"It was imprudent of us, in the first place, to become authors. We could have become something regular, but we managed not to.
We were lucky, but we were also determined." Roy Blount Jr

"I don’t change the facts to enhance the drama. I think of it the other way round, the drama has got to fit the facts,
and it’s your job as a writer to find the shape in real life."
Hilary Mantel

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A Birthday

Yesterday my father celebrated a milestone birthday. Through much planning and secrecy and collaboration, I managed to surprise him. He had no idea that I was travelling all the way from New Hampshire to be here on The Big Day.

When I arrived on Sunday, I spent the night with my best friend in her guest house. Before leaving my temporary secret abode, I turned myself into a birthday present.

Yesterday morning she delivered me to my parents' home in her snazzy motorcar. My mother was part of the conspiracy. My father was very, very surprised and happy to see me. He was equally happy to see my friend, he's very fond of her.

I brought some kudzu along.

It's not a birthday present, I'm planning to take it back to the Lodge.

Here's the bouquet of sasanqua flowers, and the cake. (Famous historic family recipe...infused with lots of alcohol!)

My brother arrived an hour or so after I did. This was also a surprise, but as he lives 75 minutes away, his appearance didn't have the same impact as mine. I live thousands of miles away.

I was happy to see some of my favourite foods.

For the birthday luncheon, we had quail--a favourite dish of the honoree.

I helped prepare it.

We also had risotto, asparagus, salad, bread--all delicious!

And birthday cake!

Later in the day--birthday presents!

We had some visitors in the afternoon and evening. And more presents.

Our family hasn't been together like this in a very, very long time. This is truly a special occasion and a joyous reunion. (We wish the Chap could be with us also, but he's in touch via telephone.)

I'll blog more later. I'd like to give you a tour of my mother's gardens.

For now--must prepare another festive meal!

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