Wednesday, September 01, 2010

What A Party

It was hot and she was in a bed on the second floor of the building. She was worried that the lady in the next bed who was smoking would start a fire and the entire building would burn down with her and her baby unable to escape. That is the story I remember my mother telling me about my birth 60 years ago on August 24, 1950.

If you do the math you will see that I celebrated my 60th birthday on Tuesday August 24, 2010. However, the real celebration was on Saturday August 28, 2010. For weeks and weeks I picked up on the fact that something was afoot. My kids or my siblings would let slip a little something about Saturday August 28. It was almost impossible for me to not figure out that something was up because some of my out of town siblings would stay here and some would stay at my Uncle B. and Aunt C. who live about 6 miles away.

On the Thursday after my birthday, my aid W. stopped by at lunch time with a birthday lunch, a foot long sandwich from Subway. On Friday, S. the lady, who comes in and helps with my lunches and cleans my tracheostomy, brought me some ice cream from the local ice cream shop as a birthday present. Then late Friday afternoon my youngest brother and sister in-law arrived, followed a short time later by my sister, brother in-law, nephew and my three younger sisters walked in. I was already in bed so throughout the evening each sibling would come and sit in my wheelchair and visit catching me up on their family news.

The real activity began the next morning. Early that Saturday morning, at 7:30 if memory serves me correctly, our two sons C. and J., son in-law K. and a grandson L. appeared in the back yard and unloaded the pig roaster from the truck. Then they were off going back to my son in-laws parents to get more tables, chairs and a load of other things that a good picnic would need. After unloading the second load my son J. and son in-law K left returning with the pig. They then dumped bags and bags of charcoal into the roaster and started it.



While waiting for the charcoal to reach the correct stage and heat, they prepared the pig with a salt and pepper rub.

While they were busy outside with the pig, my brother C. started working on his buttermilk coleslaw dressing and my sisters began cutting up the HUGE heads of cabbage that my youngest sister grew in her garden.


They made so much coleslaw that they ended up mixing it up in a cooler. And then my youngest son K. walked in. Now K. works at a dairy bottling plant, so was in charge of bringing all the dairy products. Earlier on Friday he had walked in with enough dairy products to last for a long time. As it turned out, he was one of the busiest people here. He started by making a marinade which he used to marinate pans of tofu which he then baked and refrigerated causing it to firm up. After that he made a double batch of his BBQ sauce for use on the shredded roast pig. Then he, with my brother D. help, started on a mystery dish, which I finally figured out to be my favorite, a German Chocolate cake. Once K. had the cake in the oven, he started making batches and batches of his Jalapeno Corn Bread. Once again my brother D. and his wife N. stepped in and helped him.



In fact all of my siblings helped with the food preparation. Without their help I doubt we would have been able to have such a successful party. After lunch, my oldest son C. started washing bunches and bunches of collard greens. While they were soaking in water, he cleared the patio and set up my turkey fryer which he used to cook the collard greens, there were too many to manage on a stove top.

It was now late afternoon and the level of activity became more and more busy, my daughter K. and a couple of her aunts started covering the picnic tables and placing them in the shade. Some of the other aunts helped daughter in-law C. cut up vegetables and assemble the tofu Kababs which were then grilled. My son J. and son in-law K. took the pig out of the roaster and placed in on a table. Then they, son K. and nephew J started to remove the meat placing it in large pans which were placed over Sterno Burners keeping it warm. While the guys were doing that C. and grandson L. were busy with the collard greens and putting loads of bottled water and cans of pop in one of the small kiddy wading pools and pouring ice over everything. At the same time those guys, not already busy doing something, started preparing the corn, which had been soaking in preparation for grilling. Now I know that I haven’t told this story correctly and I may have forgotten to mention what everyone was doing, but I wanted to show how much work and how busy everyone was in order to bring off a successful party.

At 4:00 PM people, lots and lots of people started arriving. Soon it was time to begin eating so P. asked everyone to come inside in order to pray and sing me the traditional Happy Birthday Song.

So the party began.

I stayed indoors with my meal while everyone else was outside, however throughout my meal almost everyone managed to come inside and visit with me for a short while. I soon was unable to talk and so had to use my computer and type in order to communicate. Finally while the party was still going strong I was so exhausted I ended up in bed. It was a WONDERFUL party. But as with all parties it came to an end and I went to sleep.

By Sunday mid-morning, my siblings who stayed here left for their homes and the boys showed up to return the pig roaster and everything else they had borrowed to my son in-law’s parents. Before they left I had them help me back to bed. For some reason I was exhausted but what a great way to become exhausted?

In closing I would like to thank everyone who helped make this a GREAT 60th birthday party.

2 Comments:

Blogger Dr. Miriam Kinai said...

Each life has its own struggles. There are some people in perfect physical health but no one cares about them and they suffer every day from the disease of loneliness. You on the other hand are very blessed to have such a caring family. May God continue to bless you with many more happy birthdays and many more loving family members.

Friday, September 10, 2010 at 10:34:00 AM PDT  
Blogger dot said...

Oh my, what a grand occasion and what a wonderful sounding event! A late "Happy Birthday" to you and so sorry to hear you had to go to the hospital.
I thought collards was mostly a southern food. Even though I'm southern I never could stand to eat them because of the smell.
Hope you can get that coumadin adjusted.

Monday, September 20, 2010 at 12:55:00 PM PDT  

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