This is a shameless Facebook sort of entry. But as I don’t “do” Facebook and as this is a personal journal of sorts, this is about Ann, my wife, who recently turned 75. For her 40th birthday I had orchestrated a surprise party at a friend’s house and on her 50th birthday pulled off another surprise party at a restaurant. For her 70th birthday, I celebrated her life here in this blog.
So, what to do for her 75th? It’s a big one and I decided to just ask her, no surprises this time around. Easy she said, fly the “kids” down, Chris and Jonathan, celebrate with them at The Breakers on Palm Beach for brunch, and the following day have a dinner at Seasons 52 with them and some close friends. Done I said (after checking our sons’ schedules).
The next night was her dinner. We brought wine for the restaurant to serve and picked the chef’s table, overlooking the water, set apart from the restaurant itself where we could leisurely dine, and toast our birthday girl. I had prepared a one page speech, some funny parts, some touching, it being a truncated variation on a speech I delivered at her 50th surprise party with an entirely different cast of relatives and friends when we lived in Connecticut.
Our sons were the only attendees at her 75th birthday dinner who were there for her 50th as well.
But our retirement home in Florida has brought new wonderful friends, pictured here. At the bottom, head of the table to the right is Ed, and then going clockwise is his wife, Gail, John, his wife, Lois, Susan, her husband, Harry, our wonderful neighbor, Nina, me, our sons, Chris and Jonathan, our birthday girl, Ann, Art and his wife Sydelle.
It was a small, but fun loving group, as evidenced by a little poem Gail, Lois, and Susan composed,
Happy Birthday Ann
Happy, happy birthday, now reached Seventy-five
We guess it must be wondrous just to be alive.
With ballet and opera you are always so busy
And of course Jane Austen keeps you in a tizzy.
There is mahjongg and chiro and nails and hair
It is amazing you can remember to get anywhere.
There is a day at the Spa we want to celebrate
We will play maj and eat and luxuriate.
It will be our treat, so pick a good time
We want to make your birthday sublime.
Gail, Lois, and Susan
Sydelle then took center stage, first by singing lyrics she wrote to Perry Como’s hit, “It’s Impossible” and then by reading a poem she composed “’A’ IS FOR ANNIE”
"A" IS FOR ANNIE (and other parts of the ABC's)
A is for ANNIE, there are so many good words to try.
Some ANGLES, an ANGEL, and a beautiful big APPLE pie.
We could stop in an ABBEY and drink some ABSINTHE on the run.
Or go to ALASKA or say AHOY on a boat in the sun.
We could AIRILY sing with APTITUDE and lots of AFFECTION.
We could ALWAYS turn ABOUT and go in an ALTERNATE direction.
Let's meet with ALADDIN and have an exciting ADVENTURE.
Do something AQUATIC or have an ARRESTING venture.
Don't be staying ALONE or ANGRY or feeling ALOOF.
Say ADIOS to some ADIPOSE and shout your ATTITUDE from the roof.
ABOLISH gloom and ADVOCATE AMAZING ACTS.
Go fish with an ABBOT and bring a big ABALONE back.
Let's go split an ATOM or measure the degree of an ANGLE
Get an APPLIANCE or any ANTIQUE you can wangle.
We could plant an ACORN and see it grow into a tree.
We could cruise to the AZORS on the beautiful ATLANTIC sea.
Let's install an AWNING for cooling the hot, steamy AIR.
We can nibble on ALMONDS as we rest in a cozy ARM CHAIR.
The years are ADVANCING but she's never a tiny bit older
Just more ALLURING, ADVENTUROUS and a whole lot bolder.
When it comes to our ANNIE, there's an ABSENCE of all signs of AGING.
With ALARMING beauty, she's ALWAYS ALERT and engaging.
So remember .
Roses are red and violets are blue.
We love you, Annie, and we love Bobby too.
Sydelle Charney 5/16
It was a tough crowd, though, as when Sydelle said “Australia” rather than “the Azores” they picked up on that immediately as this brief video shows!
So the sun set over the Intracoastal Waterway and on yet another milestone. May there be many more to come. Concluding this entry though, a sunset photo on Block Island thirty years ago, our favorite boating destination of years gone by.....