sunflowery's Diaryland Diary


Saturday, the Day of the Party

Continued from Previous:

I awoke early Saturday morning. I had originally planned on heading to the farmers market on the capitol square so I thought, "why not get an early start?" I had a killer headache and no idea why. No one else was up when I left. The sky was just lightening up from the rising sun. I approached the site of the tornado, and saw stadium lights set up in the neighborhoods that received the most damage. There were still police checkpoints at the main intersections to those areas and I toyed with the idea of stopping to pick up coffee for the police officers, but decided not to. I do not know why.

I got to the farmers market, just as was really waking up. I found a great parking space nearby and went to get my traditional Chai/hot chocolate for my first walk around the square. The air still had its evening chill and the sun was just starting to peak over the skyline.

The guys at the coffee stand talked about the tornado. One guy was from Fort Atkinson where there was a little bit of damage by the storm. The other guy was from Stoughton but said his home was not affected. I got my hot chocolate (they did not have Chai) and began my first trip around the market. The talk on the square was also of the tornado. The vendors talked of whose farm was hit and whose home made it through. I saw all manner of yummy things; peppers, tri-colored sweet corn, tomatoes, onions, melons, sunflowers, and oh my goodness, the green beans! The first trip around is always just to look.

I began my second trip around and this time, I ended up purchasing fresh blueberries, white cheese curds and white gladiolas. I would have gotten more if I knew I could get it all home to MN in one lovely piece. I decided I had picked up what I need and left for home. It was an hour later than when I arrived and the air was so muggy and humid that when I stopped to take photos of Lake Monona and the Madison skyline, the minute I step outside the cab of the truck, my glasses steamed up.

I got back to Stoughton with my wares just as the household was waking up. I uploaded the photos I took at the market to my computer and chatted with mom and dad. We toyed with the idea of changing the date of the party, but we had out of town guests coming and it really was not do-able so we went ahead with it and just decided to be flexible about where we ended up, who showed up and everything else.

An out of town friend called to see if we are still on with the show and we chatted for a bit. I had not talked to her in a long time and it was good to do so. I really miss her voice. While we talked, I made a tomato and cheese omelet. Mmmmm.

After a quick breakfast, I went back out and drove downtown to pick up the corsage and boutonniere I had ordered as a surprise for mom and dad. The florist was happy to see that I was early as her house had been hit by the tornado and she was waiting for me and a bride to pick up our stuff so she could get back to the clean up. The bride had been early too. The flowers were beautiful. Dad’s flowers were a white rose and some stephanotis. Mom’s were the same with a couple of daisies thrown in. These were their wedding flowers. I exchanged small talk with the florist. I expressed my sympathy to her and she expressed thankfulness on still having what is important. That is a sentiment we would hear a lot all weekend. After picking up the flowers, I went to the Hallmark store to get a guestbook and card. I could not find a guestbook I liked but I did find a blank book with lined pages that I liked quite a bit. It ends up being a good buy as the books specified as “guest books” are $16.00 and the blank, lined books are only $8.00. I got the blank, lined book and picked out a card and head back for home. On the way, I stopped at McDonalds to pick up some breakfast for Bob.

When I got home, I showed Mom and Dad their flowers before putting them in the fridge to keep. I think Mom was touched. It was a nice surprise, I thought. I gathered everything I would need to take to the church and got there a little after 10:30. I found the church in a state of activity. The kitchen was bustling, people were still gathering outside in groups to gape at the destruction across the street, but now they were also coming to volunteer to help. I found the room we were to set up in but it was filled with people who were having a meeting. Arg! I found out they were there until 11, so I went about gathering everything I would need from the kitchen and other areas of the church before heading down to kick out the meeting people after 11.

Originally, I had organized a small group of people to help me with set-up, but no one showed. This was not surprising since many of them lived in the damaged subdivisions and others were probably there helping clean up. I managed to get the room set up by one and realized the caterer had not shown up or called. I called and got her on her cell. Turns out, she was at the Red Cross relief station helping with feeding the troops. She said she would be over shortly. In the meantime, I had to get home and be showered and changed and back to the church by two. I stopped by the church office to ask the girls to help the caterer if she showed up before I did.

Once home, I ran about getting ready. Just as I was stepping into the shower, the caterer called, so I had to stop what I was doing to help her out. Thankfully, I managed to be showered and changed in record time and Bob and I took off for the church so we could meet the caterer. She was there with her assistant, already mostly set up. The food looked great. We just had finger-type food. Hot meatballs, cheese and crackers, fruit and veggie trays, and of course, cake. We also had a couple of salads. Originally, we had been set to have about a half dozen or so, but with the tornado, we ended up with about three. As it turns out, we were OK.

I do not remember much of the party as I ended up running around like a chicken with its head cut off for most of it. I do know that the photos of Mom and Dad through the years were a big hit. Especially the photos of Mom in her cat-eye glasses and photos of Dad with his sideburns connecting to his moustache. Hee. Here's a great shot of our family in the 70's and here's one of my all-time favorite photos of my dad, me and my brother.

While the photos flashed on screen, I filled pitchers of water, filled emptying trays of cheese, fruit, and veggies, filled and refilled the coffee pot and cut the cake. I greeted guests and took some photos too. Overall, I think it was a good party for Mom and Dad. Not as many people came as we thought before the tornado, but more came than I thought would after the tornado. I think we ended up with over 50 total guests. We also ended up with a lot of leftover food. Thankfully, we were able to give most of it to the tornado relief effort. In fact, we ended up giving a whole sheet cake to the Salvation Army and were told repeatedly how thankful they were to have cake. They were also thankful for all the other food we gave them. It was nice not to have to take it all home, although we did end up with some things like meatballs, cake, and salad. My family helped with clean up and Bob washed all the dishes. We were home and ready for bed by six!

My grandma, aunt, uncle, brother and nephews came over to Mom’s afterwards though, so we ended up chatting and visiting for a few hours. I uploaded more photos to my computer and around nine O’clock, I hit the wall. Bob and I went to bed hoping to get some good sleep because Sunday was going to be a long, busy day as well and we knew we would need the rest in order to make it through. Overall it was a very busy but very blessed day spent with family and friends and it was good to spend that time honoring my Mom and Dad for their 40 years of marriage.

To be continued…

To the happy couple then: and now: Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad!

1:01 p.m. - Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2005


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