22 August 2007

the joys of surprising your parents...

of course i'm not in this picture...i never am.
taken on 7 august 2007 on my parent's back porch. we were enjoying a fire in the chimenia (i think that's how it's spelled. you can see the corner of it in the bottom left hand corner of the picture), s'mores and fabulous conversation. my only regret? there was no guitar.

i promised to tell the story of the alaskan surprise trip that my brothers, sister in law and i pulled off. it all started back in march or so when i realized that 2007 was my parents 30th wedding anniversary. i emailed the sibs with the request that they be thinking of something that we could do for them. 30 years is a big deal! so...we kinda batted around a couple ideas but none of them really stuck out except for the idea that we all just show up at their house and completely surprise them. well...luke was already planning to go home for a month or so in the summer to work and since he didn't have a penny to his name to pay for another ticket back home in september (their actual anniversary is the 17th of september), we decided to surprise them in august when luke was going to be there anyway. i tried my hardest to convince my mom that i couldn't come up this summer: john was too busy, john didn't want me to go without him, etc etc etc. however, she was determined to get me up there. so after a rather disgruntled call with my mother (disgruntled on her part, not mine) and then a desperate call to erin (my sister in law) explaining the situation, we decided that i would let my mom and dad know that i was coming too. so now, it was just peter and erin that were the surprise. but still...we figured it was a pretty good surprise especially since all of us hadn't been together since peter and erin's wedding two years prior. peter and erin got their flights, i got mine, luke got his. the plan was set. luke showed up first. then elijah and i came a couple weeks later. peter and erin were scheduled to fly in a couple days after me. so luke, being the fantastic lier that he is, told my mom that he was going over to a friend's house to watch a movie. of course, my mom didn't like this idea since it was already late and luke had been out late for several nights in a row already. silly mom...she gave luke the fourth degree and made him promise to be home by a decent hour. oh...if she only knew the real reason he was leaving! so...luke picked peter and erin up at the airport in anchorage and they all drove back home. while luke made a bit more noise than completely necessary in order to disguise the sounds of two more bodies entering the house to the overly alert ears of my mother, peter and erin settled themselves downstairs in the basement for a very brief respite. my dad is a very early riser and he always works out in the room that peter and erin were sleeping in...so they set their alarm and made sure they were out of there before my dad was scheduled to appear. around six am, i woke up too and made my way downstairs to wait with peter and erin as my dad had decided on this morning of all mornings, to sleep in. he finally appeared at the top of the stairs and with a little prompting from me (whom he could see, he could only see peter and erin's feet), came down the stairs to exclaim, "no way! NO WAY!". needless to say, he was surprised. and in honor of this, he abandoned his workout and drank coffee with the three of us while we waited for my mom to wake up. the longest hour and a half i've sat through in a while...but the drudgery was lessened by the company. finally, we heard my mom moving around upstairs. instead of letting her shower and get ready and take another hour to get downstairs, elijah and i went up and told her to put on her glasses as there were some people downstairs that she needed to see. well, it's a good thing i told her to put on her glasses because even with them on, she spent a good minute and a half at the top of the stairs, squinting at peter and erin, trying to figure out if what she thought she was seeing was indeed what she was actually seeing. when she finally decided that it was peter and erin (i think peter said something like "hi mom"), she said, "what are you doing here?" amidst happy tears.

needless to say...it was a great surprise...and i'm so glad we were able to pull it off. but now we've really set the standard pretty high. what are earth are we gonna do for their fiftieth to top that? at least we've got another twenty years to think about it...

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