I was due to have a milestone birthday this month, and we had planned a big family reunion picnic at a central location convenient to my two sons, my sister, and a couple of nieces and nephews. Of course, several weeks ago it was clear that was not going to happen. My friends and relatives compensated with a cascade of birthday cards. It was not quite the same.
“We can still have a picnic,” said my husband. But the morning of my birthday dawned dark and damp – unseasonable rain. Not even a vestigial picnic would be possible. We ate hot soup inside. It wasn’t very comfortable, as we had decided to take advantage of the lack of foreseeable company to get the carpets cleaned, so all the furniture was piled around the edges of the room. Oh well, I told myself. I’ll have a whole year to celebrate this birthday, as soon as I get a chance.
By early afternoon the sun was out, and I was just getting my shoes on to go for a bike ride when the doorbell rang. I opened the door, and there were my two sons standing on the lawn. They had brought lawn chairs, a bottle of chilled sparkling prosecco with their own champagne glasses, a custom-crayoned picture of a frog from my 3-year-old grand-daughter, a bouquet of origami flowers from my 11-year-old grandson, and a very classy wooden jigsaw puzzle to help pass the time.
I brought out my birthday cards, my husband brought out a birthday cake, I opened a couple of other presents from my husband and my oldest friend, we sipped the prosecco, and we had a lovely hour-long visit with our sons sitting 6 feet apart on our back patio. Such a great surprise.
So, we harvest bits of joy here and there.