For the third time,
May I have your attention please?
One after another, their eyes met mine as the chattering and laughter died down. I guess they were a little stirred up after the hot pink feather boa, clown-sized sunglasses and mustaches on a stick. I waited while they settled down and the room got quiet. I opened the worn, black leather Bible which belonged to my grandfather.
IT’S A PARTY
Despite several glitches, the birthday party came together perfectly. Preparations however, were not so smooth. Until the last minute, I forgot to buy tea, for the TEA party. My daughter rescued me with yet another trip to the store when I realized I forgot ginger ale too. Almond tea is made with tea AND ginger ale.
My alarm was set, but the moment my feet made contact with the fibers of the carpet, I realized it was set for the time I needed to leave, not the time I needed to get up. Scrambling to slap on makeup and run a straightener through my hair, I was glad I had prepared the night before. The cooking was done, my clothes were ironed and most of the paraphernalia I needed was in already loaded into the trunk of my car.
Then I wrinkled my nose when my finger dented the top of the frozen fruit cups. They were soft and mushy. I could have smacked my forehead when it dawned on me I had put them in the refrigerator, not the freezer. I’m normally better than this.
I scurried to arrange my great aunt’s hand-painted tea pots, cups and bowls on the tables then tucked fresh roses, wisteria and azaleas into the tops. The bubbling water in the big pot on the stove was turning brown from the tea bags. My dad obediently followed the commands of three, make that four, bossy women. When I barked , “Look up that verse in Proverbs about gray hair,” he pulled out his cellphone and complied.
Proverbs 16:31, “Gray hair is a crown of glory; it is gained in a righteous life.” ESV
Walking out of the room, I ordered over my shoulder, “Look it up in the King James, because sometimes it sounds different.” He assured me it would be the same and I moved on to setting out crushed graham crackers and caramel sauce for topping the cheesecake.
NOW THAT I HAVE YOUR ATTENTION
There were not enough wrinkles in the room for one 75 year old face, much less 25. Every mouth was in a full grin after their time with my mom in the “photo booth.” Some still clutched clown noses or Mardi Gras beads.
I opened the treasured King James Bible whose spine was held together with strips of silk, medical tape. It is our family tradition to read from it at holidays and birthday celebrations. And this was certainly a celebration.
My daughter chortled as she read over my shoulder. I looked up at the smiling faces, beaming out from under the brims of their hats. I looked back at the type set on the page in my hands and my cheeks flushed crimson.
I can’t read it.