August 17-19, 1970
My friend Lynn’s bridesmaids and I were planning a bridal shower for her, and my Mom, the tireless entertainer, was delighted to host it at her house. Since we’d waited so long to get organized, invitations had to be made by phone. Nevertheless, we’d gotten an enthusiastic response — and planned to make it a surprise party!
We bridesmaids were putting together a “This is Your Life” presentation on cassette tape, and my part was doing the only thing that could be done from hundreds of miles away: writing the script. It was my favorite kind of job.
Meanwhile, Nate’s parents were on the way to our apartment to celebrate their firstborn’s birthday. I was nervous about making all the meals during their visit, since Lois was such an excellent cook. Although I’d spent time with Nate’s folks on multiple occasions, I still felt I needed to win their approval. My dear husband insisted they already approved, but I wasn’t so sure.
Nate’s brother Ken couldn’t come due to work conflicts, a disappointment to both of us. On the positive side, though, Ken had told us he’d been accepted at the U. of Illinois for the fall semester, so we’d be getting to see much more of him in the near future.
The birthday party for just the 4 of us was a quiet but meaningful celebration, and Nate ended up with 3 cakes – the one I made, the one Lois brought, and the one our downstairs neighbors (Fred and Alice) sent up.
This elderly couple had loaned us the saw to dismantle our first Christmas tree, and though we weren’t together often, we took time to enjoy them whenever any of us crossed paths. Nate and I were flattered by their thoughtful gesture. Sadly, neither was able to climb the steps to join our little party.
Nate opened his few gifts, and turning 25 ended up to be the magic number for phenomenal birthday presents… first the Fiat, and then, from Nate’s folks, the rest of our registered china. In 1969 the protocol was to register a china pattern that wedding guests would give plate-by-plate, bowl-by-bowl, cup-by-cup.
When we counted up after the wedding, we had a generous assortment of dishes but very few complete place settings.
Nate read the card about their plan and then handed it to me. Both of us were flabbergasted… and elated! We had anticipated many years going by before being able to afford the rest of the set.
Our two days with Lois and Willard passed happily as we explored the local shopping mall together, took in a movie (The Sundance Kid), and gave rides in the Fiat.
Neither of us was sure what Lois and Willard thought of our “tiny foreign car,” as they called it, but they didn’t criticize. Nate did say his mother gripped the dashboard with both hands the entire time they were out driving — much like someone on a frightening roller coaster at an amusement park.
They departed after our second dinner together, and Nate immediately dug into his books while I went to work on Lynn’s shower. We were expecting over 30 guests (the very next day), and there was much to do.
“God says… giving thanks is a sacrifice that truly honors Me.” (Psalm 50:22)