A quick week and half of
planning scheming between me and our parish secretary, we were able to pull together a spontaneous surprise party for our parish priest's 17th anniversary of his ordination.
She insisted he loves surprises.
I invited him out for an easy Sunday afternoon family cookout on Father's Day, then we went to work inviting parishioners who knew and loved our priest, and would want to share their Father's Day, and drive a gazillion miles from Houston and melt in the 98 degree, sunny, humid heat.
Most everyone we asked did.
We had a high turn out, if it wasn't 100, then it was 99. We had so much food! We had so many wonderful drink choices (my favorite was a strawberry lemonade), to desserts that out shown the dinner. The word got out that Father liked pies, so there were pies! and cakes, puddings, cookies, fruits.
I honestly prefer smaller gatherings, but I was
forced convinced that a hundred people wasn't going to be that much harder to host than fifty. We scrambled to find tables, and rented some chairs, and made lists and kept up the RSVP's, telling everyone to keep the surprise. I was convinced he already has wind of something in the works.
But it wasn't until he was driving the gazillion miles, and kept passing other parishioners, (who did not live on my side of town) who were gong the same direction toward my house, he knew something was up. When he drove up to the driveway, and was greeted by my kids (who were traffic directors), he just said, "Wow, that is a lot of people." He walked up to the back porch to face so many happy faces, to applause and congratulations. He joked he only brought one bottle of wine thinking it was a family event, had he known...
He mentioned something about getting me back. (Which I hope he doesn't intend to because I do not like surprises). I asked if he would come back again for our small family dinner I had originally intended so I could visit with him (since I didn't have a moment to stop from taking care of food, drinks, potty incidents, the crash of my coo coo clock, dessert organizations, clean ups, to go packages), but he said he didn't think he could trust my invitations again. Lots of laughs and jokes and smiles. The kids held up great despite of the sun, lots of really nice people.
We declared it a success.
I am anxious to hear his impressions when he meets up with my partner in crime at the office tomorrow.
And what a sweet husband I have, to spend his Father's Day cooking and giving and doing for our priest, our parish and so many friends.