Stuffy Nose & Watery Eyes

I have no doubt that next Wednesday I’ll be writing another post.  After only 4 1/2 hours of sleep, I probably shouldn’t be writing one now.  However, I figure since my ponderings, as well as my stuffy nose & watery eyes, kept me from falling back to sleep that I ought to put my thoughts into sentences and hope that they make sense.  No promises. I mean, I’m most certainly an 8-hours-of-sleep-or-at-least-seven girl.

About 10 years ago, my friends Bev & Sherry and my sister Sherry had a conversation.  My friends told my sister that they thought my family would be throwing me a 40th birthday party.  My sister told my friends that she thought they’d plan something.  I wasn’t a big fan of turning 40.  I looked forward to 30.  I’m quite proud of 50, but 40….bluch.

I figured on my birthday, which is July 8, that one of the Sherry’s would invite me over for dinner.  I guessed that they’d have some extra people there for cake and ice cream.  I would’ve felt appreciated and loved.

That’s not what happened.

My sister called me last week to see if I wanted to come out yesterday to play games and have dinner and to help Connor with his “Hay Day tasks”.  [We compete in the Derby.  This is big stuff. hehe] Now for some, that may have been a reason to suspect.  However, Sherry’s known to call me and invite me out for dinner.  Connor’s known to invite me out to play games.  I didn’t think anything was out of the ordinary.

Last Sunday, I went back to our SS room to get it ready for CBC Kid’s Worship.  As I cleaned up our monthly birthday breakfast, Loretta came up and said, “Next Sunday?”  I looked at her with a look of confusion, “What’s next Sunday?” She said, “I must be thinking about something with my church.”  I assured her the only thing scheduled for yesterday was voting on a potential worship & discipleship pastor.  However, as I went to sleep last Sunday night, I kept wondering if I missed an announcement.  I texted her Monday morning, and she assured me that I hadn’t missed anything, and she had just been confused.

On Saturday, Connor (my most favorite nephew in the whole entire world) and his girlfriend Sarah came to my classroom to help me hang posters and do a couple more things prior to me taking a few weeks off  [Even thought my parents and some friends are certain I won’t be able to keep out of my room.].  While talking of my oldest sister’s birthday and mine, I mentioned that Cara, a friend & colleague, had printed two 50 t-shirts for me and that they were really cute.  I said, “I’m trying not to wear them until the 8th.”   Connor said, “If you want to wear one, just wear it to the house on Sunday.  No one would see it but us.”  Sarah chimed in, “You can get your picture taken with Connor, so he can post it on your birthday.”  Yes!  An excuse to wear one of my cute t-shirts!  I saved my favorite for my actual birthday and wore the other one to their house for games & baked spaghetti.

Yesterday at church, as “the lunch bunch” and I were pondering where to go to eat, I suggested El Nopal.  They agreed.  Self-control is not a great skill when chips & queso are in the mix.  We went. I didn’t order queso because I was perfectly happy with chips and salsa.  Then, an order of arroz con pollo made up my lunch.  Have you been there?  Their order of arroz con pollo is HUGE.  Thankfully, I didn’t eat it all, but I did eat more than half which is more than I usually eat.  I was hungry. [Sherry’s dogs benefited from the uneaten portion.]

When I arrived home, I changed into some capris and my birthday t-shirt.  Sherry texted to come out about 2, so I figured they had some chores to accomplish before I arrived.  I told her that I needed to stop at Brandi’s house for a Color Street prize on my way.  No problem.  Then, I thought…..I’m tired.  I’ll just lean back and rest a few minutes before I leave.  Then, my furball Rocky jumped up and spread out on my legs. Next, we both closed our eyes.

A cat or the TV woke me, and I realized it was 1:58.  Oops.  No problem.  Games will just start a bit late.  I fed the cats, texted that I dozed off but was heading their way.  I didn’t want her to think I had car trouble since I’m generally early or on time.  LATE is not something I do often.

I stopped at Brandi’s.  We chatted a bit about July birthdays because she shares a birthday with my oldest sister.

As I pulled up to Sherry (my sister, not the other Sherry) and Matt’s drive, I noticed quite a few cars.  I approached hesitantly.  Then, I noticed I recognized most of the cars.  As I pulled in the drive slowly, I looked at the small crowd and clued in.  This was the surprise.  I saw one of my students from last year whose grandmas both work or worked with my sister Sherry.  I noticed Bev who several years ago had moved to the Cincinnati area.  My parents, oldest sister, Sunday School class, pastor and his wife, and a friend from work who thoroughly enjoys scaring me (Not that it takes much at all to do so) were all gathered in their yard.

She had done it.  Sherry, who had been my roommate for the first 2/5 of my life and is now my best friend, pulled off a surprise party.  My last birthday party was my Sweet Sixteen party when my church youth group were the attendees.  My oldest sister who plans events had brought balloons and flowers in the lovely shades of purple, orange,  & lime green.  My family & Sherry had put together a huge spread of food.  I told the lunch bunch they should’ve told me we couldn’t go to El Nopal and picked a place I didn’t enjoy. My sister Sherry made my favorite cookies.  Dianna brought fresh fruit.  Mom had made a cake.  Dad had made sausage balls.  Lots of other things filled the table and counter, but my chips, rice, and chicken from lunch vetoed me enjoying most of it until later.

As I looked at the tables, I saw pictures of me ranging from birth to just a couple years ago.  Each of the pictures reminded me of good friends or mesweet memories.  Well, not each picture.  I few were from so long ago that I had no recollection of when they were taken.  My ongoing joke about my baby photo is that I was always a deep thinker…even at birth.

Generally, at parties or celebrations for the family, Sherry & I work together to plan it.  As I saw the spread of food, my first thought was, “I hope she didn’t do all this!”  My second thought was “I bet her knee is killing her.”

So, as I woke up at 3:30 for my I’m-of-the-age-I-need-a-middle-of-the-night-restroom-break, I realized that I couldn’t breathe very well.  When I climbed back in bed, I realized my eyes were watery.  As I flipped and flopped trying to fall back to sleep, I connected my stuffy nose & watery eyes to spending hours sitting outside with family and friends laughing and chatting.

Yes, these are signs I have allergies.  But, they’re also a sign that I am loved.  Stewarts, Domeks, Pflaumers, & Sherry, thanks for planning the party.  Friends and family thanks for spending a few hours of your Sunday making me feel special.  My cup runneth over.


Now, the cats are curled up on my legs, and I’m going to see if I can fall back to sleep.

2 thoughts on “Stuffy Nose & Watery Eyes

  1. Well-stayed! Glad you felt as special as we all know you to be!
    Happy Early Birthday!! The Best is yet to come. God bless you real good!!!


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