The days down here on the ice tend to blend together, and it’s hard to tell one day from another. Because of that, it’s hard to get excited about any day in particular, even your own birthday. So, I didn’t have very high expectations, but Lynette made sure that it will be a hard one to forget.
Last night, Lynette spent some time in her office, “preparing” for my birthday. I suspected that she was probably putting together all of the goofy pictures that she could find of me and plastering them all over the station. When she finally came into the room, she was giggling, and couldn’t stop. She said, “do you want to go see what I did”. I told her that it would ruin the surprise. But, she brought up a picture on the computer and showed it to me. If you read her blog about her birthday, you’ll remember that Lynette’s mom had sent me a bunch of childhood pictures of her, which I put up in the dining room and computer lab: 31!. Well, she had pasted a picture of me from fire school over one of the pictures I had used of her.
I thought is was really cute that she was so tickled with herself and that she couldn’t wait until the next morning to show me. At any rate, we went to bed, and this morning, I went into the dining room, and sure enough, she had done the same thing to several of her childhood pictures (mostly of her in tutus and cheerleading outfits). It was a pretty good payback for what I had done to her. She asked me what I wanted to do in order to celebrate my birthday. I didn’t want anything too extravagant. I just wanted to have a couple margaritas, and anyone who wanted to join in would be great. So, she sent out an email and set it all up for the lounge
After dinner, I made up a couple of pitchers of margarita and headed for the lounge. She had put up all of the pictures from the galley on the lounge door. When I walked into the room, several people had shown up, and there was a “Happy Birthday” message on the big screen TV. She had put up more pictures from my childhood (thanks mom!) on the walls in the lounge. After a few minutes, several people had shown up, and Lynette called me to the front of the room for a special surprise.
I sat down, and she said that she had made a video for me, which she showed on the big screen. It went through pictures from my childhood in CA and CO, then pics of Georgia Tech, our travels, and our wedding. She put together some clips of Cassini, and then finished with a bunch of pictures and video clips that family and friends from the past had sent to her. It was really cool! It’s very easy to feel detached from people down here, and this brought everyone back in a really nice way. I was very touched! I’ve uploaded the movie to our website, and you can find it here: http://www.stauchy.net/videos.html.
After the video was done, Lynette restarted it for people who had come in while it was playing. People asked a bunch of questions about my past, and who the people were in the video. It was a lot of fun taking a stroll down memory lane. The further we go down here, the more I’m looking forward to seeing people when we get off the ice. Everyone sang a horrible rendition of Happy Birthday, no offence to my fellow Polies (you can also see the video of that on the videos link above). Before long, we got kicked out of the TV lounge because there was a regularly scheduled TV series showing. We moved next door into the game room and several of us sat and chatted while several people played pool. I enjoyed a few more margaritas and went back and forth between the lounge area and playing 9-ball. The next morning was a bit rough (I had a couple more margaritas than I had been planning on), but it was worth it. I had a really great time on my birthday. I was really happy to see so many of my new friends show up to share in my celebration, and it was really great to see so many of my friends and family from back home whishing me a happy birthday. It’s certainly a birthday I won’t soon forget. Thanks to all of you who made it possible!