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It's all about Surprises!
Posted On 11/04/2014 21:31:58 by yourchoice

We received an Evite today from our daughter-in-law, telling us that she is planning a surprise birthday party for her husband... our son! He will be 50 years old in December. My first thought was, "Wait a minute. I'm not old enough to have a 50-year-old son!" But when I counted on my fingers (and toes), I realized that she was right. I AM old enough!

It got me thinking about surprise parties that have occurred in our family, and a flood of memories entertained me all afternoon. I don't recall any "surprise" parties in my parents' home when I was growing up. My mother was just too organized and would have to do long-term planning to have a "proper" celebration. When I was in nurses' training, it seemed that our lives were filled with work, studies, and sleeping. We only had one day off per week, and many times there were classes or workshops to attend. 

What I do vividly remember, is an event that we experienced in the town where my husband and I met. We were 'newbees' in town, thanks to our jobs. He was the local "telephone man" and I was the new RN at the 19-bed hospital. 

There was a lot of interest in the new house under construction in town, which was our "dream" home. My brother-in-law was the contractor, and he had it finished in time for us to move our few pieces of used furniture into the house just days before our wedding. 

The last day of our honeymoon was busy and long. We stopped at my parents' home to pick up our wedding gifts, and drive the 85 miles to our new home. All evening we unpacked gifts, as well as our personal belongings that kind friends had moved from his boarding house and my room in the hospital residence. We knew that both of us were 'on call', so we made sure that our telephone was working before we retired for the night.

Some time after midnight, we were jolted out of our sleep by a ringing telephone. I picked up the phone receiver beside our bed, but the phone kept ringing. The 'telephone guy' told me that it was the phone in the kitchen that was ringing! Duh!

We tried to turn on a light to find our way to the kitchen, but there was NO POWER! Even the street light in front of our house was out. When we made it to the kitchen and answered the phone, it also continued to ring. At that point, we figured that something was up, probably initiated by work buddies at the telephone office, and the next door neighbor who worked for the power company. 

Wandering through the house to find the source of the incessant noise (with the help of a cigarette lighter to provide a bit of light), we finally found the ringing bells. It was a set of telephone bells used in grain elevators, cleverly hidden in one of the metal furnace ducts that carried heat to the upper floor. My hubby was nervous about cutting the wires because it could very well have been wired to start something else. When he finally had the courage to cut the wires, three things happened... the bells stopped ringing, the lights came on, and both front and back doorbells were ringing. At 2:30 a.m., thirty people invaded our home, plates and forks in hand, waiting for their pancake breakfast to be served. They even brought the pancake mix, the maple syrup and butter, and a large frying pan, in case I didn't have one. This was a local tradition called a 'Chivary', to welcome home the newlyweds. We had heard of these events, but how it worked was all new to us. 

The whole town knew about the plans, and it was reported in the local paper. I can't think of a better event to help us feel at home in this community. We were now 'townees'!

Tags: Friends Celebrations Traditions


Viewing 1 - 2 out of 2 Comments

11/05/2014 11:14:12

Too bad that 'Chivary', has died..  At least the 'decent' , 'funny' kind.  I really enjoyed your blog,  You're a fine writer.. Cheer Nancy 

11/05/2014 00:03:46

How AWESOME, my friend!

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