You say it’s your birthday?
My birthday is coming up in a couple of days, and as the song goes “You say it’s your birthday, we’re going to have a good time!” Cake, party, presents and best wishes come with this annual event that so many embrace and cherish, and nobody celebrates a birthday quite like Kelly Breaks, the owner of Blue Frog Studios. Kelly turns the day of his birth, June 2nd, into a month-long celebration! If you see Kelly on his magical day, wish him a Happy Birth-month because that’s how long he celebrates the blessed event.
I’m afraid I don’t share Kelly’s enthusiasm when it comes to my own birthday. This isn’t something new, my Mother told me that ever since I was 4 or 5 years old when friends at my birthday party started to sing the Happy Birthday song, I would run from the table and lock myself in the bathroom! And while I don’t lock myself in the bathroom anymore, I don’t fancy a party or presents or a cake which makes it very difficult on family and friends.
So, what do you get someone who wants his birthday to slide by as if it were just another day? What do you do? You throw him a party of course, or better yet, a Surprise Party! It seems that every decade I’ve been “treated” to a surprise party for my 30th, 40th, 50th, 60th, and yes…70th! The 70th was such a milestone there were 2 surprise parties! I have to admit they were all great parties and I enjoyed myself which is very surprising due to the fact that I didn’t want a party! Haha!
My 50th was a gem. My wife, Jeri, daughter Chelsea and I planned to go to Cancun, Mexico for a vacation. There was no mention of a birthday, it wasn’t even planned for the month of my birthday. As I was sitting in my seat on the plane all buckled in reading a magazine I would occasionally look up a people coming down the aisle. I looked up one time and thought to myself, gee that guy looks a lot like our oldest son, Ryan? I went back to the magazine but looked up again as that person got closer and realized it was our son, and his girlfriend, and behind them was our youngest son Tyler! They had been hiding in the airport until the last call for boarding so I wouldn’t see them and spoil the “Surprise! They were all sporting matching t-shirts that said “Cox Cincuenta Cancun 99” A wonderful surprise that blew my mind! The celebration in Mexico was a real family affair and one that I’ll never forget. Hmm, maybe this birthday thing isn’t so bad after all?
Fast forward to my 60th birthday, and as it loomed, my suspicions were mounting. We were to spend our usual 2 weeks at Green Lake and those 2 weeks included my birthday. The kids were there, and the grandkids, which was fine, but as the birthday wore on I got the feeling that something was brewing but had no idea how big a brew. I confronted my lovely wife and asked what was going on, and I made a threat of going for a long walk if a party was planned. She didn’t want to see that happen so made up a story about how one of the neighbours wanted to throw a little party for me at the Snowmobile Clubhouse down the road, and if I could just be nice and go along with it, it would soon be over.
Mr. Grumpy went along with it, and just as advertised as I entered the clubhouse some lake people and family were gathered to yell “Surprise!” I acted surprised and thanked everyone, but then someone told me to open the door to the Clubhouse sun deck. When I did, one by one 60 people from my past and present came through the door. People from grade school, from high school, and friends from work, Tony Parsons, Deb Hope, Jill Krop, and Rick Forchuk - just to drop a few names. My wife, Jeri had spent months finding accommodation all around the lake for all of these out-of-town guests to spend the weekend. The one-day event turned into two with food and drink and song! It was the party of the year, and probably of the century! Are you sensing me complaining less about birthdays as the years go by?
Now, you’d think that people would have learned that by my 70th I didn’t want to have a birthday party, but no! Again the scene was Green Lake and on my birthday some people appeared from the forest with beverages in their hands singing Happy Birthday! It was Kelly and Juanita from Blue Frog Studios and my dear friend Cathy Latremouille, there to party for my 70th. A nice small gathering of friends. And that was it, right? Well, not quite, I received a wonderful birthday present from Jeri, tickets to see Jimmy Buffett in Los Angeles, in October, and while we were going to be in the area, a walk down Main Street in Disneyland. Wow, I’m starting to like this birthday business. October arrived, off we flew to LAX and checked into our accommodation. I opened the door to the apartment, and out of the corner of my eye, I thought I saw someone! I said to Jeri, oops, someone’s here, we must have the wrong room! But no it was a “Surprise!” Again!! It was the whole famdamnily, sons, daughters-in-law, grandkids, daughter, and fiancé all dressed in Hawaiian shirts ready for Jimmy Buffett and Mickey and Minnie in Disneyland and a cake for my 70th!
Well, after 70 years I’m beginning to like this Birthday business, but I haven’t completely mellowed…. if you must sing the Happy Birthday song on my birthday, you’ll find me locked in the bathroom.
Till next week...
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1328 Johnston Road
White Rock, BC • Canada V4B 3Z2
White Rock, BC • Canada V4B 3Z2