Saturday, April 16, 2005

Blogging Sarah's birthday 6

9:58 p.m.

I'm a tired boy. This is my last blog of Sarah's birthday. If you want to read them in the order I wrote them scroll down to Blogging Sarah's birthday 1.

Heidi, Woju, Sarah, and I had a great feast and two hours of conversation.

Sarah opened a gift from Esther Johnson--a lefse turner and a lefse maker frying pan. On the box it listed the foods you could make on the frying pan. Lefse topped the list and injera was at the bottom. Injera is an Ethiopian flat bread.

Woju was so excited because he loves injera. I said to Heidi and Woju, "This frying pan is designed to make food from both of your roots"--lefse comes from Heidi's Norwegian and Swedish roots and injera comes from Woju's Ethiopian roots.

Good night, faithful readers, and good night, my dear Sarah. I may be tired but I have a big smile on my face because I am the man blessed to be married to Sarah.

Blogging Sarah's birthday 5

7:06 p.m.

Sarah and I sat on the swing in front of our house, ate more of the dessert from this mornings party, watched the birds and dandelions, and talked.

We're waiting for our daughter, Heidi, and her husband, Woju, to arrive from St. Louis for a birthday supper. They should be arriving in half an hour.

Thirty-one years ago when Sarah and I celebrated her 22nd birthday we were about to be married. Mostly I was thinking about how wonderful it was going to be to be in bed together.
But there have been lots of other wonderful things about Sarah that I never could have imagined when we were 22. Let me count seven.

One, in 1993 I finished the first draft of a long-dreamed of novel, Jonas and Sally. Sarah was the first person to read it and critique it. She proved to be a great editor. After she critiqued it, I re-wrote it and when it was accepted for publication by Good Books they had to do little editing.

Two, she is an astute reader of people. As a pastoral elder at Plow Creek I have discussed many pastoral situations that I have faced over the years and benefitted greatly from her ability to read people.

Three, while before we married both of said we thought we'd be good parents, I never realized what a joy it would be to watch her mother our children. Our three children who live in three different states all love to talk to her on the phone. I love hearing the life in her voice as she talks to them.

Four, she's a diplomat. Being the spouse of a pastor is not an easy role since pastors are subject to attacks and challenges like other leaders. Sarah loves the people of Plow Creek as much as I do and is gentle with my critics. I trust her and so do the people of Plow Creek. That's high praise.

Five, she loves to go on dates and second honeymoons with me. In fact, she was the one who suggested we go on dates every other week when our children were little. Talk about a great idea. We still go on dates and this week one of the workers at Taco Bell in Princeton, a place we have had many dates over the years, referred to us as newly weds. That's a high compliment. I never knew old folks could have so much fun being married.

Six, she has taught me that's a joy to love her by washing the dishes and she's invited me to wash them right now.

Seven, about those second honeymoons. Our kids know it's a joy for us and they often give us gifts of money for second honeymoons for birthdays and anniversaries.

My dear lady manages a smile after I woke her up for a suprise 8:00 a.m. birthday party. Posted by Hello

Boo Graham is an artist in food. Posted by Hello

I greet people people outside our house for this morning's surprise birthday party. Posted by Hello

Blogging Sarah's birthday 4

3:44 p.m.

Sarah has been spring cleaning, putting the screens on the windows, and talking on the folks to lots of people who are calling to wish her happy birthday. Right now she's on the phone with her mother.

Blogging Sarah's birthday 3

10:07 a.m.

Sarah's best line about the surprise party--she told our daughter, Hannah, "Rich threw himself a party on my birthday."

Blogging Sarah's birthday 2

9:15 a.m.

Sixteen people showed up for the party. There were lots of dubious comments as we gathered on the front lawn. Rick Reha said he was was with Sarah (he is definitely not a morning person). Mark Stahnke said he was going to stay outside in case there was an explosion.

No explosion--just hiding under the covers.

I went into our bedroom and turned off the fan. Four-year-old Kora Behrens joined me, bringing a couple of Tootsie Rolls. I motioned for the folks in the livingroom to sing.

At the sound of "Happy Birthday" Sarah covered up her head with the blankets. Kora and I came to the head of the bed and Sarah peaked out to see who was with me. Kora gave her the Tootsie Rolls. I told Sarah I loved her and she loves me because she accepted the reality of waking up to a surprise birthday party.

Boo is an artist in food. She had written "Happy birthday, Sarah" in whipped cream and carmel. I brought the cake back to our room for Sarah to see.

Then, while she was getting dressed, Lynn Reha and I dished up the desert of everyone. When Sarah joined the party, Bev Benner led us in singing "happy birthday" again. Bev was late and didn't realize we had sung it already. But it's worth singing "once, twice, three times a lady."

I had the dessert planned but no drink. Rick Reha put on hot water for tea. What are friends for if not to make up for one's shortcomings.

Sarah is such a sweetheart. She put up with my surprise with good humor. I bless the day she was born.

Blogging Sarah's birthday 1

7:30 a.m.

Fifty-three years ago the love of my life was born an orphan. Her father, Ralph Larson, a General Conference Baptiptist missionary in Ethiopia, had been shot and killed five months and three days earlier.

What a sad beginning to life but how glad I am she lives.

Today I am going to blog her birthday like I blogged my birthday last September 30.

In a few minutes friends from Plow Creek are going to gather at our house for a surprise brithday party. Am I nuts? Sarah is not a morning person. Most likely she'll still be sleeping? I am a little nuts and crazy in love. So hopefully after the shock of waking up to a whole lot of people in the living room singing happy birthday, she'll enjoy the attention. A little bit, any way....

Boo Graham has made two ice cream and oreo cookie cakes which we will all enjoy for breakfast. Did I say I am little crazy? I did have her add bananas to the recipe so that the cake will have fruit, nuts, wheat (there must be some wheat in Oreos) and dairy products. Sounds like a balanced breakfast to me. At least for once in a year....