It took almost a year, but at long last, the porch has been transformed from ceiling to floor boxes and evenings of playing the guessing game of ‘what’s behind box number three,’ and is now a place to enjoy the warm evening breeze and the last sounds of the season.
The furniture my daughter painted will always make me think of summer; the bright pink petals bursting out of the backdrop of orange are cheerful and inviting. The wicker furniture was a lesson in teamwork and well worth the sweat and near squabbles required for proper assembly. It’s a perfect place to relax and reminisce.
In the final days of summer, the booming echo of fireworks in the distance brings back memories of my recent birthday celebration.
The first surprise of that evening wasn’t the train of hugs I received when I entered the cabin, it was that my oldest son was engrossed in the newspaper and didn’t even bother to look up, let alone wish me happy birthday. I walked toward him, determined to get my birthday greeting.
He lowered the paper, grinned and said, “Happy Birthday Mom.”
I shouted, “You have a face, a clean shaven beautiful face!”
The deck erupted with laughter as I hugged him and put my hands on his cheeks to confirm that the scratchy college beard had really been replaced with the smooth look of a soon to be young professional.
I don’t know how long they had been planning it, or how they pulled it off, but I don’t think I’ve ever been more surprised.
I couldn’t stop laughing while we tried to capture the perfect picture on the beach. My advice is this: never ever look directly into the sun for a family photo, the squinty eyes and looks of pain in no way offset the lack of shadows. Unbelievably, we did end up with a picture of all ten of us that is Christmas card worthy, with little to no ‘photoshopping’ required.
Pictures were followed by a delicious meal, a flaming birthday cake, and a round of “Happy Birthday,” which was actually quite melodious.
At my niece’s insistence, party blowers were the favor of choice; thanks to my brother’s guidance, they were the silent type. I felt a bit like a blow up punching bag clown as I was assaulted with the full force of several noiseless party blowers. I’m not sure who giggled louder, the kids or me. All I know is amid the loud gasps, audible puffs and the thwapping sound against my cheek, the party favors were far from silent.
Dusk gave way to darkness and the neighbors’ preparations for a fireworks show began in earnest. My niece and nephew flew down the sidewalk to watch the activity. They stood still as statues and peered through the fence in anticipation and apprehension. When the first loud boom erupted and the fiery sparkles drifted against the black velvet sky, Sofia reached out and pulled her brother in close.
“It’s ok Maxy, it’s just some fireworks. I think they’re for Auntie Beth’s birthday.”
Who knows, maybe they were…