Grandparents Fiftieth Wedding Anniversary

Although it was a cloudy day in Williamstown, Kentucky, all of us were up bright and early for Grandma and Grandpa's surprise 50th wedding anniversary. Technically, the anniversary isn't until late fall...but having it now added to the surprise factor. Aunt Anita and Uncle John hosted the event, and had a good hand in the preparations. We stayed in a cabin a few houses down the lake, where mom had been since Wednesday...making food and surprise delights for everyone. For being a Saturday morning, the docks were still-- the water was still: the calm before.

Aunts, uncles, cousins, mom's cousins, neighbors, coworkers, and even customers alike were invited. The car port was turned into a banquet hall...eventually.

The yard before the party. Hungover skiers started to make their way to the wake, but we were already up and running.

Candice before getting dolled up.

Mom prepped the fruit and vegetable trays. Candice, Ryan, and myself helped smooth out the piles until mom brought the containers soaked with extras.

After two trips in the gator and 4 steady hands, we managed to move the fruit-filled cupcakes from our cabin to the party.

At the top was a full blown cake. Mom decorated the whole thing, and the gold leaves turned out to be great shovels for the extra frosting on the cupcakes. Some of us are already sweet enough.

April got up! Eric's shoulder.

Guests were to arrive at 3ish, with the grandparents in tow supposed to arrive at 3:30. Here, mom's cousin Steve is pictured in his natural state...amid attractive women with the high life in his hand.

My uncle met them at the top of the hill and backed the car down to the carport where we were waiting. As the car backed down, the wedding music began and Grandma panicked that she didn't have a gift for whoever's wedding it was. Her neighbors finally pushed her out and the wave of emotions that followed as she recognized her family and coworkers in the crowd...

...including some people she hadn't seen in a very long time...

...maybe some people she didn't want to see for a very long time...

She then explained that she only had brought enough potato salad for the small get-together of 6. Originally, the lure was a small BBQ with my aunt and uncle, and my grandparent's neighbors. Still, I was surprised, as grandma typically makes enough for a small army.

The wave of emotions. She even shrieked when she saw me at the side letting the pictures fly. LUCAS!

Grandpa took the high road to get out of the car, but was just as excited as grandma.

Although most of the family waited down in the carport, mom's cousins waited behind the house as an extra layer of surprise. While grandma gave hugs to her bank people, mom explained that other people wanted to say hello as well...

...all we could hear was a steady stream of chirps, squeaks, and "oh my"...

...and more hugs!

Apparently, it had been too long.

Grandma didn't have enough arms for all of the hugs she wanted to give. Aunt Mary held on for grandma's tearful embrace.

More cousins in waiting.

Grandma and Bobby.

Utter surprise, we won!

As grandma stepped back for a minute to make sure she had greeted everyone, she was quite overwhelmed.

And no, she had no clue. We apparently know that Kentucky can keep a secret for months on end...at least with the promise of beer and alcohol if kept.

So excited.

Grandma then had to introduce her neighbors to the other guests...

...which included all of the fellow tellers at the bank.

Grandpa found a seat and was still still holding his surprise face as we each came to visit.

Mom...mission success.

Now grandma can't be mad anymore that mom didn't come to visit for July 4th like they have for years before. Grandma wasn't mad, she says, but we all knew we were missed.

Grandma gets flowers.

Grandpa gets flowers too.

Cry it out from a mountain, grandpa.

Mom with her girlish grin.

Grandpa was happy.

Candice, all dolled up.

Uncle Chris fell back to the role of bartender. He was more than happy to get everyone drunk as soon as possible.

No, mom wasn't two-fisting to get up to speed. One was for grandpa.

The back deck over looked the lake. The carport to the right sat the rest of the guests.

Now that everyone was here, it was time for music and celebration.

Grandpa actually knew the musician...he had heard him about five years prior at a bar. After he finally convinced the entertainer that he knew him, and he actually knew him back, grandpa greeted him "hey buddy". Ultimately, he knew more people there than any of us did.

Mom and April.

April and Eric.

April knows how to work a camera.

Aunt Anita was glowing in her blue dress. Maybe it was just her suntan from sealing the dock for the past couple days.

Hi from grandpa.

Oh yea, I was there too!

Aunt Anita's blue dress.

Candice and me.

Mom likes all of her kids together. It only lasted for one picture, then April was touching me and Candice was looking at me and April won't stop looking at my side of the car...oh how mom survived.

Nate christened the UK corn hole pallets for the party.

Steve had a precision toss that could only be attained from years at IBEW.

Jack was there too.

Uncle John doesn't mess around when it comes to a good time. If you were having fun with a drink, he was the first to let you know.

Ryan was Candice's friend for the week. She has quite the trigger finger...

...Chris also has a trigger finger...

...Eric's trigger finger was...well...occupied.

Lots of stories to catch up.

April was taking the last few pictures while I was off getting the next round of food for the ovens. First goal was the assess the damage...

...when big brother comes to town.

Uncle John.

More corn hole. Bobby's turn.

Uncle John had played a few times.

April's 21! This was the first I had seen her since her birthday. My how they grow up.

Grandma had to give the full tour to her coworkers and neighbors.

April.

After all of that excitement and people in small places, we all needed a breather before the food. Candice lead the charge by claiming a seat first. The food was soon to follow.

Grandma and grandpa were still trying to breathe from the surprise. We're all glad they were in good health even afterwards.

A twinkle in grandpa's eye still.

Most everyone busy eating.

Bobby made a toast.

Lots of clean plates. Roast beef and chicken with bacon...not to mention much more where that came from. No one left hungry...mom saw to it.

How grandma can polka just after eating bewildered us all...

...but Jack didn't have the stomach for roast beef and bouncing.

Candice's screen printing company made the sign down on the dock.

Uncle John started boat rides on his new pontoon. Candice came along too.

The front of the pontoon. Still cloudy out, but the clouds were parting.

Kids stood on the second story of a dock. Everyone on the boat dared them to jump. No guts, no glory!

Candice happy.

Grandma and Aunt Mary happy.

Skiers and the big house on the bank.

Uncle John the skipper.

The scary tree on a hill. The sun started to come out.

The other bank...not the one Grandma works.

Smooth sailing across the lake.

Tree on a hill: the sequel.

Hrm...apparently tree on a hill, again. Ooops.

April enjoying the ride.

The new bartender in town.

The family portrait. Horray!

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