Where do I start?

Last week was filled with excitement, expectation, anticipation,  challenge and reward.

Sal put in for early retirement a month ago and a week ago on  Monday was formally informed his request was accepted and that Friday, April 23rd could be his last day. The rest of his week was filled with planning, studying, questioning, deciding, discussing. So was mine! For you see, I was planning a surprise party for this past weekend.

Did I tell you that Thursday was his birthday? Yes. Thursday was his birthday and Friday he retired! Did you key in on the word “surprise”? Me and a group of co-conspirators needed to contact and co-ordinate a covert operation to arrange a party for this past Sunday, without Sal finding out. A special thanks to our dear friend Don, for making most of the work contacts.

Somehow we made it to his actual birthday without much suspicion. I told him that our four children and their families wanted to get together for cake and ice-cream Saturday afternoon.

Sal was in his home office Saturday, an hour or so before anyone was supposed to arrive.  I went in, pulled the blinds closed, shut the doors and told him that his children and grandchildren had a really special surprise for him and that he could not peek. I then left Sal and Ralph behind closed doors.

Later, as family and friends were arriving and setting up the party, Sal could be heard shouting: “Help! I’m trapped in my office with an angry cat!” Ralph does not like to be confined. Anywhere! Even in a 12’x20′ office with his “master.” (I’m uncertain which is the master)

Well, we did it. Eventually, I opened the door and asked him to come upstairs. He did. He had no idea what was going on. He had thought his children were “building something.” (Last Mother’s Day they build a foot bridge for me to put across a small stream on our property)

The people kept coming and Sal kept being surprised all afternoon, at the personal and work friends from over the years, and new friends, and neighbors, etc. kept arriving.

It was an incredible day! Happy Birthday! Happy Retirement!
…Happy rest-of-our-life! (More to come-including pictures)