[gardeners] Jim's party

penny x stamm (gardeners@globalgarden.com)
Mon, 24 Jan 2000 01:10:26 -0500

We held Jim's 78th birthday party tonite, and it turned out to be
an incredibly spirited and good natured, very long event... ! 

By decree, only his relatives are allowed to attend, and by definition, 
his relatives are short-tempered and crotchety. But not this time. 

DJ flew in from St.Louis, a phenomenal event. Everyone was delighted 
to see her, which made her happy which made the folks happy which 
was reflected in the tone of the occasion. 

Jim's brother Peter and his wife Karen, both in their mid-sixties, have 
become parents again -- they take their 11 month old grandson from 
Friday night to Sunday night, every single week.  Now I know darned
well that DJ cannot stand children --  If they walk in, she will walk
But this toddler was no ordinary child -- he never got sleepy, he never 
cried, he never tired, and he never stopped smiling from 4:00pm when 
they arrived, until 10:00pm when they left. Anybody could pick him up, 
and anybody could help him walk, and any piece of birthday wrapping 
paper made a wonderful toy.  May the Lord grant that this child retain
this personality all thru life, but I am not sure that even the Lord has 
that much power.....    

His New Jersey cousins came, and his Long Island cousin, plus our
two local daughters and one sin-in-law. 

Now the tie which bound the event together was the genealogy 
research which DJ has been doing on this branch of the family. The
cousins have astounding memories about dates and names, and
today I received another chart from our newly found cousin in Paris
who knows even more than we do about the ancestors!  DJ also
located a cousin in Little Rock, and between these two men, all the
questions we happend to have, have been answered.  God bless
the Internet! 

My once a year treat to myself is to hire a girl in the kitchen for this
event, and it is worth a million of my hard earned dollars, every
penny of it.  

We had a computer going in the den, where DJ and others were 
putting names on the people in the photos which had been scanned 
into Jim's machine. Think about it -- they were photos of Jim's mother,
Marion's  mother, Dickie's mother -- circa 1904 -- some dating back 
to 1895. How do you spell 'dageurrotype'...?  DJ and cousin Alfred are 
computer wizards so those old pix were enlarged, brightened, cropped -- 
whatever needed fixing -- in about 40 seconds. Their fingers fly almost 
like hummingbird wings! 

At the same time, 15-y-o Laura had a laptop computer running at the  
desk, for she was studying and taking notes for her midterms. The 
noise didn't  bother her at all...  The baby was crawling and walking 
carefully amongst all the feet in the way, and managed never to get 
stepped on.  Also the kitchen-aid kept returning with hot hors d'oeuvres 
which she passed around the crowd.   

Naturally, I had my own computer running in the next room, where Alfred
and I were very busy trying every resource at our disposal to bring up
an attachment from the cousin in Paris. 

All in all, while it was a circus, it also was heart warming. 
The menu..? Old fashioned and very appropriate: 

Hors d'oeuvres:  baked mushrooms in sour cream, very tiny meat balls
on toast, subminiature spinach in crust.  Lots of daiqueries poured..

Entree:  old fashioned pot roast, potato pancakes, sweet and sour red
cabbage, apple sauce.  Budweiser all around. 

Desserts:  choice of vanilla or chocolate Baked Alaska.  Coffee.  
 I had my new electric picnic chest running, plus a styrofoam chest out 
on the front porch weighted down against invasion by muskrats -- 
or was it possums..?  And the pot roast hid in the car trunk, don't

Challenging logistics, nicht wahr? 

I'm too tired to breathe. See you in the morning.. .

Penny, NY 

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