The husband’s birthday was one of the minor challenges I have had to face during the past six weeks of lockdown. The first thoroughly unoriginal idea was to have a family picnic. But then I saw a video of some couple in the States who held a drive-by wedding and an idea was born . . . (or maybe I should say “co-opted”. . .):

                                (anonymized for the blog)


Of course, before I could send this out, a lot of prep work had to be done. The husband is very aware of his role model responsibility and has been strictly following the social distancing rules. On the other hand, things are slowly opening up here – stores, hairdressers, mechanics, building sites, etc. A week from now, the kids will start returning to schools. I made some calls to certain friends and co-workers to pitch the idea of this party and got nothing but enthusiastic responses. Every one of them had also been isolating for six weeks, seeing one another only through screens the entire time. So, I figured I would go for it.

Turns out the hubby`s friends and teachers are a spectacular bunch. Secret WhatsApp groups arose where they worked out the timing among themselves to make sure no crowd would form, everyone agreeing to leave as soon as the next guest showed up. (In true Austrian form, they expressed less worry about any health risks than “what the neighbors would think”!) I didn’t have to organize a thing on that end – they did it all on their own. And none of them spilled the beans.

Friday, 1:45 pm, the husband arrived home from work as ordered (only 15 minutes late). We sang a quick “Happy Birthday” and sat down to lunch under the decorated carport. The husband expressed his wish for a long family hike in the afternoon and we all insincerely said “Sure! That’s a great idea!” (heh, heh.) Ten minutes later the first car drove past and parked nearby. As the first two guests walked toward us, we quickly rolled out and set up the self-service bar, complete with hand-sanitizer station. My last worries subsided when I saw the husband’s laughing reaction and how happy was. A steady stream of very cool people made sure that he stayed that way for the entire time.


13 thoughts on “Surprise

  1. This is fabulous. My boys are cooking up something for Mother’s Day since we don’t live under the same roof. Three boys. Not looking for anything more than a Zoom call but they are cute getting their heads together early. Happy birthday to your hubs. Are you going back to work in a couple of weeks?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I bet your boys will come up with something more creative than Zoom talks.
      And yes, I am being re-employed (with fewer hours) in May and back to full time in June. Thought the news would make me happier than it has. But I have had no trouble whatsoever filling these lockdown days. Makes me less worried about going into retirement.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I feel ya. I still have those 3 giant boxes of photos to scan someday but have managed not to have the time, even in quarantine. Wishing you a good transition back to working. Hope the kids haven’t gone too feral.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. I’m impressed, 227. I love the “Hope you can find time in your busy social calendars” on the sign–what a hoot! And that people would form a WhatsApp group to space themselves appropriately, for the chance to holler happy birthday and avail themselves of a squirt of hand sanitizer and 100 mL of warm beer. (I’m metrically challenged but I think that’s about the same amount of Scope I swish with in the morning. Wouldn’t want any drunk drivers on the road.) Happy Birthday to your hubby, and kudos to you. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

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