Kathy's Birthday in Pasadena and Santa Barbara

Chris Norman Ensemble Concert, September 6, 2003

A Visit from Colleen, Tim and Dylan

You can see it was a happy day. This is Rick's 'birthday photo' of Kathy, the one he likes best of the day.

It was a weekend that was full of delightful coincidence and a family closeness that made it as wonderful a time as ever could be. The centerpiece was music by the Chris Norman Ensemble, performed at a concert Saturday just a few blocks from our Pasadena condo. We found out that this was to happen just after our return from Iran, so we knew already it would be a wonderful day.

Chris played four different flutes, and the Scottish small pipes as well. A selection of old tunes from French and Maritime Canada, as well as Scottish and Irish music, was presented. All members of the band, technically skilled on their instruments and musically full hearted, sang many of the songs as well. Their performance was full of creative power and beauty.

The combination of concert and birthday was a magnet that lured two of Kathy's dearest friends to Padadena, her daughter Colleen, from Santa Barbara, and her son Tim, from San Diego, who brought along grandson Dylan! What more could a grandma (and adopted granpa) want? Both made a special trip after work to be there for the occasion, We all had a great Thai dinner, and then the concert and then ...

Colleen set out snacks ...

Tim and Rick had time to talk.

Grandson Dylan attended the first half of the concert. While he was entranced by much of the concert, it was hard for him to sit still and be completely quiet. Colleen took him home, to our place, at intermission, whereupon he declared "Whew, I've had a hard day; I need to watch some TV". So he did, and he was still holding his eyes wide open watching a dvd of cartoons from the fifties when we got home. He did not want to miss a thing.

We had this sign by our door all week in anticpation:

The band and our friend Helen Vanmater, their West Coast manager, arrived at midnight. We didn't play music (because it was so late), but had many toasts and great conversation in spite of everyone's drooping eyelids...look how tired everyone looks! Tim, Dylan and Colleen had to drive home, and we stayed up talking and snacking till 2:00 am and then woke before 4:00 to make coffee and see them out the door for their trip to the airport. They were taking five different flights to go to their various homes for five days before their flight to Scotland for a seven concert tour. There they would meet up with Rod Cameron, mutual dear friend and flute maker, who will sing and play guitar, doing cameo appearences in their concerts. Wish we could go! To console ourselves, we played his disc 'Songs I Love" all through the night, and we each found ourselves humming or singing along softly.

We had just enough sleep to be able to get home to Santa Barbara Sunday morning. After a relaxed breakfast, and lots of coffee, Kathy sold her work at the Sunday art show, and then was treated by Colleen to the best spa rejuvenation procedures imaginable. This was just the beginning. She kept smiling more and more. (Her spa is in De Cut International Salon in Five Points Center in Santa Barbara.)

Colleen has the most elegant and beautiful spa ceilings you will ever see.

Afterwards we had a family dinner at the nearby Chinese restaurant with the most important person on Kathy's 'birth day': her Mom!! Kathy always celebrates her Mom in a special way on that day, because it was her special day, her first child. Thank you Mama, for my birthday!

Kathy's pretty sister Maureen joined us to celebrate ...

and neice Sara and nephew Julian too.

Here are some of Kathy's favorite gifts:

this box, made by Maureen, found shells by Sara and Julian,

this orchid plant from Colleen,

little drawers from Rick, ...he knew she wanted them,

this gift certificate from Rick,

this bouquet, a combination of Tim's roses and Sara and Julian's 'peppermint flowers',

postcards from Sara and Julian, reminding her of where she was born,

an ice cream surprise from Colleen,

her best birthday present!

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