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My Happy 74th

On Monday, the day before my birthday, Jerry gave me a card that was so touching, I cried. He had bought a small cake that said HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SHIRLEY, so on the 23rd, just Jerry and I ate cake that started the celebration of my 74th birthday. By the 27th I had heard from dozens of friends and all my children–cards, calls, gifts, food, hugs and kisses.

Sometime on Tuesday, a lady walked onto our front deck, and when I answered the door she handed me a magnificent arrangement of flowers that looks exactly like a birthday cake. Steve and Dearrah had sent it.

Shirley's 74th

My dear friend Holly and my sweet daughter, Rebecca, outdid themselves when on Thursday we met at the Redlands Bowl for an open air performance of Oliver, a dramatic presentation based on Charles Dickens’ work Oliver Twist.

It amazes me that until recently I had not been familiar with the Redlands Bowl and the outstanding gift they give to our Inland Empire community. During the summer they offer programs on both Tuesday and Friday nights (sometimes more often), orchestras, dramas, community sings, small music groups, etc. There is never an admission charge. Incredible, since they often present world-class artists.

Rebecca and Holly arrived at the bowl around 4:00, telling Jerry and I to come around 6:00 when we would picnic on the bleachers. The play began at 8:15. As I walked down the bowl steps to where they were, I saw that they had carried this huge patio umbrella, along with one of those enormously heavy stands, where they had taped balloons and signs wishing me a happy birthday. I was shocked . . . touched . . . and happy.

Around 6:00 Patrick and their boys arrived with the rest of the food. We dined on chicken! Delicious! Chick-fil-A chicken, to be exact!

By the time the production began, every seat was taken and there were scores of people on the lawns in folding chairs. Picnics were everywhere. It was wonderful!

Capping the evening off was that I saw lots friends who also had gone to see Oliver–friends from as far away as El Cajon.

No one makes better cookies than does Rebecca, and she brought bags of them to share. Spicy oatmeal birthday cookies, elegantly wrapped and tied with raffia!

Thank you, everyone, who had any part in making my birthday so special.

Thank you, God, for giving me 74 years. My life has been exceedingly rich; I in no way deserve it.

PSĀ  Those who live close to Redlands have a chance to see this fine play. One last production tonight. Click on the link above to get all the information.