One Man’s Perspective: Party Time 

Sometime ago, my wife mentioned she wanted a party. I responded with enthusiasm, asking the occasion. She reminded me, I was turning 90, a fantastic milestone. Initially, age hadn’t dwelled much on me. In fact, when younger, I pondered being alive for the turn of the century. And there I was, witnessing it. Many believed computers couldn’t handle the transition from 1999 to 2000. Yet, here we are, 24 years later. My initial hesitation stemmed from anticipated effort and expense. However, she insisted we have the party, and it wouldn’t surprise me.

So, I relented. I inquired about guests, and she estimated around 50. I was taken aback. Did we even know 50 friends? She assured me we did. Then came logistical questions: Where would everyone fit? Where would the party be held? What would we serve? Where would they stay? She simply said, “We’ll figure it out.”

We considered the Airbnb adjacent to our daughter’s. It had five bedrooms but couldn’t accommodate 50 guests alongside catering and a bar. The Foundry at Trilogy (where we live) was our next option. After compiling the guest list, we found Marianne’s estimate of 50 had fallen short. With the support of ABC (America’s Boating Club), our church communities (Little River Methodist in SC), our new church family (Bethel Presbyterian in Cornelius), and friends in Trilogy, our guest estimate surged to an impressive 77 attendees. We would have loved to increase to 90 to match my age, but what was available at The Foundry wouldn’t accommodate.

Keela and Tim (our daughter & son-in-law) graciously offered their home for family accommodations. Meanwhile, Marianne and I gave up our house for close friends, taking refuge in the Airbnb. Still, a handful of out-of-towners sought lodging in nearby motels.

Additionally, we were delighted when our son and daughter-in-law graciously flew in from their vacation in Belize. Another dear couple, who are in the middle of moving to Spain, surprised us by coming.

We settled on a bar setup featuring beer and wine. I put together a slideshow of 66 slides to run continuously. Our son, Scott, graciously took on the role of Master of Ceremonies, ensuring the party maintained its lively atmosphere. I encouraged guests to share their experiences with me. While I wasn’t specifically seeking out a roasting, as a laid-back sailor, I knew I could handle some good-natured ribbing. It turned out these shared stories became a highlight of the evening, evoking rowdy laughter and even a few tears. We consider ourselves incredibly fortunate to have such deep and meaningful relationships, both among friends and family.

Flexibility, adaptability, and a solid plan were key. The result? A fantastic, over-the-top celebration where everyone had a blast. It was a truly special moment, and for that, I’m grateful to the Lord and everyone involved.


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