My Dad’s 83rd Birthday

My Dad turned 83 on June 21.  Every year for a while now, my sister and I have pondered over what to do for him.

This year, it became obvious.  I offered to wash some walls for him,and I mentioned that we should put mulch in his flower beds.  The man hates yard work of any kind, although he appreciates the results.

“No,” he said,  “I want flowers.”

What?

After talking to my younger sister, who happens to be a Master Gardener, we came up with a plan.  At the end of May, I planted alyssum in Dad’s terraces the way my mother had always done.  My sister bought him a butterfly bush.  That was Step 1.

Step 2 involved my sister and her kids visiting the weekend of Dad’s birthday.  She brought a lot of perennials from her garden and worked for two days on the flower beds around the house.  (The neighbor had something called zoisia grass which resulted in his having to strip and reseed his lawn, and it had invaded my dad’s lawn as well.)

The kids helped, too.  My niece, who is seven, lent me her hands to wash around the railings on Dad’s screened-in front porch.  The hubby and the nephews, ages almost 11 and almost 13, painted window wells and cleaned gutters.  The hubby did some other “housekeeping.”

That was Step 2.

The only other thing my dad really wanted was for as much of his family as possible to be present with him for the steak dinner at the local American Legion Post, where he serves as chaplain.  Vegetarianism not withstanding, even my sister and her kids went.  There were fifteen of us in all, and Dad really seemed to enjoy himself.  He thought he would get away without our singing to him, but the seven-year-old niece took that in hand, and the people at the Legion clapped for him at the end of our song.

That was Step 3.

Here are some pictures of the event.  Notice that the only time we got a smile out of Dad was when he was wearing his hat.  He does look happy–and loved–though, don’t you think?

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1 Response to “My Dad’s 83rd Birthday”


  1. 1 writeathome July 7, 2008 at 10:22 pm

    Glad your dad was able to be with so many family members. It looks like you all had a nice time.


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