The party's over. The guests have all gone home. The house is so very hushed. I am left surrounded by beautiful flowers, bottles of wine and olive oil, jars of bath salts, and a very pretty scarf around my shoulders. People were so generous, not only with gifts (which I asked them not to bring!), but with heartfelt cards, toasts, driving from far away and staying the night in a hotel, away from their comfy beds at home.
Throwing a large party is not my specialty, and so I was a tad nervous about how it would all work out. I was so pleased, then, to look around when the place was packed and see people happily engaged with one another, sharing laughs and stories of how they met me/knew me. Sparks were flying, people were eating delicious food (thanks to a spectacular caterer) and the weather was cooperative in the extreme. Since it was an outdoor party, this was particularly helpful. (The day after the party, we had thunder storms with hail.)
To cap the night off, my friend Adam had been tracking the space station with an app on his phone. He alerted us to its presence in the sky and we all looked up to see a very bright object moving at a good rate of speed. This was happening as many were saying their good-byes, and when we found out what a treat was coming, people stayed put. Perfect nightcap to a perfect evening.
I am struck, once again, by the wonderful people who call me 'friend.' This 60th birthday party brought together folks from many different parts of my life who hadn't met many others until that night. How seamless it all was -- how friendly and inquisitive and funny people were with each other. I have some friends who, like me. are not party goers, but they came because of me. And as one of them said, she figured it would be a good party because she knows I have good friends. What could go wrong? Even for the nervous among us? My sister came down from Washington, and knew hardly anyone there, and even she had a good time. People were delighted to meet my daughter and her family, and of course there were those who gladly held baby Dylan for most of the night so her mom could sit down and eat dinner, and enjoy the party. My husband's 'kids' stopped by on their way home from a day trip to San Francisco, and so that was a happy event midway through the festivities.
I will remember this special night for years and years to come. The singing, the toasting, the hugging and the love. I'm so happy I did this despite my trepidation. So glad that my friend Paul pushed me to hire a caterer so I could relax and really enjoy the night. I'm just filled with joy, and continue to pull up snapshots in my mind of big and little moments of the evening.
Maybe I'll do this again in 10 years. Yes. Yes, I will.