Brandt and I are doubly blessed to have loved ones which love without condition. Well…there are some conditions but it’s the kind which involve food, fun and “having a good time by all”. I’ve held off on sharing the celebrations from the past 22 days simply because I felt you would get tired of seeing and hearing about it. The synopsis…there were three dinner parties and a trip to New England. Herein lies a rather lengthy pictorial review…you might want to get a glass of wine and sit for a spell.
“Tables Set in Splendor”
Dottie Rambo once penned a song with the line “There’s a light in the window, And the table’s set in splendor, Someone’s standing by the open door”. These lyrics were realized in three homes of dear friends/family in East Memphis, TN, Tupelo, MS, on the Mississippi River Bluff downtown Memphis and Seawall, our cottage in Kennebunkport, Maine. I find it interesting that in collage there is a reoccurring blue theme. However, the overwhelming theme was that of detailed beauty, carefully curated to insure an atmosphere of celebration. I believe everyone involved felt celebrated as we all fully know the time and energy required to make “the house lovely”.
The Loved Ones
This is an extremely hard edit. There are way too many photos from the trip to share, perfect photos with stories too long to tell and unfortunately no group photo from the Tupelo gathering. Nevertheless, here’s photographic proof that “a good time was had by all”.
Brandt and I love Sunday suppers…this was dinner in all its formal fabulousness and is one we’ll cherish…until the next one…XOXOXO
The birthday voyage with Captain Rich on Schooner Eleanor is in the top five experiences of my 60 years. This group of chosen family and life long friend’s ALL together for the first time on the most perfect sailing day will never be forgotten. Brandt’s love for me in that he would orchestrate something so special is an endearment which brings me to tears. And, dear brother-in-law Ken Edwards paying for a private charter was a gesture I’ll be re-paying with Chex Mix and Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies for years to come.
We didn’t get a shot of the joyous gathering in Tupelo. Cousin Nan Lawrence can start her business and party guest list planner as she gathered the perfect combination of friends and family to create a delicious, hysterical AND emotional evening. Nan, Jim, Norma, Bill, Rose, Tommy, Cammie and Beverly thank you for joining us. “Caught-chuns!!!”…still laughing uncontrollably.
Since 2001, our South Main family has been the foundation of our lives in Memphis. Though life circumstances has caused it to expand and contract the foundation still holds firm. I told our friends I’m not sure all the influx of new South Mainer’s will ever know the kind of love and friendship we share…we certainly hope they do. “Good times, bum times…we’ve had ’em all…and my dear…we’re still here!!!” We love you all!
Now, some candid shots…again, showing “a good time being had by all”.
Celebration Feast’s (yes, plural…as in more than one…have mercy!!!)
Okay, I’ve made you wait long enough. A LOT of food was prepared and consumed. Please keep in mind this is over the span of three weeks. Most of this is made by loving hands…but some enjoyed in select Maine and New Hampshire Restaurants. All unbelievably beautiful and delicious. I’ll do categories to ease the stress on your retinas.
For Breakfast…Glenn’s Biscuits and remnants of Nola’s Stratta..OMG!!!
For Lunch…remember we went to Maine because I like lobster/seafood.
To Finish…remember I haven’t had sugar since January…WOW!!!
When Brandt had his 60th birthday we’d been together long enough that I knew his close circle of friends. They call came for a wonderful gathering he fondly refers to as “This is Your Life meets Queen for a Day”. That evening, while thanking me he said, “just so you know…when you turn 50 I can’t do this…we’ll just have to travel”. He has since kept his word with an amazing Italian vacation with 11 dear friends for my 50th. Now, again for my 60th he leased a cottage in Maine and invited 8 of my life long friends and chosen family to join us. He topped off the trip with a foliage tour in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.
Sewall at Kennebunkport and Captain Rich with Schooner Eleanor
Bear Mountain Lodge, Mount Washington and The Flume Gorge…New Hampshire
So…I’m sixty years old and I must say it feels really good. Good health, good friends and unconditional love…it’s a lot to be grateful for. Life is so short I promise you I take nothing for granted. It’s my earnest goal to live in the moment and savor every ounce of it. If you’ve read this far…thank you. Here’s hoping your life is lovely and you work hard at making sure you’re having a good time in every minute of it.