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Birthday Number 86

Occasionally the celebration of a significant event aligns so well with the vision in my head that its conclusion brings about glowing chatter, face-stretching smiles, and a sated sense of perfection. Such were the days surrounding Jerry’s 86th birthday.

It began with The Nieces.


Three of them live in Louisiana, the other two in Texas. “We’d like to come out and visit Uncle Jerry for his birthday. Would that be a convenient time?”

Of course it would, so although I hadn’t planned to throw a party, that these dear ones would make that long trek to California certainly called for a major celebration. I told Jerry I had decided on a birthday party, but I told him nothing of the trip his nieces would be making. Debbie flew to San Antonio, Nita and Pam drove to the area in Texas of Linda and Sharon’s homes, where, with their mounds of luggage, they all piled into Linda’s van and headed west.


Rebecca and Holly beautifully decorated the room we reserved at The Claim Jumper in San Bernardino. The party was scheduled for 2:00 on Saturday and all the guests had arrived when I drove Jerry into the parking lot. My children knew of the secret guests, passed the word to the others as they arrived so that the only ones seated at the table when Jerry walked into the room were his dear nieces. He was stunned.

The party was perfect in every way. The food was delicious, pristinely presented, and served without a flaw. The guests consisted of a sweet mix of family, ministers, neighbors, and other friends from Crestline. During the meal various persons stood and in moving ways–sometimes humorous–spoke accolades to Jerry. It was a glowing, memorable afternoon.

Although we would be a bit cramped, the nieces and Michael and his wife went home with us, filling up all the guest rooms, and throwing down mats and blankets for sleeping. We had a blast.

Jerry opened his gifts.

DSC_9313We ate breakfast . . .and more meals. We went to Stater’s, bought a whole brisket, and Jerry cooked it all Sunday night. On Monday we feasted.

DSC_9315Some had to leave. Others came.

DSC_9343We did lots of this.



On Tuesday morning, these precious women headed home, to their families, to their jobs. They left behind magnificent memories of hugs and kisses, of deep and meaningful conversations, of ┬átender tears and of uproarious laughter. Jerry has said more than once, “I just can’t believe they drove all the way out here to celebrate my birthday.”

There are some really fine people in this world. Several of them belong to the Buxton family.


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A Spectacular, Albeit Unorthodox, Birthday Cake

donuts 008, originally uploaded by Shirley Buxton.

Since we don’t have a birthday cake, and since Andrew just emailed me this picture, I’m of the mind that if we could get the actual donuts to somehow appear in Lake Havasu, they would be the perfect thing to cap Jerry’s birthday. I can envision getting 76 candles on it–directly on top and sticking around every side. That would work, I’m sure you agree.

I don’t know whether it was Andrew or Shawnna who cooked these, (they’re made from canned biscuits) but Andrew took the picture, and without his knowing it, Shawnna submitted the picture to an amateur photography contest. It’s a winner! and has advanced to another category.

I still think its too bad it’s not festooned with 76 candles and with party streamers. ­čÖé


My devotional blog is here.


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Jerry’s Birthday

Jerry Buxton, originally uploaded by Shirley Buxton.

I’m not sure whether at this moment or not, he is aware of it, seeing that he is still asleep, but today is Jerry’s birthday. Seventy-six years ago in the village of Starks, La. the 12th and last child of the William Buxton family came wailing into the world…and they named him Gerald.

It was a rare day in Starks, for on that March 12, 1932, it snowed, an uncommon occurrence in that part of the country. Jerry has been told that during the birth his siblings were sent away from the house, and when they returned, there was Jerry!

“You have a new baby brother,” the parents told the brothers and sisters. “Take a look at him.” Wrinkled and squalling, this little critter had begun his trek through life.

Seventy-six years…

I’m not sure exactly how we will celebrate, for since yesterday our plans have changed. Rebecca had called some time before to say she wanted to come for his birthday today, but late yesterday she had to alter her plans and won’t be here until Saturday. She was bringing a sour-cream apple pie from Marie Callender’s, so I hadn’t planned a cake…but I can probably whip up one.

If you want to add a little birthday greeting for Jerry, I know he will love it.

Happy Birthday, Jerry.

My devotional blog is here.