Good Time (We Don’t Even Have To Try)
I’ve spent a lot of time talking about gatherings at home. That doesn’t mean I don’t like my nights or days out! We’ve had many of these and I never tire of them. They’re critical at any age, but perhaps even more valued the older we get.
Below, I share two of my favorites. The first is a nod to my awesome girlfriends, who honored my 50th birthday with creativity, a mystery and the magic of music.
The second is a reminder that even the simplest gathering can mean so much to someone who deserves it….even if they insist you not do a thing!
Building a Mystery
Here it is….our Magical Mystery Tour in honor of my 50th birthday, kicking off with a shiny black limo (courtesy of Jack). Here, we “strike a pose” before rockin’ down the highway (from left, Jackie, Jean, Joyce, me, Sally, Donna, Carol and Regina).
The rest was my girlfriends’ superb planning — and all of it was a surprise, including the arrival of the limo. I had no idea what we were doing….where we were going.
When I got in the limo, it was decked out like a summer beach party — margaritas, beach balls, a beach pail filled with favors and snacks for each of us, and Beach Boys music. Clearly, they had a theme!
We cruised south through Boston, then further south to the South Shore until the limo stopped at the wonderful Raffael’s Restaurant on Nantasket Beach, right on the water.
We had a great New England seafood dinner topped off by a Happy Birthday serenade led by Donna (below right) and a decadent whoopie pie cake, a favorite of mine and homemade by Regina.
“16 Candles (times three, plus two) make a lovely light.”
After our “California Girl” moment posing by the seashore, I assumed our limo driver would head north toward home. Instead, we cruised south again….woo hoo!
We sang more Beach Boys songs…then pulled up to the South Shore Music Circus, where the marquee read: “In Concert Tonight — The Beach Boys.”
They did have a theme!
Unbeknownst to my girlfriends, the Beach Boys was the first concert I had ever attended — now here I was at this milestone, seeing the Beach Boys again.
Even more fun, fun, fun, John Stamos was a guest Beach Boy (see below)!
We sang along to every song and did the same on the ride home.
Help me, Rhonda!
Great music, great girlfriends, good vibrations…..even an unexpected celebrity. A most memorable Ladies Night Out in Kokomo that I will NEVER forget.
Girlfriends, you rock!
Friendship is a gift tied with an invisible golden bow. — Unknown
Once, Twice, Three Times a Lady
Recently, a Ladies Night Out with two of my sisters-in-law was very touching in its simplicity. Paula and I took Sandi out to a restaurant in Windham, NH called The Common Man. In a renovated barn, it has great ambience, great lighting, great food.
Sandi had worked hard to achieve her BS in Nursing while also working full-time as a nurse and raising her two children. However, she graduated the same year that her daughter, my niece, Shannon, was graduating from high school.
Like a typical mother, she shunned any spotlight on herself and wouldn’t allow anyone to celebrate her own achievement.
Paula and I thought she wouldn’t mind something low-key. And so we arranged for this Ladies Night Out with just the three of us.
The Power of Love
From left, Sandi, Paula and I enjoying our simple Ladies Night Out with a toast to Sandi’s achievement. Coincidentally, the bill was brought to us in a vintage children’s book, the Bobbsey Twins. Sandi has a twin brother and growing up, the Bobbsey Twins were among her favorites! It made for a fun moment as we read through the book.
Let no one ever come to you without leaving better & happier;
be the living expression of God’s kindness in your face;
kindness in your eyes; kindness in your smile. –Mother Teresa of Calcutta
It’s My Party
After dinner, we had a cake and Sandi opened her present — a BECAUSE PACKAGE.
It was a large decorative box filled with some things that were just plain fun (a ribbon that said “I Did It!”), others that were useful (her favorite wine, books, candles, spa items).
I attached to each wrapped gift a BECAUSE NOTE saying why we had picked that out for her. She read each note aloud before opening the gift.
For example, the note attached to the “Wine, Food & Friends” cookbook (above) read: “Because you’ll have a lot more time for these things in the future.”
A bottle of champagne had this note attached: “In case you ever think of going for your Master’s Degree, drink this first.”
It didn’t work, she is now close to finishing her Master’s!
In any event, the BECAUSE PACKAGE was fun for her to open, and fun for us, too!
After our fun LNO, Paula and I felt great that in spite of Sandi’s protests to “not do anything”, we still recognized her accomplishment with such a low-key but top-notch CELEBRATION in every single way. As for Sandi, her smile said it all.
Sometimes when we say we don’t want something, it’s so nice when someone doesn’t listen!
Happiness is a perfume you cannot pour
on others without getting a few drops on yourself.
–Ralph Waldo Emerson
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