarding great grandma's beer, right? Right?

Great grandson Ryan congratulates b-day girl

All the usual suspects previously mentioned

Sandi and Lexi sandwich the party girl

Flo samples the shrimp while Ron and Cierra fight over the camera

Guest of honor digs in...note shrimp platter safely within her reach. Watch your fingers!!

Grand son Austin joined b-day girl

Marathon lady, Amy, actually licking frosting off a wrapper!! She worked off her sugar high later  with Karaoke.

Slide show presentation on the big screen showing Flo in pictures over the years

Slide show; 1993 Flo competing for the bouquet at a wedding

Party girl conga line member in 1993

Memory review of photo album put together by Amy

Let us entertain you grandma!  Left to Right: Cathie, Amy, Amanda

Amy and Amanda harmonize

Amanda and Cathie rock out

Cierra sneaking a a beverage from the cooler...better not be  a malt beverage!

                                               HAPPY BIRTHDAY, FLO!!