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Showing posts with label Joe. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Joe. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Celebrating 80 Years

Joe Dan Parker celebrated his 80th birthday this week, all week long! He chose some favorite ways to spend days this week - a movie with me (The Big Sick), another with Ben (Dunkirk), barbecue at the Swinging Door with Ben, Kristen, Nora, and Oliver followed by cake at home on his midweek actual birthday and a family celebration with Sean, Teion, Lauren, and Skye Saturday. We missed Jeremy, Michala, Maddie, and Jordann but he got phone greetings from them.

At Joe's request, the birthday cake on Saturday was baked by Sean, a Norwegian success cake. Suksesskake is traditionally served at important celebrations, and turning 80 is certainly important and celebration!

Also at his request, Joe himself made our dinner,  German Lentil Stew, and turned down all offers of assistance. Both Joe's soup and Sean's cake were welcomed.  I would have gladly made any meal he requested, but this was what he most wanted.  There is something about a batch of homemade soup on the table that adds to any family gathering, but this was special. He first made this soup on February 4 1973 when I was pregnant with Ben.  I have made it too many times to count, he has continued to make it too so it has been a family favorite; all my sons make it and their families vote for it too.  In years to come, I wonder if the name will change to "Papa's Birthday Soup."  That makes me smile. Happy Birthday, Joe!  You are so loved.  When the candle was lit and the birthday song sung, I smiled, too, at the mixture of names when the words came to "Happy Birthday, dear....Joe, Dad, Joe, Papa."  What a gift you are to us, and what a treasure of family gathers and loves, all beginning with the birth of a 10 pound baby boy on July 26, 1937.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Joe's Birthday Celebration #79

This year we celebrated Joe's birthday for more than a week!  Our trip to San Francisco, the stay at Cavallo Point (his army base in the early 60's, then called Fort Baker), our visit with Jeremy and his family in Reno, and a family dinner back at home in Texas. I think he felt well celebrated!

While we were in Reno, Jeremy, Michala, Maddie, and Jordann arranged for us to have a dinner cruise on Lake Tahoe. The scenery was breathtaking, the food was excellent, and we enjoyed most of all sharing the special time with our Nevada family who now live so far away that we do not get to see them as much. They liked showing us their new home and surroundings, and we loved being with them and knowing what home looks like to them.  I even learned to say Nevada correctly. Our granddaughters there are growing into beautiful young women.

Joe's birthday cruise dinner.

                                                      Making mousse for Papa's birthday


Sunday, January 24, 2016

More Postcards

As mentioned last week, major cleaning and sorting continues here.  This is more than Spring cleaning, but it will serve as that as well.  Some boxes are easy to sort into Keep, Discard, and Donate containers, but others take time because they are full of little pieces of memories, seeds of stories. One thing obvious in boxes of family correspondence, notes, and cards are the picture postcards. I am holding 3 postcards that Joe mailed to our sons when he traveled to Japan in 1983. There are similar postcards he mailed to my mother in that box and letters to me. It was a good way for them to see what he was seeing. I love the way he chose different things to say to each boy.  He knew them well.

Each card is addressed to our home, 2224 Old Orchard Court, Plano, Texas.

Sean's card is a photo of "Nijubashi" of the Imperial Palace, Tokyo -the double arched bridge hanging on the moat of the old castle. 
 Dear Sean,
I miss you. I know you are taking care of Mom and your brothers. Keep it up.

You would enjoy TV here. Lots of videos and Solid Gold. You would laugh to hear Michael Jackson in Japanese.

I love you, Dad

Jeremy's card has a photo of the same bridge from a different angle.

Dear Jeremy,
I wish you could be here to see all the sights with me. You would enjoy the fish and birds in the park near my hotel. Funny thing...the crows speak English...They say the same thing as Plano crows.

Love, Dad

Ben's card is a picture of Nagoya Castle. Originally erected in 1523 and rebuilt in 1959. Famous for a pair of dolphins on its roof.

Dear Ben,
How's this for a castle? It is beautiful here. Wish you could be here to share it with me. I miss you and can't wait to see you again.

Love, Dad

I was grateful then and am grateful now for the ways Joe kept us with him when he traveled!