Sunday was our actual anniversary date, August 1, fifty years later.
We opened the big day with Mass at our local parish church, Our Lady of Lourdes, at 10:00am. Our pastor, Father Mike, worked with us, allowing our good friend, Father Ken Krall, to concelebrate the Mass with him.
Father Ken also offered a special anniversary blessing.
Daughters Deb and Kathie were asked to present the gifts at the Offertory, and Suzy and I presented the scripture readings.
After Mass we headed home to a breakfast of fruit, juice, pastries, hard boiled eggs, cheese and other goodies from the refrigerator. Then the day was pretty much laid-back, as laid-back as you can get with a dozen people in a tiny living room, all oohing and aahing over the great grandson among us.
This kid knows how to charm a photographer!
The weather held beautifully for us, with the temps comfortably in the 90s and the humidity reasonable. Soon most of us were sitting around in folding chairs in the front yard as grandson Jason fired up the grill and prepared margarita chicken, hamburger patties and bratwurst.
The girls had bought or prepared a multitide of salads and veggie platters, fruit bowls and other fancy stuff. There was a choice of beer, wine, and harder or softer beverages in the cooler. No pressure, just sit back and let the day happen.
Renee and Suzy taking a breather.
Our pastor, Father Mike, and a seminarian, Albert, working here for the summer showed up for the afternoon, keeping the population at 12 (after brother Chuck and Karma left to return to Prescott).
It was a fine day!
Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday we still had guests. Monday we organized ourselves for the requisite group pictures.
[Left to right in rear: Cousin Carol, Daughter Kathie, Grandson Jason, Granddaughter Renee with Darren, Grandson Sam, Daughgter Deb, Father Ken]
Deb, Cousin Carol and Father Ken stayed on until Wednesday morning, helping us use up leftover food.
Tuesday, Father Ken and I visited the Holy Trinity Monastery in the tiny town of St. David, just south of Benson. Suzy and Deb reorganized and packed up the anniversary decorations and returned them to the proper cabinets in the club house.
Once our guests had left for their respective flights back to San Jose and Spokane airports, with Carol traveling home by car, the house seemed strangely -- and refreshingly -- empty.
We sent out a big thank you on the park's news channel to those who had helped with the party.
Now we are returning to the normality that constitutes ... Our Life on Wheels.