Saturday, October 3, 2009

The Party

“One must sow love to reap love. But only by daily cultivation will the harvest be abundant.” — Unknown

I had to call dad tonight to check one of my facts for this post. I think the proof of a really good party, is in how many times it gets retold. This was my third retelling so far. He is still reveling in each moment, each joke, and each memory. He has been reading his cards daily and soaking in the words.

This, at last, is a glimpse of his party.


The scrumptious cake was just what dad ordered, white cake with a raspberry filling inside. We demolished the entire thing.

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My Dad's sister Elizabeth, my Dad Willard, Dad's brother Marvin, dad's sister Helen. Dad's brother Vernon passed away several years ago. They all live in a small North Dakota town over several hours away.

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A party before "The Party" evolved into a large gathering of cousins, second cousins, aunts and uncles and some friends. My mom graciously hosted everyone at her house.

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My brother's daughter, Madison. They flew in from Hershey, PA. And yes, its THAT Hershey and they brought lots of chocolate!

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Madison's sister, Alex. Both Madi (9) and Alex (7) are each two months older than our boys who are also 9 and 7.

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Dad's oldest brother Marvin who traveled 4 hours to see him and back home again all in one long day.

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The is Dad's second cousin. He told a story of how he needed to borrow a car once so he could take a girl out. My dad offered the use of his car but told him he had to have it back by 8 the next morning so he could go to work. 8 o'clock rolled around but not the car. So my dad found another way to work. Later the car was returned and an apology was offered and accepted. Dad never gave it a second thought. But all these years later, Glen felt indebted to dad and put a little something extra in a birthday card for dad, money for gas plus a whole lotta interest after all these years!

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This is my cousin Steve who I didn't even have an address for. But his sister called him and found out although he lives in Colorado, he was going to be in Fargo for the weekend. How's that for a coincidence?

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This is my aunt Marnie, who is my mom's sister. I used to be mistaken for her daughter all the time because she looked so much like my mom. But the funny part is she has 3 boys.

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This is Lorraine who also traveled from the small town my father grew up in. Her and her husband Gordon farmed down the road from where my dad's family farm was, which was farmed by his brother Marvin and his family.

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Out of my 12 first cousins on my dad's side, 9 of them traveled from very far away just for my dad.

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This is my cousin Kirby who has a very "infectious" laugh. I am sure he is joking with my dad about something. But we also enjoyed teasing him as he is the state epidemiologist with the North Dakota Department of Health, and all of our hugging and handshaking is on his list of no-no's in the midst of flu season!

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This is an extremely happy girl watching the magic unfold before her and filling her with more gratitude than she can express.

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This is Ivan, or to some of us, Mr. Camrud, as he was a teacher for many years. But he has also been a good friend to my dad.
And even though Ivan himself has to be in his 80's, he painted the trim on dad's house for his birthday. That is a huge kindness that is difficult to repay.

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Did I mention how yummy the cake was?

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This brought me to instant tears. This is my Great Aunt Myrtle who is 98 years old. She is my grandpa's sister. Yep, 98. We invited her to include her, never believing she would come. But she did and shocked the heck out of so many of us. She taught me how to gamble with dice when I was young and we played for money. She has a keen sense of humor and sold her crochet work for years. I can't wait to share a story that she wrote some day... it may be where my writing chops descended from.


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My brother Lee talking with Myrtle.

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My cousin Dean and his family who had been out of town but made it home for the last hour of the party.

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One of my favorites from the night. Watching my brother's daughters clearly looking up to him with what might be just a bit of adoration. I might know a bit about how daughter's look up to their dads.

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My cousin Kathy, the only girl amongst 4 brothers. 4 out of the 5 Kruger kids were in attendance.

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11 out of 14 first cousins (including my brother and I) We used to go to the small North Dakota town they all lived in and play at the farm. We even brought our camper and stayed at the farm. I learned how to ride bike there as did many before me. We all have fond memories of our time spent together.

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This would be my mom who is 74, works full time and still is as feisty and spunky as ever. I think she has a bit of Myrtle in her.

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The view from outside the club house. My dh took all the pictures the night of the party and I am eternally grateful to him for that.

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This is my brother Lee, his wife Kelly and their girls, otherwise known as "The Hershey Helds." Kelly was an amazing hostess and made everyone feel welcome and included. She enabled mom and I to relax and enjoy visiting with our company instead of performing hostess duties. I hope she knows how much we appreciated it.

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This compilation is a mere fraction of the people, the stories, and the photos from the party. What became abundantly clear to me, is that my dad has been a cultivator. Its true he grew up on a farm and honed his skills farming and cultivating the land. But he has built his life cultivating friendships, and relationships. His harvest is truly abundant and filled with love.

14 comments:

  1. What a beautiful story of love and joy! Your Dad is a very handsome man, and must be a very loving friend!! It is evident that he is much loved!! I'm smiling from ear to ear just thinking of your entire family gathered together to celebrate him!!! And that cake looks delectable!!!! Yum, yum. Your mother looks like such a fun lady!!! You come by your warmth, energy and fun righteously, taking after your terrific parents!! I'm so glad to have a small taste of this very special day in your Dad's life!! Thanks for sharing! With much, much love~Janine XO

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  2. Vicky, I am in tears at the end of this post. I LOVE your dad, your family, and you. It is OBVIOUS what an incredible influence your dear dad has been in all your lives.

    The cake was gorgeous - and I did do a little salivating there - and I especially loved the story of the borrowed car and paying your dad back after all these years. I hope he does something FUN with that money! (I remember what you said he did with money YOU gave him. Such a sweetheart.)

    Thank you for sharing your dear family with us. You look so beautiful and happy and dear. I wish we lived closer.

    By the way, your new banner is incredibly inviting. I want to walk down the road with you and just chat and laugh.

    Love to you, my friend,

    Robynn

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  3. It was lovely to meet your family at this very important party. I can't believe what a big family and how many cousins you have.

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  4. Vicky...I'm coming back here. I stopped on my way to church (sounds like I pulled over on the highway, doesn't it?? :)) ) but I couldn't leave without reading about your Dad's party. Each photo could be a story at length in itself...and I'm sure it is. I love the fact that your Dad is a cultivator...well said, my friend.
    You are a wonderful daughter...surrounded by a wonderful family. After church this afternoon, I'm coming back ot relish each photo...each smile...each loving word you wrote.
    Until then, thank you for a smile from you this morning....
    Love,
    Jackie

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  5. The cake looked delicious! Wow! And each and every photograph looks marvelous ..everyone's smile is so infectious! Hats off to your husband. The view of the club house was spectacular. Warm lighting under the blue sky :)

    Thanks for letting each of us be a part of your special day. I wish your dad a very healthy and happy life ahead. I can vividly imagine him going through every card, chuckling, at times smiling, and thinking of the days gone by, but to have everyone back together to celebrate his special day with him. I leave with lots of smiles :)

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  6. Janine, I am so glad to have you come here to share in our family celebration. My dad enjoyed each and every comment left here and was moved by all of you. Thank you for your kind words :)

    Robynn, consider yourself adopted and welcome to chat on the road with us anytime. You pretty much feel like family already :)

    Liss, its big, and growing all the time!

    Jackie, so sweet of you, every single word!

    Tranquility, you got it exactly right. He even brought them over to our house again this afternoon, in case we missed reading one of them :)

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  7. this was so well documented !!
    usually at family gatherings, pictures don't get taken or they turn out so awful due to lighting or people moving...

    BUT your dh did a fantastic job !!

    and the bash you threw surely looked like it was enjoyed by all !!

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  8. Oh, Vicky... I love getting this glimpse into the party and being able to share in it with you. There's something about the Midwest... I feel like that could have been a family reunion of mine. :) So glad you had the perfect day, as well as the photos for memories. What a treasure.

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  9. HI Vicky

    what a day...or few...full of family and fun and love...

    Happy days

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  10. Katie, thank you :) fun to have you show up!

    Beth, yes I am spoiled with dh, he is a professional photographer and happy to shoot, much like yourself! Otherwise, the lighting was not great and I fear what the pictures may have looked like.

    Gitz, I so feel ya! I am certain you would have fit right in :) Warms my heart to have you here!

    Delwyn, it was indeed :)

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  11. Looks like a fantastic event and I'm sure many new memories were created.

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  12. I felt like I was there Vicky! Your dad is so precious in these pictures. I could feel his happiness. How profound.
    I loved seeing your family, seeing your sweet dad, and seeing you .
    love to you, and the cake...yum.

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  13. I love big family get togethers! Did you make that gorgeous cake?

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