Friday, June 17, 2011


From a very young age, one of the disappointments about myself is that I am difficult to surprise.  I'm not sure if it has to do with my nosy curious nature or if I just have always operated on high alert.  Not much gets by me.  Today - that changed.  I have not been this surprised since my husband asked me to marry him.  That was 26 years ago!  (A great surprise - mind you...)  For me, today was such a thrill, that I can't even begin to describe it.  But of course - I will...

My birthday is coming up and my running/biking girlfriends, Laurel and Robin wanted to get together.  We were originally heading to Elizabeth Park in Hartford and then going out to lunch.  I was really looking forward to the park adventure because I have never been to Elizabeth Park during the rose blooming season of June and the show is supposed to be spectacular.  In fact - I have wanted to go since I was a little girl because my parents had their wedding pictures taken there and I had heard about that my whole life.  (And, I have seen their 1947 wedding video in that park as well, so needless to say, I was excited about going.)

Well - like my parents wedding day (June 14th), I woke up to pouring rain.  But I refused to let the weather dampen my spirits (pun intended!).  It had been a rough week, to say the least and once I was done in the gym this morning, I had a whole girls day ahead of me and I planned to enjoy it.

So we had a wonderful, girly chatty lunch and it was soooo good to be back with my running brethren.  If there's one thing to be said for 10 mile training runs with your chicas, you never run out of things to blab about!  We hadn't been together since the half marathon in Virginia in March so you can well imagine the chatter!

So lunch ends with really great coffee and while Robin and Laurel split a piece of the most amazing coconut cake with coconut frosting, Miss Catch Joy had a whole piece to her piggy "voluptuous" self.  (Voluptuous?  Sounds so much better than...well never mind.)  Just as my piece arrives with the token candle burning, the two goofballs breakout into a whispered rendition of Happy Birthday complete with chachachas or whatever it is between stanzas.  Then Laurel whips out a breath takingly beautiful package.

I didn't even want to open it because it was so pretty.  I just wanted to look at it!  So those two are looking at me like 2 cheshire cats and making mention of finally being able to give me this present.

So I carefully unwrap it, (saving the beautiful paper, of course) and when I open the box -- I am SPEECHLESS!!!!!  There was a huge intake of breath and then a big "Ohhhhh" came from my mouth as I held it to my chest.  Laurel immediately said, "Read the label!  Read the label!"  READ THE LABEL?  I did NOT need to read the label.  I KNEW immediately what I had in my possession.

When we were away together wayyyy back in March, we were in a gift shop in the Norfolk Botanical Gardens.  Now - I'm not much of a shopper but this was one of those gift shops that had such unique and whimsical gifts that I roamed around for a very long time.

I was tempted by so many things, but what I coveted - was this.  What the heck is it, you ask?

It's a tablecloth.  Not just ANY tablecloth.  Just THE most beautiful tablecloth - in my most favorite colors of blues and teals.  And - you know how much I LOVE color - especially that family of colors!

I wanted it so bad.  And I almost ALWAYS get what I want.  But it was so pricey!  And so frivolous and self indulgent.  I stood in front of it forever.  I walked away and came back to it.  I picked it up and put it in my shopping basket and then put it back.  I was so crazed with desire that I finally had to just walk out of the store.  APPARENTLY, that's when Santa's elves got to work!

I recall now that Laurel had disappeared right before we were leaving the Botanical Gardens and Robin and I could not find her for the LONGEST time!  Today, when they recounted what was really going on during that half hour, I was absolutely hooting!  From Robin's acting job, to Laurel's clandestine hiding of the "goods" - I was peeing my pants hysterical.

So I totally had "Surprise" JOY today when I opened the box!  Told you I always get what I want!  Then I ran home and caught JOY again when I did this!!
And AGAIN when I took this.  Recurring JOY, perhaps?  

So thank you Laurel and Robin!  For a great afternoon of fun, food, laughs and one of the BEST surprises of my young life!  You totally pulled this one off.  AM I losing my touch???  It makes no matter.  There is ALWAYS joy when we are together!  And THAT my friends is afterall - what it's all about...

Postscript JOY - You know what else was really cool about today?  I absolutely know that Laurel and Robin caught HUGE joy too.  They found a gift that they knew the recipient would ADORE, they waited soooo long to give it to me and - they pulled it off and got to tell me the story of it while enJOYing my surprise and all the joy their gift gave me.  How cool is that???  

Love you guys! ♥♥♥ 


  1. Wow, sounds like you had one spectacular day! Lovely tablecloth...way to go Laurel and Robin for pulling it off!! I just love surprises...

  2. That IS very cool. What a great surprise and what good friends you have. You are lucky. Happy Birthday