I love surprises! The giving end, not so much the receiving end!
My husband retired from the USPS after 30 years of service. He began working in a family-owned restaurant about age nine, and moved out during high school, so he’s had a very long work life. He has certainly earned his retirement.
February 26 was supposed to be his last day of work, so back in November, I began planning a surprise party for him on Saturday, February 27. By using his accrued paid time off, his actual last day was February 5. That worked out well, because 22 days later he really wouldn’t be looking for a celebration.
Some friends crafted a diversion for the day – which worked great 8 am till 2 pm, but then what? Guests weren’t arriving until 5 pm. My son was with him, so he took him on a wild goose chase around town – taking him to run errands, showing him a work project and finally texting me to say he was running out of excuses to keep him out. By this time, about half our expected guests had arrived, so I told him to bring him on to the restaurant.
He was exhausted by the work of the day, and did exactly what I predicted – he entered the restaurant and walked toward the booth in the left corner where we always sit.
He didn’t notice the extra 30 people to his right, (and the balloons and decorations). Someone finally said, “surprise” and he turned, scanned the crowd of all these familiar faces – some of which he’d been with in the morning – and until he saw me in the midst of the crowd, it didn’t seem to register that there was a party and it was for him! (I love this pic – both our sons and my best friend are in the background! 🙂
It’s impossible to express our gratitude for all who came to share their evening with us. It was difficult to be able to get around and visit with everyone, but we are so very thankful. Here are a few of the images captured that night.
A few days before his last day on the job, we got a cold, wet snow. When he’d left the house in the morning, it was dry and in the 50’s. Several hours later, he stopped by the house to get his rain gear. Because I was planning, planning, planning for this event, I knew it was time to grab the camera:
I had him get up on the step, turn and wave and got exactly what I needed. I had this printed in a 12×18 size and most of the friends at the party took time to sign it with their best wishes. It’s going to look great framed and hung!
It’s fun to have a neighborhood place that knows your name and is happy to help you with a great surprise party – I appreciate everyone at Gert’s Grille in Overland Park – especially Lindsey – for all your help!
I’m sure Bryan felt the love!