With cards and supplies for Mother’s party shipped to California, it was time for us to follow them! We left Philly mid-morning on Sunday and arrived around 6PM in Ontario, California to a greeting via the pilot “welcoming Blaine’s father back home!” Yup, our son was on duty at the Tower and had been the controller guiding our plane to it’s gate. Perfect start to our two week stay in Southern California! Blaine came to see us at our hotel when he got off work and we made arrangements to visit the family the next day to go over plans for the following Sunday. Thanksgiving interferred with doing anything during the week since we were heading to Tehachapi to spend time with Paige and her family. But that’s already on another blog!
Naturally, we didn’t do too much on Monday, since there was a 4 year old anxious to play with Pa and Grandma, and we felt that was more important. The most important thing we taught our grandson was how to write his name in dust! My mother had sent a set of nesting tables and we were going to transport them to Tehachapi. They had been in the garage for quite a while and we found the dustiest one to teach Ellis how to do this. Being a grandparent is fun!!
Our chores would begin on Saturday, with the filing of cake boxes, and figuring out the logistics of transporting everything from Riverside to Lake Forest. On Saturday our assembly line was in full swing. Ellis was, of course, a big help and really enjoyed helping. He’d count cookies and put cookies, confetti and a package of macadamia nuts in each container, just like Mommy and Grandma did. We filled 70 of these since it took 10 to make a cake and we had seven tables.
It was decided that Jim and Linda would meet Blaine and Elaine at the home around noon. They would take the “cake pieces” and drive to El Segundo to pick up the cake. Since the icing was whipped cream, it would need to be refrigerated immediately and J and L would arrange for that in the cafeteria.
We went to the arranged meeting place made the arrangements and set up the tents that had been made for “Guest Book” and “Cards” to fit over the basket we had purchased for the cards. Everything was right on schedule. Their car was unloaded and we started to set up the tables. Freedom Village furnished the tables, chairs and burgundy table cloths. We furnished the personality.
Each table looked the same, with a cake, two balloons and one or two sets of trivia cards. A special table was set aside for the cake and two vases of flowers flown in from Hawaii for the event. Mother’s sister, Pat lives in Kona and sent the flowers as a gift for mother and the occasion. Elaine had arranged the table beautifully, but one guest seemed to think the antheriums and orchids should be switched and walked up to the table and without asking, just switched them!
Guests started arriving and Ellis and Daphne got to meet for the first time! Ellis and Daphne are 2nd cousins and are 5 months apart in age. Ellis was born in July, Daphne will be 4 in December. They were the entertainment for the day, dancing, making “snow angels” on the floor and doing everything 4 year olds love to do!
Since Daphne was wearing her “party dress,” Ellis had on his “party shirt.” Hallie asked Ellis where he got his “party shirt,” and he matter-of-factly answered “at the Party Shirt store!.” Well, Duh!
Although we had planned for 7 tables, in reality there were only 6. I labeled them by who sat at them. The one shown above is the “Cousins Table.” Blaine and Elaine with Ellis, Cherrie (Bud’s wife), April (Bud’s daughter) and her husband Matt with Daphne. Bud and Cherrie actually sat at the “Head Table.” Cherrie was “just visiting” in this picture.
The next picture is what I termed “The Family Table.” Dan, Paige, Hallie and her boyfriend Peter, sat at this table along with my cousin, Jack and his wife Gale. Jim joined this table.
Moving to the next table is the “Fallbrook Table.” These were friends of Mother’s and Paul’s from Fallbrook United Methodist Church. One of the couple had an exchange student from the Philippines and Mother was delighted to meet her since Mother had spent several years in the Philippines.
Bud, being the eldest, and whom I used to call, Heir apparent to the Throne, was appointed to be the Master of Ceremonies. He arose, gave a little speech about Mother and then each of the three of us got up and told a special memory of our Mother. Mother seemed to enjoy being the center of attention and remembered each one of our tales!
It was finally time to watch the Birthday Gal blow out her candles and more importantly, taste that cake!! The cake had three layers, guava, strawberry and mango, with fresh fruits on top ~ mango, kiwi and strawberries on a whipped creamed frosting. It was light and absolutely delicious!!! This cake topped off the Hawaiian Theme to a T without being tacky hula skirt, coconut shell Hawaiian!
Does it look like I am upset? Everyone of the family group pictures has the same look on my face. Reason? While the pictures were being taken I was watching several people load up all of the unattended centerpieces and walking out with them. One person had at least FIFTEEN little cake slice boxes, so many that she had to take one of the round disks we had bought to balance them on! Made me wonder if she would have done that had the party been in my home!! There were several people loading them for her! I was appalled!
I guess no party gets by without a glitch, and if this was the only glitch at least it wasn’t by our hand! Since I’ve received several thank you notes and phone calls since I’ve arrived home, I would term this a success! The most important thing after all was Mother, and she was teary, happy and appreciative.
Happy 90th Birthday, Mother! What do the next 90 hold for you??