Thursday, July 3, 2014

Double Nickels

I turned 55 last week. To me, that's the "speed limit" birthday, but others have suggested that it also stands for "double nickels" - as you can see in the card I received from David:
On the morning of my birthday, Maribeth came over for a walk on "her" beach, and lunch in one of our favorite haunts...
...and then back to our house for a little "chill time" on the deck, and a quick visit with David and Gregg. Maribeth was the perfect "birthday presence," and I'm so grateful that she was able to spend it with me!
Late in the afternoon, our friend Linda arrived from Vienna. She was on her way to visit her family in California, and stayed with us for five days of fun.
Here we are at Burrata Bistro during my incredibly delicious (and oh-so-filling) birthday dinner...
...and this is the dessert tray which Burrata Bistro provided: blueberry tart, mocha creme caramel and tiramisu - with complementary glasses of port for everyone at the table!
Thank you, Kim and Alfonso!

Linda travels all over the world singing (her specialty is the operas of Richard Wagner). She was nominated for a Grammy award this year, and we enjoyed hearing all about her experiences at the ceremonies, parties and events surrounding the award show. Though she didn't win this time, it is quite an honor to be nominated at all - not to mention the privilege of attending the live concert, meeting and mingling with other artists.

We have a good time reminiscing about things we've done in the past, such as the time we went to the last concert given by the Commodores, before Lionel Richie went out on his own. We heard them perform in a small nightclub outside of Boston, with seats very close to the stage, and we were perhaps the only people not of African heritage in the club. And then there was the time I went to the church where Linda was a soloist, donning a choir robe, and standing next to her on the altar. I lip-synched along with hymns I didn't know, trying to be invisible. Not easy, standing next to the soloist, who happens to be about a foot taller than I.

On this visit, we went shopping for clothes and gifts, to the Pike Place Market in Seattle and to Port Townsend. We had our morning coffee together in the sun on the deck, barbecued dinners at home, and just relaxed. Linda had just come from an engagement in Seville, so it was good to be able to offer her a peaceful retreat by the sea.
You can tell that she and Gregg get along well...
 ...and share a sense of humor. 
She has known our kids since 2003, so she and David get on famously, as well.
My parents also love her, and took all of us to their club for dinner, after cocktail hour in their home.

On Monday, we went with my parents to Seattle to have a traditional (delicious) German dinner with a lovely couple whom Linda met when she sang in the Seattle Opera's production of Parsifal in 2003. Heidi and Hans are from Germany, adore Wagner's music and Linda's interpretation of it, and have become dear friends of hers - even traveling to Europe to hear her sing.
Here are Heidi and Hans with Linda on our deck in 2012 (my photos of the dinner at their house did not turn out well). We had a wonderful evening, and are so thankful to have met them through Linda. Music has the power to unite hearts across history, cultures, time zones and many miles.

All in all, a very happy birthday week, for which I'm grateful!


Mary Potts said...

Happy birthday Karen! Thanks for sharing these lovely pictures. Continue the celebration!!! xo Mary

Karen said...

Speaking of speed limits, it's against the law to celebrate your 55th birthday when you look 35. Simply not fair to the rest of us! We will let it slide cuz you are pretty wonderful.

Ann said...

Happy Birthday Karen. You look fabulous and it looks like you had a fabulous birthday. Thanks for sharing!

Elizabeth said...

Happy birthday, dearest Karen! You look, as usual, radiant in all of the photos, especially in that shade of pink dress! I hope you have a year ahead filled with grace, with peace and continued healing, love and the ability to do what you love.

Busy Bee Suz said...

Happy belated birthday my friend. LOVE that you have so many special friends (near and far) that want to celebrate with you. It's because you are so darn wonderful…..a gift and a cross to bear. LOL!
Love all the photos and that you can hob knob with the best of them! And really, when do you think you might LOOK 55? In 15 or so years???

Dawn said...

Happy belated Birthday!!! Looks like a wonderful celebration! Wishing you many blessings.