Thursday the 14th was Grandma Connie's 80th Birthday. Boy was it fun. We were able to have a good majority of the family together and I got to be "in" on one of the best surprises ever. It all started last week when my Dad called and said, "Micah, you know Grandma will be turning 80 on the 14th? How about I come out there and surprise her and the whole family." "Wow!," I said, "that would be fun." Then he said, "Oh, and while I'm out there I think I will climb Mt. Rainier." Wow! Wow! My dad has wanted to climb Rainier for as long as I can remember (which isn't very impressive because of my not so impressive memory). But, he did live out here when he was a kid and my uncle Ron (his brother) climbed it over 15 years ago. I think I remember him saying that he wanted to climb it then. So I think that is enough proof. But more about that later. Back to surprising the family and Grandma.
My dad flew in from Missouri in the afternoon on the 14th. We immediately started surprising his brothers. Mark was at work at the tow truck company and so we headed over there first. We park across the street and I see Mark driving around the corner. My dad hides in the trunk and I get a phone call. It was my Cousin Jared. He was in the office watching the whole thing. "What is your dad doing here, and what is he doing getting in the trunk of your car?" he asked. I told him to "shush" and wait a second. So I tell Mark I have a present for Grandma in the trunk of my car and I need help with it. So he comes around the car I open up the trunk and there is my dad. Of course, Uncle Mark acts nonchalant and says, "Oh, Man, that makes my present look boring." So we continue to the other brothers houses and enjoy surprising each in a different way. John, that smarty pants, guessed that my Dad was in town before we got there but it was still good to visit with him. Ron, wasn't home so my Cousin Tory helped get my Dad into their basement. Then when he got home we told him that the surprise was in the basement. He was very surprised as well.
However, none of these compared with the surprise for Grandma. After everyone arrived Dad called the house on his cell phone and asked to speak to Grandma. She got on the phone and because there were so many people in the room she plugged her ear. So Dad was in the kitchen and slowly walking into the living room. As he came closer he was saying, "I called to wish you a happy birthday.... Can you hear me? I am on my cell phone. Can you hear me?" So everyone started to hear him as well. Only Grandma was concentrating so hard on trying to hear and plugging her ear that she didn't notice him walk into the room. All of a sudden, she finally saw him, screamed with surprise and straightened up in her chair. It was quite a sight to behold. The evening was filled with good food and lots of visiting. My Uncle Ron took lots of pictures and he sent me a few to post. He is a great photographer. He was the one who took pictures at Kim's and my wedding.
So my Dad is preparing to climb Mt. Rainier right now. He has one day of training, then Sunday he will climb to Camp Muir then Monday early morning he will climb to the peak and back down in the afternoon. A small part of me wishes I could go with him but with everything else going on it is probably good I am not.