Well, what a day this has been. I had such a wonderful day...and if you take the good with the bad, the good far outweighed the bad. It was a perfect day weather-wise, after a couple of days of rain the skies were clear and blue and remained that way the whole of the day. The little hall we had hired for the occassion was a good fit, enough people for it to look crowded but plenty of room between the tables so I circulated with ease. Ray sat near the door so got a kiss from all the females who came by. You ought to have seen his grin!
The BAD news came early, one of Ray's favourite cousins who was always the life and soul of the party lost his wife this morning. She had battled cancer for nine long years and this morning breathed her last breath. So sad. It meant another couple also didn't come as they chose to go to him instead. Very understandable. So early in the week we will have a funeral to go to, whatever else is on I will push to one side as this one is important to all of Ray's family as his cousin was also for years their next door neighbour.
The GOOD was legion. Trev gets a gold star for all his work, he was magnificent, my sister also came and helped, her husband minded Ray while we girls decorated tables etc. Most of the guests arrived close to time, a few who had put in apologies actually came to the party so we had close on 80 people. And naughty, naughty, a lot of them brought presents although they had been asked not to. I have some magnificent flowers, enough to put a vase in every room, some nice keepsakes and some cash to spend on luxuries. I am so blessed.
Of course we had enough food to feed twice as many people as came, that always happens so sent some home with family members, froze some and now have to face trying to eat the rest in the shortest possible time. But as we are going out to lunch tomorrow I guess that will take some doing. And the boys did the washing up at the hall so there wasn't a lot of dirty dishes to come home with us. Now that is a plus! Luckily one of Trev's friends rang up to say he had some friends around and they hadn't had an evening meal planned so we were able to send them some of our left-overs too. The Subway and sausage rolls were particularly appreciated.
Now there are "thank yous" to send out and people to contact who took photos so we have some as I didn't think to take a camera myself. We had some lovely photo frames as presents so I hope to have some nice photos to go in them to remind me of this happy day. I think Ray had a ball as the cousins who were all at one table came over and walked him over to be with them. They were telling tales of school days etc so I guess he did remember some of what they were talking about. And the younger of his two brothers and his wife came for a while too so that was a bonus as they had originally turned down the invitation.
Our three grandchildren played with the four of their second cousins who were down for the afternoon while the oldies were entertained by the "KB Singers" the singing group from our Lions Club. They put on a program of old time hits from the war years, the 50's and the 60's and most people were singing along. Our kids went outside for a talk while that was on. "There'll be Bluebirds over the White Cliffs of Dover" is a long way from their taste in music but those in their 70's, 80's and 90's and our 101 year old guest tapped their feet and sang along.
A party can be a funny event in a way as it is often a roomful of strangers with only the celebrating couple in common. We had invited a lot of our old church friends and some from our new church, Lions, Ray's stroke support group and a few friends from outside of those clubs so there was a large cross-section of our lives in the one room. I did think sadly how much my Mum , had she still had her faculties, would have enjoyed seeing some of her old friends there, and of course her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. One of the things that surprised me is that a few people from one group recognised people from other groups, like we had some Presbyterians who were Lions and Apex 40 members, one lady who recognised one of the men as her son's former Cub leader etc. So the Central Coast area is growing but one is still able to see it as a part of a series of smaller villages.
By the time we had cleaned up and packed up and were ready to leave we witnessed a beautiful sunset over the lake, a golden sky, a golden lake, the surrounding area also gold in the sun's last rays. It was our ruby wedding anniversary but it really was a golden day for both of us.