Aunt Olla's 95th birthday party

Well, Aunt Olla's long-anticipated 95th birthday party went off without a hitch. For some reason, I had gotten the idea that it was to be held at 3 p.m. Still tired from yesterday, I took a nap and got started getting the house party-ready about 1:30. I had no more than swept the garage floor when three cars pulled in the yard. The party was off and running.

The food was grand. Olla was in her element. She refused to sit down and stay put. Instead, she was going up and down the stairs to my living room, spending time out on the porch, coming back in to the kitchen, then up and down the stairs. It made me nervous, especially when it appeared she was going to head down a little stairstep which had no railing. I just about flipped.

Two years ago, Olla could barely navigate stairs.

Her nephew Roy, long Olla's favorite, called from China. It was 4:30 in the morning there. When Aunt Ede handed Olla the phone, she didn't know who it was. Roy introduced himself as "somebody who wanted to talk to a 95-year-old."

"I have my birth certificate!" Olla announced, and then was thrilled to find out it was Roy.

Olla's friend Sybil drove up from Anoka. She's a great piano player, so she sat down and played while Joe trundled along on the guitar.

Olla's niece Leanne and her husband Tom drove up from the Cities as well, just for the party. Tom is a professional musician, and Olla thought it would be nice to have some music from Tom. So, he brought his trumpet and a whole ream of music and Brother Joe and he fixed up some songs.

Olla had the program written out in detail, but we soon diverged. Tom and Sybil knew some old Norwegian songs, and they did some standards as well. Joe and he did "Crazy," as well as a song Tom wrote in honor of his mother-in-law, Olla's sister Millie.

At that point, I had to leave for a speaking engagement. I had long ago promised to speak at the annual meeting of the Polk County Historical Society. Olla's party was four hours old when I left, and they hadn't started to open the gifts yet.

THANKS to those of you weblog readers who sent Olla cards. She received over 40 birthday cards in the mail. She was thrilled to hear from her relatives in Nevada--the family of her brother Burnett and sister-in-law Adeline. Even their grandchildren sent cards. So did many of her nieces and nephews from California. I am thanking you all here because Olla is going to be too busy for a while to acknowledge all the cards.