Tuesday 21 January 2014

Please, No Surprises!

I don't like surprises because I have to live with far too many on a daily basis.  The older I get, the more I have to adjust to some pretty frightening changes and every one takes me by surprise.

An absolute stranger has shown up in my mirror!  That's not me but I wouldn't be any more shocked to see her looking back than I do with my present image. ~

I'm surprised to find myself, after decades in the entertainment business and another decade in interior design, living like Tasha Tudor. ~

I'm dressing like Dian Fossey, as if at any moment I could be whisked away to deepest, darkest Africa to live with gorillas. I'm surprised my closet full of high heels haven't walked out of here in protest! ~

This Saturday was my 62nd birthday and my sister planned a surprise for me.  She would pick me up and take me somewhere for the afternoon.  I can go with that much of a surprise.  All I asked was what I should wear.  If we were going to Africa I'd be fine, but Paris would mean hauling out those high heels.  We weren't going to either country so good, casual was the decision.  I've since learned she planned to take me to have my nails and hair done.  I'm thinking that means she doesn't like my Dian Fossey look.

I got ready and waited.  She phoned.  She had the flu and we weren't going anywhere.  "Well, that certainly is a birthday surprise!", I said.  "Don't worry about it.  I'll get into my paint clothes and finish painting my bedroom."  She didn't seem to think that was a good idea and suggested I just relax for the day.  "Oh, and Liz (my friend) is coming out to visit you around 5.  You don't need to give her supper."  I'm not to feed someone who shows up at the dinner hour?

I could clean up the house that has been neglected while I redecorated my bedroom, but Liz is an old friend and won't care.

So, I do important things like hang snowshoes on my wall. ~

It's a quiet and lazy way to spend a birthday.  Liz arrived and surprised me with dinner already made.  How nice.  Now, we can settle in for a glass of wine and a good catch up chat.

But, she seems in a hurry to get this meal over with.  She's pushing me out the door to put the chickens to bed for the night.  She wants us to do the dishes.

"Just leave them, Liz.  I'll do them in the morning."  
"No, we should do them. And maybe we should pick up a little."

I'm getting a BAD feeling.

"Your birthday isn't over."

I'm getting a REALLY BAD feeling.

"Some people are coming over."
"Who is coming over?"
"I don't know."
"Some people, that you don't know, are coming here?  When?"
"In about an hour".

My sister (the one who is now in bed with the flu) had planned a surprise birthday party at her house! Rather than cancel everyone, especially the ones who were coming from out of town, she shifted it to my house. My messy house!

The only thing worse than getting older is having one hour to get ready to throw your own party, for guests that could range from your closest friends to the Queen of England! Face it, there are different levels of cleaning required for different levels of intimacy.

The food and drinks arrived.  The guests arrived.  The Queen did not make an appearance and I was rather relieved. Good friends and family filled the house. We sang and laughed and had a grand, old time.

Life is full of surprises and it is better to embrace them and make the most of them.  The things we least expect to happen, can turn out to be the best things of all!

Even when the candles on the cake say you've turned 602, you can just go with it and have fun! ~

Thanks Sis for reminding me that life is best lived as a spontaneous affair!


  1. That was rather funny, wasn't it? A good time had by all! xo wendy

  2. You are most welcome! Remember, we must go with the flow, although, I am sorry I missed the party I had managed to keep secret for over 3 weeks. I'm glad it turned up okay.

  3. Happy 62nd Birthday Maureen. Good planning from your Sister. Hope she is feeling better very soon.

  4. That was fun. I love your posts and they just get funnier. I think your sister shares your humour. So, "Happy 62nd Birthday". Glad it all turned out to be a great time had by all. Any pictures of the birthday girl? Hugs, Deb

  5. Happy Happy Birthday, that was lovely of your sister even if the house wasn't quite guest ready.
    Tell your heels to cool it you're not running away with the gorillas just yet but something tells me you'd have the nicest hut in the jungle if you did :)

  6. Many Happy returns Maureen!! What a lovely albeit "surprising" birthday! I know that gut wrenching feeling.. they are coming over in 10 min right when the house is an absolute riot. It using ensues a few curse words and several trips to the stuff the closets!

  7. I needed a good laugh...great post! And Happy Belated Birthday to you!

  8. Oh that is just a wonderful birthday surprise, Maureen! Happy 60 2nd birthday to you!! I love the way you write a story so full of humour and personal interest. I'd be in a pickle if that happened to me too but I'm sure everything looked fine for your surprise guests. Blessings! Pam

  9. Happy Birthday! You will always be a year younger than me, I'll be 63 in April. What a great surprise for you though!

  10. That was hilarious, happy 602th birthday Maureen!!!!!!! It was a nice of Lynn to arrange the party and have it at your house, hahahaha, I had fun, its always nice to spend some time with you.

  11. the above comment is me Liz, Maureen, I was using Ayrie-annas computer

  12. OH- I am with you, Maureen- I am not big on surprises! However, once they are in progress I usually just go with the flow.

    Happy birthday to you, Maureen. I am a couple of years ahead of you. I don't know about you but I certainly don't feel my age. Life is strange like that, isn't it? God bless you in the upcoming year. I hope your sister is better, too! xo Diana

  13. I love this post!!! Although since I resembled the whole thing I wasn't sure whether to laugh or cry. And happy birthday, I'll call the queen for the 603rd.

  14. Fabulous story. I love the thought of you cleaning your house for your own party, lol. Happy belated birthday.

  15. Haha! Happy birthday!


  16. wow what a fantastic attitude...I am beginning to believe getting older has some mighty good perks! I hope you had a wonderful day(seems so) and have a grand year!

  17. great post! I laughed and enjoyed every word. Happy Birthday, Maureen.

  18. Happy Birthday. So enjoy your sense of humor. Have a healthful and good year being 62!

  19. Belated birthday wishes Maureen !
    That's my kind of celebration, when you don't have to put your high heels on and people bring the party to you.
    And ditto all the above, such a fun and entertaining post to read !

  20. Happy Birthday, Maureen! Loved the story and photos :-)

  21. Oh happy belated birthday! I'm so far behind in my reading, but this was a fun post to read! I'm not sure if my wardrobe can even qualify as a Diann Fossey runner up and my heels walked out a long time ago! I'm glad you quit freaking out and got into the spirit of things! Good advice girl!

  22. Happy Belated! What a great birthday story! I think I would have been horrified had all those people shown up at my house!! But I guess if they plied me with enough wine, I wouldn't care!!



  24. Happy belated birthday Maureen and may each year just get better. What a fun way to celebrate. Sorry your Sister was sick but I bet she is happy that she was able to surprise you.
    Take care.
    Audrey Z. @ Timeless Treasures

  25. A belated happy birthday to you! Yours was the day before my hubby's. But really, you look MUCH younger than 602!! ;)

    Hope this year is a great one for you.

  26. Your posts make me smile. They make me wish, in real life, I were one of those friends coming by to surprise you for your birthday. I loved this, I loved imagining you and aligning it to the vision I had of you in my mind. I say it again, you are a treasure. Happy (belated) Birthday!