Sunday, January 12, 2014

Turning 50: Who Knew I Had Such Poetic Friends?

I turned 50 on Friday and contrary to what the media leads you to believe, it was quite an enjoyable experience. I've never been one to lament the turning of the years, so I didn't expect to gnash my teeth or have a nervous breakdown, but this joyful bit of harmony has been quite a boon.

Fred and I decided that in lieu of a present that we would just have a nice dinner out with friends.  So, we invited friends to dinner and we had that dinner last night.  My mom, who is ever thoughtful, bought lovely flowers for the table: 

The lovely bouquet that mom bought for the table.  I sat by it. It had yellow, pink and orange flowers.
My good friend Nancy, who also raises guide dog puppies seen with me below, was very sweet and got me a birthday tiara (how can you have a birthday without one?!) and balloons. 

Cheryl and Nancy.  Cheryl has her tiara on and it matches her purple dress. How did Nancy know?
When Nancy asked Fred about the tiara and balloons I think Fred got a little nervous and didn't know what to say. Nancy just told him not to say anything and she would handle it!  It worked out great!

The balloons were awesome.  They are at home now.
Fred had asked people not to bring gifts, but to bring a poem or funny card instead.  Several of our friends did write amazing poems. And I am realizing now that I didn't get photos with everyone! Poo! 

Susan, Cheryl and Nancy
It has been so much fun to add all of the amazing puppy raiser friends into our lives.  We consider ourselves very blessed since we have moved to Florida to have such a nice friend group.  It was really special to have this dinner and know that we truly do have lovely, kind friends.

What is so great is that our friends from all of our walks of life, Paradyne, Berkeley and puppy raising, come together and get along.  It truly was a very enjoyable dinner last night.  The couple on the left, Bob and Suzanne along with Patrick and Theresa gave me a concrete fire hydrant, which also doubles as a fountain.  This hydrant (see below) caused quite a stir with the wait staff as they all wondered, What in the HELL did this mean?  Finally, near the end of dinner, they could stand it no longer and sent the head waitress over to me to ask.  I told them about raising guide dog puppies and that it was actually a fountain.

Fire hydrant lawn ornament for peeing or for a fountain! 8-)
It weighed a ton!  Suzanne also got me a book by Gail Sheehy living a passionate life.  Sounds interesting!

Notice everyone but me is looking away.
I reverted back to the sorority photo days in the photo above.  We used to have our formal parties and you always had a photographer walking around taking candid shots.  Candid, haha.  We would pose and shout, "Over here!"  So, you got very good at realizing where the camera was and then smiling.  This was one of those shots.  Scary.

Susan and Brian are first couple on the right hand side and then Ken and Linda are the second couple next to them down the table.  Here is Susan's poem:

Nifty Shifty
Cheryl Is Fifty
Brian picked out a very funny card.

Now, Linda and Ken were bad and got me a present (super cool crochet bowl) and a card (thank you!), and it was a little too loud for everyone to hear Ken's wonderful poem, but here it is.  He had an introduction that reference the our puppy blog and how it had made him laugh and cry and how much they enjoyed reading it.

Stopping by the hardware aisle while shopping
With (many) apologies to Robert Frost
by Ken Ko
 Whose store this is I think I know.
Our friendly local Home Depot;
Yet Jam thinks there's a men's room near;
A quite appalling place to go.

I thought I made it very clear
That we would not be stopping here,
Caught by surprise, I hadn't planned
 To turn and see Jam's hunched up rear.

If only there was some command
To stop this act in no man's land.
But he commits, so I do too.
At least, I have things well in hand.

The store has nuts, and bolts, and glue,
But I have cleanup work to do, 
And miles to go so he can poo,
And miles to go so he can poo. 

 Tremendous!  If you want to read the original story, click on the link.  It is pretty funny, but I wouldn't want to do it again.  Wait, I did.  Damn.  I need to stop doing that!!

 Now, the first couple on the right is Michele and Erik and together with their son Kelland, they came up with this limerick (and a nice gift card):

There once was a woman, CD
Who raised puppies to help people see.
   She liked to crochet little hats
   But never for cats
Yet she is still our favorite lady!

Woot! I love it.   I also love the Downton Abbey card that the couple on the left gave me: Kim and Mark.  They have been good friends for years and it was so good to have them with us at the celebration!
The Downton Abby Card. Did you notice the poo bag?

I have to say that Fred did an amazing job organizing and coordinating the whole dinner!  He was splendid.  I have the best husband there is!

Fred with balloons.
 Our friends Christy and Eliot gave me a really funny card (and a gift card) about the light at the end of the tunnel.  I actually laughed out loud.

I stole this photo of them from their facebook site,  because I don't have a shot of them together.
Here is there poem:
Roses are red
Violets are blue
If you get lost
We will put out a silver alert for you!

Aren't they sweet?!

Fred and Nancy.

Cheryl and Melisa.
Melisa, my screenwriting partner, found a fabulous screenwriting t-shirt for me and a cool Paris Tervis mug for me to use as we write. She is a very thoughtful gift giver. (A trait all my friends seem to share! I am very, very lucky.)

The final poem of the evening was written by Carrie and it was splendid!

Carrie, from her facebook page.
There once was a friend from Clearwater
Who enjoyed being her own dog walker
But one day without fear
She said, "Fred, Dear,
I think we should raise dogs for others!"

"Bingo!" Said Fred "What's the plan?
Let's try not to get in a Jam.
I've got an approach,
We should get a Coach!"
And so the adventure began.

Willow said, "I was alone.
A one dog house and my bone.
And now it's all screwy."
Her eyes got all Dewey 
 "Why wouldn't they just get a clone?
 So Birthday Girl, here's to you
 50 years, full of life and alive!
 You've got a big heart,
 You're doing your part
 Let's stay at 49.95! 

Nancy, Cheryl, Brian and Susan, with Susan clowning around!
 And finally, the gang was all there.  We had a few people who were either out of town, or sick or just couldn't make it, and we are sorry they couldn't!  We missed you!!  But we had you there in spirit.

The gang!
Thanks for making my journey to the other side of 50 a pleasant one!

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