Surprise! Happy birthday Kathy, my most gullible sister

Under the cover of 10,000 hogs, we pulled off the perfect surprise birthday party Saturday afternoon in Milwaukee.

Planned with military precision by a three-generational task force — the indomitable Grandma Peggy, Katherine and Erin — the party required coded messages on cellphones and layer cakes, thirteen helium balloons and a tiny human carrier just heavy enough to weigh them down, and a game waitress who kept the iced tea coming and the other patrons at bay.

In the end, all that subterfuge may have been wasted on a party guest who heard us singing “Happy Birthday” as she walked in the door, thought, “How nice, someone is having a birthday party,” and then amiably asked the hostess for a table for three.

Two things about my sister Kathy worked in our favor – her increasing fascination with Harley Davidsons and her lifelong gullibility.

The timing, worked out for days in advance, went like this: we arrived at the charming Silver Spring House on Grandma Peggy time, precisely 47 minutes early.  Meanwhile, Kathy’s husband Keith and stepson Traveain stalled our guest of honor by taking her to the Harley Davidson 110 Anniversary Parade, which thrilled her, followed by a spontaneous trip to a tropical fruit market, which puzzled her, followed by an uncharacteristically slow meander down I-43, which confused her but not enough to raise any suspicions at all.

She mentioned that the car in the restaurant parking lot with the Illinois plates looked just like my sister Jenny’s, which, in fact, it was.

We’re big fans of birthday parties, happy surprises and my sister Kathy.

Join us in wishing her a Happy Birthday … on September 3rd.

Someone put Erin in charge of the balloons and we would have lost her, Winnie the Pooh like, had a decent gust of wind caught her bouquet. She took her balloon responsibility  very seriously.
Someone put Erin in charge of the balloons and we would have lost her, Winnie the Pooh like, had a decent gust of wind caught her bouquet. She took her balloon responsibility very seriously.
Kathy only had to look left when she arrived to see us all. Amazingly, she went straight to the hostess stand, admired the cheerful birthday tunes in the air, and asked for a table for three.
Kathy only had to look left when she arrived to see us all. Amazingly, she went straight to the hostess stand, admired the cheerful birthday tunes in the air, and asked for a table for three.
Woo hoo! A successful surprise!
Woo hoo! A successful surprise! Our accomplices, Keith and Traveain, hung back in the doorway for the big surprise.
Kathy's goddaughter Katherine planned the party and made the cake.
Kathy’s god-daughter Katherine planned the party and made the cake.
She used to work at a bakery.
Katherine used to work at Simple Simon Bakery.
I just like this picture of John, who enjoys all things football and chocolate.
I just like this picture of John, who enjoys all things football, family and chocolate.
I also like this picture of Traveain, who is also a big fan of desserts.
I also like this picture of Traveain, who is also a big fan of family and chocolate. Football, not so much.
Grandma Peggy and Molly.
Grandma Peggy and Molly.
It was a lovely party until an intense trivia contest developed. This is team one, debating their response. Grandma Peggy, like any serious poker player, wears her sunglasses indoors to avoid giving away any clues.
It was a lovely party until an intense trivia contest developed. This is team one, debating its response. Grandma Peggy, like any serious poker player, wears her sunglasses indoors to avoid giving away any clues.
Trivia Team Two discusses their response. Vince and Erin acted as judges.
Trivia Team Two discusses a response. Vince and Erin were the judges.
And, here's where it got ugly. I'm just going to report it as I saw it. Team Two cheated, Team One caught them and that deer on the wall thought he had seen it all.
And, here’s where it got ugly. I’m just going to report it as I saw it. Team Two cheated, Team One caught them and that deer on the wall thought he had seen it all
Happy birthday Kathy, from Molly B and Me, and your team of party planners. Here's hoping this is your best year yet!
Happy birthday Kathy, from Molly B and Me, and your team of party planners. Here’s hoping this is your best year yet!

5 thoughts on “Surprise! Happy birthday Kathy, my most gullible sister

  1. In my defense, you were all supposed to be floating down a river in Oconto County. It was a wonderful day – the parade, a slow tour of Milwaukee’s south side, and the big surprise! I told Keith he was driving so slow I thought he was running out of gas.
    Thanks to all the planners!

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