A celebration for dad

So here I am, an entire month later.  Wow.  October has blitzed by.  Mostly, I think because the month has been filled with activities that felt important and worthwhile -- time with family, cooking fall recipes, doughnuts, celebrations, pumpkins -- my rituals of fall.

We started the month with a family celebration honoring my dad for successfully living seven decades so far and for his retirement from a meaningful career as an educator earlier this year.  Although his actual birthday was in August we decided to push dad's celebration later in the fall because, well, August was a fairly busy month for our family for other reasons.

My sister and I hosted the celebration -- a multi-day affair, actually.  We kept it small, but were so pleased to be able to include my Aunt Peggy from Georgia who made a trip out to the Northwest this fall.  It was special to have her with us and to help her enjoy a much-deserved trip after completing treatment for breast cancer this summer.  Mom, dad, Peggy, and her husband, Dan, spent about three days in Seattle with us before heading to Oregon for more touring on their own.

Our time together included touring them around the city on roads and waterways, visiting Pike Place Market, cruising Lake Union and Lake Washington, and even a tour of the local Theo Chocolate factory.  We took them on a ferry boat and drove Whidbey Island stopping here and there, including Deception Pass.  The weather was beautiful the entire time we spent together, affording us a lovely afternoon to take some family pictures at the Washington Arboretum amid vivid fall colors.

Dad and his sister

Of course, we also fit in many good meals: brunch at Becky's and a party-dinner for dad, complete with some of dad's favorite foods and a slide show of old photos (what other kind are there when you're 70?) celebrating him.  My dad's family isn't one to have reunions or get together too often any more so it was a treat to have my aunt here for our big weekend. Most of all, I hope my dad felt how much we love him, appreciate him, and recognize the many contributions he has made to our lives (and I don't just mean the gemstones).  That was the point.


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