Inside of a small pale blue house, a CD player was playing music — soft and sweet. An older couple, probably around sixty or so, were dancing across the room, hand in hand. It was their 40th anniversary!
The wife, Karen, knew something that her husband James didn't know! She had arranged for all four of their children to come and help celebrate the special occasion with them. What she didn't know, was that they would make such a big deal about it and that she would be surprised as well as James!
The two sat down onto their crimson red couch and tried to think back to when they first got married. They brought down two picture albums, one was full of pictures from their wedding, and the other was just random pictures that they had randomly stuck into its pages. The memories slowly flowed back to them as they sat there, hugging each other tight, not wanting to let go. They remembered their honeymoon when they had traveled far away to Chiapas in southern Mexico. They had had lots of fun exploring the jungle! They also remembered when they were expecting their first child, Betsy.
“Oh, look at this picture.” exclaimed James “That's when we went to that fancy restaurant, and you spilled the ketchup all over yourself!”
Karen laughed “And it was my best dress.” she remarked “Awww, and look at this one! Its the one that shows you and me sliding together on the slide at Six Flags. Remember that?”
“Yes, I remember! Barely. Wow, that sure was a long time ago. It was just before we found out that you were pregnant with John!”
“Yes, that was such a fun day.”.
They were in so much of a daze, that when suddenly there was a knock at their door, they jumped and almost dropped the pictures they were holding in their laps! Karen then remembered, and smiled a knowing smile, and fortunately James didn't notice. He sprang to his feet in surprise. “Why, who could that be?” he exclaimed. He walked over to the door and opened it wide, while Karen, now standing behind him, tried to stifle a laugh! Then she stopped, because there wasn't anyone there!
“Well, that's strange.” James commented.
Just as they were about to shut the door, a small group of people stood in front of them and yelled, “Surprise!!!”. At first James was confused, and then he finally he realized what was going on. His four children had come to surprise them. Karen now let out the laugh that she had been holding back—she couldn't hold it any longer! James turned around and stared at her. Then he hugged her. He turned around and hugged each of his children too.
He invited them in, and they talked and laughed, having not seen each other in quite a while.
“Howdy” John greeted his dad, as they slapped each other on the back.
“Hi, Mom! I am so happy to see you again!” exclaimed Sarah giving her mom a big hug.
The four children, who had long since moved away, traveled to see their parents on this special day. They also brought and put up decorations to celebrate the event and laid out the gifts onto a table with a peach colored table cloth. The theme of the room was a soft lavender with a bit of teal here and there - The couples favorite colors!
Betsy, Anna, Sarah and John were the not so little children. Each had brought a gift. John, the youngest at age 23, had given his parents two pictures in pretty hand-carved frames. One was their family picture from years ago. The other was their wedding picture. Sarah had picked up a new set of coffee colored bed sheets with matching blankets, comforters and pillows. Betsy and Anna had plotted together and made a book filled with pictures from when their parents were first married, up to just recently.
Then, as they sat around the fire, John told the family of how he had barely been been able to come to the party! “As you know, I have the job as a fireman. Because of that, I am always on call, day and night. Anyways, I was just about to get into my silver pick-up, when my cellphone rang. There was a fire somewhere in the city, and I had to go put it out, along with the other men working for the fire company. Since there was not much I could do about it, I decided that I would try to get the fire put out in time and arrive at the party. When I got to the scene of the fire, I was relieved that it was only a small one! I was finished putting it out in time to go to the party.”
Everybody laughed at his close call, and then they all continued visiting about various topics.
After that, everybody pitched in to help make supper. They would prepare and eat, steak, salad, and chips and salsa. John grilled the steak and Betsy and Anna made the salad.
“Lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, LOTS of ranch dressing and croutons….” Betsy said. While all the salad ingredients were being tossed together, Sarah put arranged the salsa and chips, displaying the chips all around the edge of a large, pretty, teal plate, with the darker teal bowl of salsa in the middle. For dessert Karen had already secretly made the family favorite, French silk pie.
“Why don't we play Risk?” Sarah suggested, after they had all eaten and cleanup was done. Everybody agreed, and after they spent ten minutes separating all of the pieces, the game was started.
After the game was finally finished, Anna glanced at her watch. “Wow, 3 and a half hours?” she exclaimed, “Time sure does fly when you're playing Risk!”
After lots of fun and laughter, the four children climbed into their cars for the drive home to their own families.
And so the four left, one by one, giving hugs and kisses, and telling their goodbyes.
James and Karen waved until they were out of sight, and then walked back into the house. It had been a wonderful time and they were sure that they would remember it for the rest of their lives.