If you have been reading my blog, you will know that my Dad died in late October, and there will be a special memorial service held for him amongst friends and family very soon. I have written my eulogy to be read out at his service, but in doing so, I have re-lived some old memories, and some special ones just keep popping into my mind!
Mum and Dad came to visit us in Australia, and were here for their momentous 50th wedding anniversary at the end of December of 1991. I had planned a big surprise for them, which included an unexpected money tree with gifts provided by all of their friends and family, on that day - it was totally unexpected, as they had come here to escape any expected hoopla--and lo and behold I got them! As we surprised them with their gold painted branch money tree, filled with well wishes and cards, and gifts of money and other things, they were gob-smacked! They both had wet eyes, and smiles of delight and surprise as they opened the surprises on their tree! It was well worth all the secrecy and the work involved in organising this surprise! As I paraphrase a clip from 'Love Actually' - "50 is a lot of years, David!"
Now for some reason, our family then was used to dancing and performing. John and I danced a lot, and the girls danced and entertained anyone who would sit still long enough, dressed in costume, or just on a restaurant dance floor! It didn't take a lot of coaxing. (Don't know where that drama queen tendency came from......) anyway, it was just normal activity for us to be crazy fun, and do these things. So it only stands to reason that when New Year's Eve came about, during the same year of Mum and Dad's visit, that I was prepared. (Now I don't know about you, but waiting for midnight when you HAVE to is sometimes so boring and painful that a good dentist's visit is sometimes preferred!) But I was prepared!
I had previously purchased fake wigs, crazy glasses, nose masks - like elephant noses, and bull's noses, as well as hats and noise makers (loud ones!) and although fireworks weren't allowed, I had BOXES of sparklers! As the night drew on, and we were playing charades and any game to keep us all going, including Bronwyn and Lauren who were only 14 and 12, I pulled my box of stuff out, and Dad and Mum and the whole family spread it out and chose their 'costume', including hula skirts and whatever silly stuff I had put in there!
Well, we ran around the house getting 'ready for our unveiling' and just before midnight on New Year's Eve, we all appeared and cracked up at each other, as we saw each other in costume. At midnight we blew the horns, threw the streamers and went outside to light our sparklers--we made so much noise both with laughter and horns, that even if the neighbourhood acreages hadn't planned to celebrate, they couldn't help but have heard us that night!
It is one of my favourite, silly memories.