What an incredible week!

It all started last Sunday night with a birthday party for one of our favorite people, Gary Burlingame.

Gary turned Seventy! We planned a party! We invited his sister, Elaine, and she came! We surprised him but good. Gary showed up an hour early for what he thought was a church cookout. The decorating committee hadn’t even been there yet! He meandered around outside, then came in and conveniently sat in the living room where he couldn’t really see the rest of the house.

Karen and James came in and set everything up — balloons, money train and all, and he never caught wind of anything. Kent and April brought the cake into the kitchen in a big white box and he never noticed. Of course, everyone was bringing food and such, so he wasn’t paying too much attention. Elaine came late so as not to spoil the surprise, and stayed out of sight until Daniel had led in prayer. Then Dave Hertzler started Happy Birthday, Ilva carried in the cake with Elaine following, and WOW! Did we ever surprise our Gary!!! I really wish someone would have had a camera ready, but even in this series of pictures, he hadn’t quite recovered.

This is the sweet little train that Karen set up and the church family helped to “decorate” for Gary.  She drew the tracks on newsprint, and filled in the landscape. The money that was given was rolled up in little tiny rolls and attached all over the train.

Gary couldn’t believe his eyes. It didn’t take him long to relieve the train of its cargo. He said he didn’t want it to be overloaded to the point of damage.  This might have been a legitimate concern.  I understand there was over $200.00 on there.

Gary, Karen and Elaine discussing the dynamics of surprising Gary. This was such great fun!

And there was other food as well — wonderful New Orleans sausage bisque there in the foreground made by Ruby really hit the spot on the cold, cold night, and there were so many other things, too. Ah, Church Family! What a great group you are! Thanks for making it such a memorable evening for Gary. For bringing such good food, for staying to help clean up, for your generous, open hearts. And Gary, just in case you didn’t know — We think you are wonderful!!!

. . . and that was just Sunday night —

Then there was Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and another Sunday.  I will try to post more.  I just haven’t been able to keep up.


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3 responses to “

  1. Mary I know what you mean about not being able to keep up. Our lives are so rich and full!!! What a blessing you all were to Gary. He just can’t wipe that grin off his face. I bet he is still smiling. He is one guy that just doesn’t change his looks. He looks as young as he did way back when we went to Laws Church!

  2. Don’t you love a good surprise?!  Yours was a great success.

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