Yet another evidence of grace that we've experienced because of our delayed return to China is the fact that I got to attend my grandfather's 90th birthday shindig last week. My mom's family all gathered to celebrate this man:
My mom, dad, Aunt Donna, and Grandad drove from Austin to meet my Aunt Barbara, Grandma, and two of my Grandad's good friends at a seafood restaurant in Houston. I can't even remember the last time we were all together.
The restaurant staff decorated our table with Mardi Gras beads that all ended up in my bag to take home to the buddies who did not tag along for the 6 hour round trip. They have been sporting their bling ever since.
Even Hudson sported his blue suede shoes for the special occasion.
If you are ever in doubt as to how to provide entertainment for a 90th birthday bash, just bring along a little baby. Pass him from guest to guest, and you're guaranteed smiles all around.
My grandfather has probably spent more of his life up in the air flying planes that down on the ground. One of my favorite moments of the evening was when we went around the table sharing old flying stories & adventures. My mom framed a picture for him of a plane he used to fly.
When you're 90, you definitely are able to have your cake and eat it too. Don't get in his way!
My favorite memories of my grandad are the pizazz he always added to our Christmas Eve celebration. Year after year, he would show up an hour late with the most eccentric gifts wrapped in trash bags. Surely he was late because he was sifting through his garage collection of Home Shopping Network purchases he had made throughout the year. My brother once received a fingerprint kit when he was 15 years old. Then he aged 10 years by receiving a briefcase the very next year. My mom has a canister of about 50 mini-pocket knives in the pantry, thanks to Grandad. In fact, sharp objects were often a hot commodity at Christmas gatherings. You never knew what kind of randomness might accompany you home after Christmas Eve with Grandad!
Despite the late night and the monsoon we had to drive through to get there, these moments with family was definitely worthwhile.
(And as a side note plea for help to all my photography friends...how in the world do I tackle a low-light situation like a restaurant? Must I resort to an external flash? Any help or tips would be greatly appreciated!!)