Hoo-kay siblings, s'time to pony up and admit it: Mom and Dad are having their 40th Wedding anniversary on the 15th. Dad will be at Pearson Airport from 6:30-10:30 on the BIG DAY (it's Father's day too), so let's put our thinking caps on, eh?

"Tradition" states that 40th-ers get rubies, but I can't imagine any reason for Mom or Dad to want rubies in any form, so we'll have to come up with something else.

I had a quick thought involving changing Dad's flight, and getting Mom up here to TO and putting them up at a decent hotel and sending them to a play or a concert, but I think the logistics won't work.

Perhaps we can come up with something that I can "deliver" on Sunday? What do they need? What do they want? What would they like?


…and can one of you forward this to Meme and get her in on the action? I can't find her new address...



My response to "40!?"...

Hi Meme,

I thought I'd send you what I sent Kit. We need to do something incredible for them, don't we?

I wish I could think what...

Anyway, here's my note to Kit:

Woah, yeah, Kit. That's a lot of years...


I got your message last night, but it was too late to call you back. I agree. We need to do something spectacular.


"Stuff" just doesn't cut it- we need to give them an experience. They don't really need or want anything, do they?


If we're getting them stuff, though, I have a friend who has created these incredible stained glass kaleidoscopes that I wanted to get for then the moment I saw them- they are breathtaking. The stand is made of stained glass, as is the kaleidoscope. When you hold them up to the light, instead of having to turn them, there is this glass tube that runs in front of the lens, and inside it are pieces of coloured glass, which travel slowly by the lens through a clear liquid.


Boy, do you ever have to see this to believe it. I'm not doing it justice. It is unique, that's for sure.


Maybe I'll get it for them myself, and then I'd be happy to contribute to whatever you think we should do for them. How about a canoe trip? Or maybe a trip on a sailing boat? If they lived out west, I'd say we should get them that trip that runs up the coast, the "mail run"- It ends up in Alaska, I think.


There are a number of sailing ships that run out of Halifax, but I don't know many that go through F'ton...


I still can't believe it's been forty years.


What we really should do, is go home and have a party. All of us. I think they'd like that more than anything else. I wish I planned things more than a few weeks ahead. Every time I think, "Wow, I'm really planning ahead", something like this happens, and I realize that I'm playing "catch up" once again.


I'm open to suggestion. Thanks for getting the ball rolling, Kit. If I think of anything, I'll write.



P.S. I forwarded your note to Meme...

Re: 40!!???

Just a quick thought at an ungodly hour and fried from

an evening climbing. . . did they ever _get_ the DVD

player they were going to put in the hutch thingy they

were shopping for this summer? And is that out of the

collective price range?

I'll think more later. Sleep now. ;-)


FW: 40!!???

Hey, Meme,


Kit couldn't find your address, so he asked me to forward this to you...




Thanks for forwarding it, Kate & Jif. My new email is ameliahunt@imag.net. I won't be able to access the other email account for much longer, so update your address books.

It's a great idea to work together on this. I'm mulling it over and not

coming up with any gems (rubies?), but I'll throw a few things out there anyway to get the ball rolling. If it's something I can get out here, too, I'm happy to do so and send it back with Dad.

Because Dad's here for a conference the preceding 3 days I had thought a little already about the occasion and what I came up with was to make up some sort of nice package of things like smoked salmon, wine, cheese, chocolates, music, brandy, etc… for them to enjoy together. So along the same lines but on a grander scale, we could try to make an evening at home for them. A nice caterer, some kind of entertainment? Cheezy/yuppie/weird? Yes. I'm just trying to get things out on the table. I agree that an experience/event/adventure would be great -- but scheduling is just so sticky. My first thought was "well, Greece" but about 5 seconds of looking at airfare squelched that pretty quick. A more local trip of some kind is a good idea. But it would have to be like "here, go do this some time and we'll pay for it" which isn't very classy.

So, in terms of items, there may be some local artist piece that they'd like (I'm thinking similar to the fish thing in the shed or whatever we should call it now). A new canoe perhaps? I know theirs is aging . . . does anyone know if it's still serviceable?

A party would be incredible but impossible for me. You can fly almost

anywhere from here for less than it costs to get to Fredericton next week! And between conferences, deadlines, and booked weekend trips I don't think I have 3 consecutive days free in June. It would be unbelievable to see you all though, at times like this I feel a long way away. But listen, if you guys can get there. . . well, do it.

OK, so I'm not much help. I'll write as soon as I think of something.

Miss you guys.


Great ideas...

Hi guys,

I like all of these ideas- Do you remember the canoe trip they offer where you stay on an island, and they give you a picnic lunch with wine and cheese, etc.? I think it would be best, though, if we could give them something on the actual day.

Let me get the facts straight- Dad is in Vancouver with Meme for three days, then he hits Toronto (in the morning, Kit?), then home on 15th? Could we plan a puzzle of some sort, where Meme gives him a clue, then Kit, then I can arrange something here, maybe? We could give them separate presents that all fit together, so to speak... Maybe Kate could start the ball rolling by giving the first clue before Dad hits Vancouver?

If Dad's in Toronto between 6:30 and 10:30, then he won't get back to F'ton 'til noon or so. Will they have time to really celebrate? If Dad's been travelling, maybe we should give them a quiet night at home- wine & cheese, etc... maybe that DVD player and cabinet would be appropriate?

Oops, I gotta run. let me know what you think,

I miss you guys too,



RE: Great ideas...

Great ideas thus far folks. I had thought of a DVD as well, and also thought that M&D have been using the same cross country skis for twenty-five odd years ( I could order some new from a Fredericton outlet)... Let's brainstorm for a few more days, and then assess.

I had a thought outside of the "stuff" realm. I'd like to get some photos together into a kind of scrapbook; not of mom and dad, but of us, and our lives. I haven't quite figured out the structure of the whole thing, but what I'm looking for is pictures from our separate existences that mom and dad haven't been privy to. Snapshots of our individuality, as it were.

Again, the structure is fuzzy, but the concept is to demonstrate what mom and dad's 40-year marriage has produced.

Am I making sense? If so, we'll need to get on this. I have access to the equipment to produce something decent, so I'll ask that you all go through your picture albums, and find a way to send me ten or so pics that you feel would show the 'rents a good overview of the years since leaving the fold. Any ideas on structure would be greatly appreciated.

Crazy day here; I'll get back to y'all later.


Re: Great ideas...

Could we track down the dudenhoefers and get them to ship us something special for the occasion? I just tried a search on "Dudenhoefer Wein" and came up with nothing. Am I spelling it wrong? Does anyone know how to get in touch with them?


Duttenhoffers and stuff....

Hi guys,

I really like the idea of a scrap book too, I had thought of that, but

wasn't sure how to go about it... Now picking ten photos that say "Jif & co" is gonna be tricky.

I think getting them a bottle of "trocken berin auslese" from the

duttenhoffers would be INCREDIBLE. That's my guess as to how you spell it, but I doubt they have a web site. I think the last time I was there they were still hand licking and sticking all of their labels. It would be awesome to get that if we could, though.

I'm in contact with Lynn Addleman off and on, so I'm sure she'd LOVE to set something up for when they get back from the airport- Whatever we arrange as the "punch line" of our puzzle could be waiting for them at the house, possibly.

Let's keep brainstorming- it's starting to get good now...


Re: Duttenhoffers and stuff....

I think Jif meant to send this to everybody, so here it is.

I didn't get any emails about a scrapbook. Sounds intriguing, though. Could somebody please forward me that and any others I may have missed?

(We should be sure we're CCing everybody, eh? This could get confusing.)

RE: Duttenhoffers and stuff....

First time I've ever had a family conversation from work. Neat-o.

Meme - the scrapbook idea: Make some kind of picture book showing photos from our (the kids) lives apres leaving home. The idea is to show what M&D's 40-year marriage has "produced." I'm not sure myself what photos I'll use, but I want them to be from parts of my life that they weren't involved in. It may seem a little voyeuristic, but I like the concept, and I think they will too. Suggestions on format would be greatly appreciated; I don't want it to be "Chapter One: Jif", but more a kind of imagistic collage....

....gettin' wierd. Guess doing all this economic stuff has given me a yen to produce something artsy...

I love the Auslese concept - just spent 10 minutes googling for it with no luck. I'll try again tomorrow.

And I love the "clues" idea as well.

Damn we're good. We just start too late. *sigh*


Re: "40!?"...

> Because Dad's here for a conference the preceding 3 days I had >thought a little already about the occasion and what I came up with >was to make up some sort of nice package of things like smoked salmon, >wine, cheese, chocolates, music, brandy, etc.. for them to enjoy >together.

Mmm..... that sounds awesome....

>So along the same lines but on a grander scale, we could try to

> make an evening at home for them. A nice caterer, some kind of

> entertainment? Cheezy/yuppie/weird?

That actually sounds kind of neat. Any idea who could

do something like that in Fredericton? I'm not sure

what kind of caterers you'd have...

> So, in terms of items, there may be some local artist piece that >they'd like (I'm thinking similar to the fish thing in the shed

>or whatever we should call it now).

If George hasn't sold "The Swan Prince" yet....

>A new canoe perhaps? I know theirs is aging . . .does anyone

>know if it's still serviceable?

It's still serviceable, but it's always been a tub.

And the spine is a little split. I actually was

thinking much along the same lines... about canoes and

the lake and stuff. Something related to canoeing. Any

idea how much?

> Miss you guys.

Miss you too! But hey - I'll see you in a couple of

weeks, right? What's your schedule look like for that?

I can get there Friday night or Saturday morning,


Anyway. I was thinking canoe or canoeing related

stuff, just ‘cause the one they have steers like a

cow... but that was just my brain flash for this


Whatcha think, elder siblings?


Re: Great ideas...

Got it, thanks Jif. Scrapbook is a great idea. So is the treasure hunt.

So I don't really have many film pictures to contribute. I'll pick up some film today to take some and courier them as soon as they're developed. I have lots of digital ones but imagine they're not so much help.

As far as structure goes, we'll have 40 pictures for 40 years. Maybe there's something there. Are we involving any text? Could we each contribute our own little essay about them, that Kit can integrate with the pictures somehow? Tie it all into some sort of theme, like "foundations" (I know, gag me. But you get the idea)?

I didn't have any luck with your spelling of Dudenhoefer/Duttonhoffer

either, Jif. What town did they live in? Do we have any first names? Did the vineyard have a name? I'm sure I could at least find a phone listing if I knew a little more.

Anyway, more questions than answers. More later.

RE: Great ideas...

Digital photos are fine, folks; I'm going to assemble the scrapbook as a document anyway; remember: I have a snappy professional-quality printer sitting next to me.

...I'd actually prefer if y'all could send me the shots digitally, 300dpi. Once I've got them, I'm sure that the ideas will flow. And yes, everyone write something - whatever comes to mind and I don't care how long it is.

I actually thought maybe Meme could send a picture of her brain, K8 could write a poem, Jif could write a song, and I'd, uhhh...make them some art? I dunno. Just thinking out loud again.

Talked to Peter (our president) last night about finding some auslese. He just said "call international information- you know their name and location right?"

...anyone want to tackle that one? Jif? How's your German? Feel like ringing up Franz Joseph and saying "Hi! Remember me? Russ needs a bottle of your Trokenberren Auslese" With any luck, you'll get a discount!

must get back to work; keep the ideas coming, and let's make some hard decisions tomorrow!



Hi guys,

It's definitely coming together...

My German is pretty rusty, but I'll give it a shot. I think they lived in Openheim, am I right? And does anyone recall their first names? (other than "Herr and frau") I'm scared, but I'll try...

As for the concept of giving them a piece of art, I would love to get them this stained glass Kaleidoscope I was telling you about. It's breathtaking- I could thank them for giving us such an incredibly special way of looking at the world... (sappy, but true)

Someone else could give them the wine & cheese and thank them for showing us how to enjoy the little things in life. (sappy again, but what the heck, how often do you get to celebrate forty years?)

Is this sounding like a theme of sorts? Each piece of the puzzle could be a way of thanking them for what they've given us...

As for the scrap book, I think it would be the final piece. And I would love to write them a song- I have been working on one for each of them for years. I have one called "My Father's Hands", and one called, "In my Mother's house"- I wish I didn't still think they sucked. Maybe I'll try again...

Forty pictures for forty years, huh? Any chance we could do it chronologically? OK- I know, we should have started this ages ago. Kit, you're right. We're awesome once we get going, but we're not the best planners.

I'm going to try and find a few pictures to send you, Kit. I may send you more than you need, and you can pick through them. It's awfully hard to pick what to send. I think I'm going to concentrate on who I am right now, and what I'm doing, otherwise it will be too hard to focus. If that's not what you want, let me know. If we all do the same thing, it would be better, I think.

AAAAAgh, I wish we had more time!


Re: plans...

I think it's Oppenheim, Jif. I just wrote the tourism office there to ask them for contact information so I'll let you know whatever I find out.

How much time exactly will Kit need to get the scrapbook together? We've only got a week now. Shall we each write some short thing?

I'm leaving town tomorrow, back Monday evening. . .I'll be on email tonight & tomorrow early morning, but then I'll be out of the loop for a bit.


RE: plans...

Get me photos no later than Monday, and I'll put a burn on- I'll send you all "proofs" via PDF.

I was thinking last night, y'know; Mom and Dad don't want for anything, and I really think that even if it cost a couple hundred bucks to fast-courrier (there MUST be a service for this) a bottle of wine from Oppenheim, that it is a very special present, and need not be accompanied by anything further (other than the book).

So, I believe we should contact Franz Joseph (the son) who has taken over operations. Mom and Dad met him again not too long ago, and his English, as I remember it, is good (it was only Frau Dutenhoeffer who didn't speak English). He should remember them, and I think the idea, once conveyed, will illicit a warm response, and some efforts to make it happen. Let me know if you want me to tackle this, 'kay?

Clues, yes; book, yes; Good cheese and stuff at the house when they get back? If Lynn can swing it, we'll owe her big AGAIN.

I think that scenario sounds perfect. Perhaps we should arrange a conference call for the weekend? Or just phone all over the country...


RE: plans...

Kay, photos are being searched out and I'll send

whatever I can find fast to you... I'll also look

around for something poem-wise. Not sure if I can turn

out anything I wouldn't think sucked on-the-spot, but

I'll do some looking.


But the plans sound great. Sorry I haven't been able

to be more in the loop, I can't get my stupid email

from work! Argh!

kay, talk soon,


And some help with plans....

I'm looking at kind of a dearth of pictures of me. I'm

getting a bunch together, but thought I'd ask you guys

(and a whack of my friends) - if you come across any

nifty ones of me, send them along to Kit too! Like

anything we might have been doing together when I was

the idiot who didn't bring a camera....

Meanwhile, back to going through my Zip disks....


Hi there...

Hi Lynn,

I know it's been a long time- I haven't been to F'ton, but next time I'm in town I really hope we can get a visit in.

In the meantime I have a huge favour to ask... I don't know if you know, but on June 15th it will be Mom and Dad's 40th wedding anniversary (I know, hard to believe, isn't it?). All of us kids have been trying to cook up a little something for them, and we were hoping we might be able to get you help to deliver it once we figure it out. We have a bunch of pieces to put together, but the idea was that we'd like to have them find it at their house when they come back from the airport on Sunday morning. Any chance you're around and could help out? I have to find out times and stuff, but Dad will be away the day before, and we think Mom will have to go pick him up at the airport around noon-ish on Sunday.

I'm sending a copy of this note to the rest of them, so if I'm wrong on timing, they'll let me know...

Hope you're enjoying some warm weather at last!

Talk to you soon,


Woah- Time's running out!

Hi guys-

Our first puzzle piece will have to be delivered by Meme on Tuesday! (Do we know what we're doing yet?)

I'm having a really hard time finding photos as well, but maybe we should all be looking for photos of each other to add to the mix? It would help me out too. I haven't heard anything back from Lynn either, so I think I may try and call her tomorrow. For all I know they're away...

I can send stuff to Fredericton by bus, which is really quick, but we'd have to get someone to pick it up. Unless we send Mom and Dad a clue to pick up stuff at the bus station on their way back through town?

Any luck with the Duttenhoffers, Kit? I could try in German if you want...I'll be home tomorrow morning until about 11 or so- maybe I'll try and call them.

I'll send you what pictures I have tomorrow morning, Kit, but if you have any others you think would be good, please feel free to use them.

Oh, I wish we had more time.

We're doing a "quiet evening at home" theme, right? wine, cheese, music, etc? I can put together a package from the Italian market- buffalo mozzarella, fresh pasta, etc.? Sound good? We should make all of our packages "to be opened on June 15th", but put cryptic labels on them. Clues.

I gotta go, but I'll count on sending a package by bus on Saturday.

I miss you all,



Re: Hi there...

Hi Jif

We'd love to be in on the Plan. But we are going to be in Toronto for a

Reunion of people who went to Uganda with CUSO 30 years ago. BUT--have no fear- Jon-o and his girlfirend Sari will be here and they could probably do the deed--whatever it happens to be.

It is hard to believe that your parents will be celebrating-----

Yikes!! I had it all wrong!! We can do it!! This week we are going to Cape Breton (the following week we're going to TO) but we'll be home on Sat. night. So I will await your instructions eagerly for Sunday. Oh good- I can take a big bouquet of flowers too.

As I was saying... it Is hard to believe that they will be celebrating

their 40th wedding anniversary!!

Sorry to sound so (extra) dithery. I just got back from picking up Jon-o and Sari in Montreal. Drove there yesterday and back today. We've got them here for several weeks!! And Jon-o will be back for a little while in August too. He has a gig here and then another in Halifax on Aug. 19th. I'll have to check your website and see if I can catch any of your performances when I go to NS to catch his.

Are you going to be here at all during the summer? do you know if any of your sibs are planning a visit?

I'll be standing by for the plan...



FW: Hi there...

Hi guys,

I will get you photos by Monday, Kit. I do think we should each write something, but I'm not sure what... I would LOVE to have a song for them.

If you think you can talk to Franz Joseph, Kit, that would be great. My last contact with the Duttenhoffers was when I stopped by on my way up the Rhine on my bike (a VERY long time ago). I don't remember them at all.

I just wrote to Lynn to ask for her help. I'm sending you a copy of it in case I have the timing wrong- She'll need to know exactly when we want things delivered, and then we'll have to get them to her somehow.

Here's the note I just sent Lynn. I'll let you know what she writes back- She may have some ideas too.

Yikes, time's a tickin'


P.S. I'm getting them the stain glass kaleidoscope myself- I just had to. When you see it you'll understand.

RE: Hi there...

Hi Lynn,

Yay! I knew you'd be into it. I think I'm going to be sending something up by bus, which should be there by Saturday (I'm dropping it off at the bus station on Friday). Should I put your name on it? Flowers would be awesome- I was thinking about buying some, but if you put together a bouquet, it would be so much nicer!

I don't think I have your phone number, but I'll need it for the bus package, if you could send it by e-mail, that would be great.

You don't sound "dithery" at all, considering you just drove to Montreal and back in two days! (Yikes!) That's a lot of driving. It must be nice to have Jon-o back for a while. I just recently got Rachael back from her week long grade nine trip, and I feel like she's growing up so fast. It's scary. Pretty soon she'll be heading off to university, and I'm going to miss her like crazy.

I'd love to hear Jon-o on the 19th of August, where's he playing? We'll bring the girls. I don't think we have any gigs around that time, but on the 15th (Mom's birthday, incidentally) we're playing a huge concert in Pictou for the Hector Festival. We're going to be playing with Jon Allan Cameron and Mark Haines. I'm hoping to get Mom over for that. Rachael will be in a dance competition for the same festival, and it's going to be a lot of fun.

I gotta go, but thank you for offering to help celebrate- We're still plotting. Dad's going to be in Vancouver on Tuesday and in Toronto on Friday, so Amelia and Kit are going to deliver some of the pieces of the puzzle then...

I just wish we could all be there with them. I think that would be the best present we could get. Maybe at Christmas.

Talk to you soon,



Lynn can help us out!

Hi guys,

I just heard back from Lynn, and she will be able to help out with the plans. She's going to include a big bouquet of flowers from her garden, which is WAY better than what I was thinking of (buying from a florist).

After writing her back, I had a thought- She said that Jon-o is in town- Any chance we want to hire him to entertain them? you know, dinner music? I didn't mention it to her yet, but I think it would be awesome, what do you think? Either that, or she might have another suggestion for musical entertainment...

I'm going to write her another letter and suggest it, just to see what she thinks.

It's Monday, and I always get more done on Mondays. Yay!



Monday Monday

Thanks for all the photos thus far guys; I'll be sifting through them after work, and hopefully coming up with some neat-o way to combine them all. Send in yer text as well!

Duttenhoeffers; mixed signals somewhere out there - sounds like Meme tried to get a hold of them? Maybe if we ALL call them? Then they'll know we're both serious, and potentially dangerous.

Clues. Hmmm. Let me think on that one.

Entertainment a la Jono and maybe a friend or two sounds amazing. Wonder what Mike Doherty is doing for a few hours on Sunday? So we should assemble the cheese/wine/ other from Halifax and Toronto. Unless - get this; we all send something unique from our respective areas of the country? Fed-Ex or bus (so they get here by Saturday at latest) all oddities to Toronto, and I'll wing around and pick everything up? I can certainly think of a few things I can get here that would be hard to find anywhere else.

Must get to work; I'll ponder and write more before I go home.


(Hi Meme,


I think this is the message you're missing...


I'm sending Kit your address again, I think he must have it wrong.


I miss you. I drove by Creighton St, again today, and it always makes me remember you guys. In my heart I was hoping we could get together for their anniversary, but I know that's not possible. Maybe someday...


Talk to you soon,



possible request...

Hi Lynn,

After I finished my letter, I was writing to the rest of the gang to tell them the good news, and I remembered that at one point our plans included getting some live entertainment for their supper.

Any chance Jon-o could be hired for an hour or so to play? Or do you have any other suggestions for music? We'd be VERY happy to pay for it- Is there someone in town who's music Mom and Dad really like? That's a dumb question- they love all music. I guess I'm asking you if you think there'd be any way to arrange to have a mini concert for them of some kind...

I'll leave that with you- if you think of anything, let me know.

I'm so excited- you don't know how much it means to us all that you can help out!

Thank you,



Re: possible request...

Hi, Jon-o here! I have a cunning plan:

We've just made arrangements (as of about 2 hours ago) to have a

harpsichord here - we'll be picking it up tomorrow or so. Also, Sari's here too, so the two of us would be happy to play! We could drive the

harpsichord up and set it up, and have tons of music to play for you (we've both just finished solo recitals in the past few weeks, so there's no problem there at all!) This sounds like it would be wonderful fun, and could be a great surprise for them, too - they certainly wouldn't expect to have a harpsichord appear in the living room! Let me know if you think it's feasible, and we'll plan some music to play for it.

RE: Hi there...

Hi Jif

David and I will still be in Cape Breton on Sat. but Jon-o said he could pick up the parcel at the bus- maybe you should put his name on it. Our phone number is 363-2977. Sari will get some flowers at the market and we'll combine them with Columbines, white Bleeding Hearts and whatever works from the garden. Too bad the lupines aren't in bloom.

I want to make it special for them without being intrusive. But I'm sure you'll get back to me with more instructions, right? We have to find the right balance.

I'm trying to figure out how I could work at music camp (from Aug. 9-16), be at your Hector gig on the 15th, prepare supper for 40 or so musicians for the 18th, be in Halifax for Jon-o's gig (he can't remember the name of the venue but he thinks it's a round church- He's accompanying a singer named Rachel and there are a bunch of other musicians from Montreal going too- I think they're going to stay with us on the way), and be back here for the Chamber music Festival that starts on the 20th. Something will probably have to go.

...but I have to go to bed.

talk to you soon

love Lynn

Jif's pictures

Hi Kit, (and Meme and Kate)


I don't have a digital camera, so I have been trying to find pictures that were already scanned- it's not easy... Our scanner is fried, or I'd scan some more in. Dad actually has some nice ones up on his web site, maybe you could get them from there?...


I'm sending you these, but I don't have nearly enough of the girls and Sean. Most of this was scanned in for our Ardyth & Jennifer website.


What do you think about the entertainment idea?


Oh, and Amelia's new address is Ameliahunt@imag.net I think she's still not getting your notes.


Good luck with planning!




Oh yeah, I almost forgot...

You were looking for text, right Kit? I really don't think I could write anything, but "When I'm Sixty Four" was what kept running through my head. I think they ARE sixty four, aren't they? Well, Mom is anyway. Dad was sixty five in April...

Just a thought (you probably already thought of it too).


Re: text...

Thought he was sixty four - and hey, Mom will be in


I think the song is great. And it's one of those songs

that Dad _always_ sings along to when it comes on the

radio or something.


Re: Monday Monday

> Unless - get this; we all send something unique from our respective

> areas of the country? Fed-Ex or bus (so they get here by Saturday at > latest) all oddities to Toronto, and I'll wing around and pick

> everything up?

Something unique from Ottawa. Hmmmm. All I can think

of is a local brewery (Heritage) that does a very

nifty dark ale.... if anyone has any other ideas on

what would be a good Ottawa thing (_not_, I assume,

Jean Chretien's toenail clippings or anything), let me

know. . .

I'm in the process of looking for text. What else can

I do? Clues? How exactly are these clues going to


(and am I totally hallucinating that Dad's

presentation of the engagement ring to Mom involved a

multi-page card, with clues on each page, and the ring

on the last page? Does anyone else remember this, and

can we use it?)

- Kate@brain.strain.central

RE: text...

They're 63. Actually, Mom's still 62 'till August (born in 1940, yeah?).

So "When I'm Sixty-four" still has some juice, as opposed to "When I WAS 64".

Not to worry, don't force any text. I have been doing a lot of less-than-creative writing recently, so I can probably squeeze some stuff out.

So this is starting to sound pretty cool. Harpsichords, Canadian Delicacies from Coast to Coast, and a wierd book. Sounds downright Huntish. Clues, though. Hmmmmm. Clues to What? I don't remember the book of clues leading to a ring, but it sounds perfectly possible.

Let's think this through. Dad gets to Vancouver, and is presented with a package (presumably two, as it's FATHER'S DAY as well, remember). He'll know the other one is for the anniversary, and say "thank you very much" and fly to Toronto. I will then present him with two packages, and we get another "thank you very much" and off he goes.

Mom's at church, and won't go home, hopefully, until she's gone to the airport. HOW DO WE FIND THAT OUT? WHO DUPES HER? WE NEED A THIRD PARTY.

They arrive home, open the door, and there is Harpsichord music coming from the livingroom, flowers all over the place, and a pile of already-received goodies on the diningroom table. The MARCH OF DELICACIES ENSUES.

Let's get an EXACT list of stuff we want to send, so there are no duplicates, and M&D don't end up with eleven pounds of cheese, and no crackers. I can send fruit and meats, because they'll only have to make it from my fridge to F'ton in about five hours. Let me know what y'all are sending and I'll fill in the cracks.

Do they NEED clues?  I know it would be fun, but what are we hiding?

Any news on Oppenheim? let me know today; I can call our Branch Manager in Holland for advice on shipping, should this work out. If not; so be it - I think we've got a really great thing happening. Wish I could be there, but hey, it's THEIR anniversary.

Lemme know guys.


Not hallucinating, Kate...

Hi guys,

I think Kate's right- there was something about a book with clues... Kit, does that fit in with your scrap book idea? Does this book still exist? Wouldn't it be cool to mirror it in some way?

I sent you Jon-o's note- it looks like he and Sari can play. I was hoping to get them to set up while Mom's at church, and then when they walk in, they can be playing, but I need some exact timing. When EXACTLY does Dad's plan land in F'ton? and how can we make sure they go straight home? You'll just have to tell Dad to make sure he goes straight home after he lands, I guess, Kit.

National delicacies of Ottawa. hm. You'd know better then I would, Kate. It doesn't have to be traditional- it should be whatever you have enjoyed sharing with them when they come for a visit.

I think I'm going to include some "Best Bitter" from the Granite Brewery. I know the bottled stuff isn't as good as the stuff they have on tap, but it's the thought that counts. I can send them a supper from the Italian market- If I pack it in my cooler with ice, it should last the bus trip, and Jon-o can pick it up from there, and get it right into the fridge at their house.

Kit, are you going to deliver the rest of the stuff to Dad when he's there?

Man, I hope this all works out!

Love to you all,


What's a "waffle", anyway?

Man, I can't keep it straight which letters are for general consumption, and which are secrets... I'm afraid I'm going to write to Mom and Dad by accident!


Firstly- Kit- you have an office in Holland? Any chance someone there could help out with the Duttenhoffer wine? Man- I really want this to work out.


Secondly- What time does Dad get in to Fredericton? I thought Mom didn't have any time to go home. Jon-o and Lynn are prepared to arrive at a pre-determined time (supper, for instance) if they can't get into the house. but it would be so way cool to have them walk in and hear Jon-o and Sari...


What we have to do is make sure that Mom doesn't take Dad out for supper (or vice versa) after the airport.


I guess the clues might lead them home, I thought.


You know, like a treasure hunt.


I'm going to the Italian Market tomorrow to see what I can find, but I guess I was thinking fresh pasta, and maybe a sauce that wouldn't take a lot of work to put together. I'll let you know what I find.


It's definitely coming together!


RE: Hi there...

Hi Lynn,

I hope you enjoy Cape Breton! It can be really beautiful in the Summer, but our weather has been so cold lately, I'm not sure if anything's blooming.

I'll put Jon-o's name on the package, and I guess I can let him know by e-mail when it will be due in, even if you're not there. I am hoping to include a few items from the Italian market here, and they may need to be refrigerated (just to complicate matters), but I'll let you know.

As for what it is we're doing, I agree, it'll have to be the right blend of special, but I think it would be awesome for Jon-o and Sari to play for them. Maybe they could get the harpsichord set up in the living room while Mom's at church? Then when they come back from the airport they could have their concert right away. The harpsichord isn't too hard to move, is it? I don't want to make too much trouble for you guys...

It would be great if you could be playing as they walk in. I wonder if they'll lock the door? Any chance you guys have a spare key? They never used to lock the door, but it's a changing world out there... I'm going to find out more exact timing from Kit, and let you know.

I'm having so much fun planning this- I wish I could be there, though!

Thanks again for helping us out,



P.S. Jon-o's Halifax gig is probably at the "Round Church" (St. Georges). It's an awesome place to play- great acoustics. I hope I don't have a gig that night, I'd love to hear him.

RE: text...


How will Lynn and Jono get in? K8? You still have a house key?


Yikes indeed

> How will Lynn and Jono get in? K8? You still have a

> house key?

Give me till tomorrow am and I'll let you know. I

think I do, but I can't be certain. You guys don't?

If not - does Karen have a key? I think she might...

Okay, I go tear my room apart now... In the meanwhile.

. . um. . . who's in the choir that can keep Mom in

town after church? Can we convince someone to talk her

into an anniversary lunch or something?

Kay. I'm off to search for a key. . .


Re: text...

I didn't even know there WAS a house key.
I vaguely remember that little proposal card Dad made too. It had thick pages that you turned, and he'd somehow constructed it around the ring box, which was revealed on the last page.  It was damn cute.

Mom's at church, and won't go home, hopefully, until she's gone to the airport. HOW DO WE FIND THAT OUT? WHO DUPES HER? WE NEED A THIRD PARTY.

Jif, you're closest - could you like, call her on Saturday evening and tell her you need some sort of plant from that nursery near the airport? If she had an errand to run she surely wouldn't go home.

Really, though, as great as it would be to have it all there when they get home, we could also take some risk out of the plan by waiting till they're home. Maybe Kit or I could ask Dad to call or email as soon as they get in, which would be the signal to bring Lynn in with the dancing bears or whatever. Then we don't have to dupe Mom or steal a key.

Let's get an EXACT list of stuff we want to send, so there are no duplicates, and M&D don't end up with eleven pounds of cheese, and no crackers. I can send fruit and meats, because they'll only have to make it from my fridge to F'ton in about five hours. Let me know what y'all are sending and I'll fill in the cracks.

OK - I can do smoked Salmon and capers, shallots, and a nice BC wine to go with it. There's a chocolatier  up the street - I could pick up a box of their chocolates. They are extremely good.  If you think of any other BC specialties (BESIDES weed and sushi) let me know, I'll throw it in.

Do they NEED clues?  I know it would be fun, but what are we hiding?

I'm not sure how that would work. I can't think of anything very clever.

Any news on Oppenheim? let me know today; I can call our Branch Manager in Holland for advice on shipping, should this work out. If not; so be it - I think we've got a really great thing happening. Wish I could be there, but hey, it's THEIR anniversary.

I still haven't heard back from the tourism office about it.  If I do, I'll let Jif or Kate (the German-sprechers) know that very second. There MUST be some kind of directory assistence or something though? I looked on line with no luck. Do post offices still have phone books for the rest of the world? I'll keep looking - you guys look too, and hopefully one of us will find them.

Assuming we find them, we certainly should be able to do a third party-billing with Fedex or whoever and get it to NB within a couple of days. It would be worth whatever the cost.

Yay, sounding very cool guys!!


Re: Not hallucinating, Kate...

> I think Kate's right- there was something about a

> book with clues... Kit, does that fit in with your scrap book idea?

> Does this book still exist?

The last I saw it, it was in Mom's jewelery drawer.

Yup. But I have no idea if it would still be there,

since they have Grandma and Grandpa's dresser now...

My memory is that the clues had something to do with

the "something old, something new, something borrowed,

something blue" rhyme. (The whole thing, as I recall,

is _way_ cuter than I appreciated at the time, being

like 10 the last time I saw it.)

> Wouldn't it be cool to mirror it in some way? I sent you Jon-o's

> note- it looks like he and Sari can play.

That is _SO_ cool. HUGE thanks to Jon-o. Is he going

to be in Montreal in a couple of weeks? Maybe me and

Meme can look him up to thank him in person?

> National delicacies of Ottawa. hm. You'd know better then I would,

> Kate. It doesn't have to be traditional- it should be whatever you

> have enjoyed sharing with them when they come for a visit.

Too bad I can't send them the entire Arrow&Loon. I

think the Heritage Brown Ale is a pretty nifty brown

and they'd like it... I'll hit the Market for some



>I can send them a supper from the Italian market- If I pack it in my

> cooler with ice, it should last the bus trip, and Jon-o can pick it

> up from there, and get it right into the fridge at their house.

That's a cool idea.... Oops. No pun intended.

> Man, I hope this all works out!

Well, it's starting to look pretty cool... we bad.


RE: contributions

Hey guys,

This all sounds awesome:

>>OK - I can do smoked Salmon and capers, shallots, and a nice BC wine >>to go with it. There's a chocolatier up the street - I could pick up >>a box of their chocolates. They are extremely good. If you think of >>any other BC specialties (BESIDES weed and sushi) let me know, I'll >>throw it in.

>I can do some local Ontario-type beer for pre-dinners... maybe some >funky Chili Chiles salsa and chips? Is there anything else we need to >have? I can't really think of much that would be shippable from here

>that would be good - help!

What about sending something from that store you worked in, Kate? you had all kinds of strange and wonderful culinary items in there, didn't you?

I'm going to add a couple of Granite Brewery Best Bitters (perhaps for later consumption) and maybe some fresh pasta and a sauce from the Italian Market. How about a cake? Or dessert of some kind? I'll see what they have there.

Kit- perishables are up to you- you have the shortest trip to contend with, I think.

I should go- I'll write more after I've hit the Market.

Have a nice visit with Dad, Meme!



RE: contributions

Hi guys,

Hoo-kay kiddies; I'll email my BM in Rotterdam and see what he says (hate doing that, because he LOVES to talk, and he'll want to phone me and I'll never get rid of him) with regards to getting wine here. As far as phone numbers, anyone who wants to can call international information and ask for Franz Joseph Dutenhoeffer in Oppenheim (there can't be more than one). I'll give it a shot, but I have zilch German. 

I guess I was thinking your buddy might speak German...  If not, let me know, mine is SO rusty, but I'm still game to give it a shot...

As to secrets and clues, why doesn't everyone stamp "TAKE THIS PACKAGE AND GO HOME. OPEN IT THERE. THIS IS NOT A TRICK" in huge letter on their packages? Then the ones that are already at the house will match up.

I dunno, I thought it was just odd and blatant enough to funny, anyway, and certainly puzzling.  

 Sean mentioned that Dad MAY be forced to open packages before flying with them. Perhaps particularly if they say things like, "TAKE THIS PACKAGE AND GO HOME. OPEN IT THERE. THIS IS NOT A TRICK". I wonder if he's right? Other than that nagging thought, I think the "theme" is great- just the right blend of silly and "to the point".

Perishables "r" me; I'll see if Dragonfruit are in season anywhere. Ever have one of those? Screaming football shaped magenta thing about the size of a kaiser roll with lime green spiky things on it? You open it up and it's firm, white flesh with little black seeds. Tastes heavenly; kinda like a crunchy, vanilla kiwifruit. Anyway, I'm sure I can find some meats, and some mozarella de buffalo. Let's make each package chok-full of cool little things, eh? Doesn't have to be expensive, or even edible, just fun. 

Wierd thing is; I was thinking about getting them a dragon fruit myself. hm... "great minds..." or "fools..." I'll never know.

I guess that's it, we're just about set. Any word on keys? Or should we just sic Jon-o and Lynn on them at a pre-determined time? I checked the flight schedule, but there are a number of flights from Toronto to F'ton that day. I THINK he's going to be on the one that arrives at about 4:30, but I'm not sure. Any way we can find out for sure?

I didn't get to the Italian Market today, but I'll go there first thing tomorrow. I have NO idea what I'll get there, but I'm sure it'll be good. I'm also going to try and get a few lupines to add to Lynn's bouquet. I wonder how well they'll travel?

Talk to you soon,



A couple of thoughts....

Couple of thoughts: If you don't trust the baggage people not to be jerks, we could make the "TAKE THIS PACKAGE HOME. OPEN IT THERE. THIS IS NOT A TRICK" signs _removeable_. Dad could read them, and then take

them off for the flight...although that doesn't really solve the opening the packages problem, but I think checking them might be easier that way - avoids the "did you pack everything yourself, sir, and are you aware of the contents of all your packages" question.

Another thing: to keep Mom in town - assuming that stays an issue if we can't get around the key thing - Jif, you're bussing your package up? Mom's picking it up? Cause if so, you could always leak that it might

be perishable and she really ought to get it _on_ Sunday. Then pick a bus trip that doesn't get in till sometime in the afternoon, if there is one. So she has to be at the bus stop between church and airport, and there's no real point in going home just to turn around for a bus that arrives, say, at 2 or 3.

I of course have NO idea if that would be possible. Or if it would work. But it just floated through my head and I thought I should let it float your way.

I'm going to bed now. It's late. Yargh! Drawbridge. Drawn. Staying drawn until I abolutely have to get up tomorrow....

talk to you later - sleep good!


long shot on the duttenhoefers

Kay, Googled "Weingut Marienhof" and found out – which you may already know - that it's now Oeko-Weingut Marienhof since Franz-Josef Jr took over and went organic. And it's in _Dienheim_, not Oppenheim. This I

grabbed from a page on the various vintners and wine festivals in Dienheim...

"Weitere Ausk|nfte erhalten Sie auch vom Bauern- und Winzerverein: Telefon 06133 / 3469."

As far as I can tell this number is for the local Vintner's Association or something. Does this help? Anyone going to be able to try tomorrow? Cause I can't from work...

FW: contributions

OK guys - DON"T try international directory assistance. I just did - it

costs $6.95 and there is no listing for anyone in Oppenheim starting with Duden or Dutten or Duten. Maybe they are unlisted - either way, we need to try something else. I don't know what though. Don't try being sweet or cute with the german operator either. Sie ist nicht freulich. I still haven't heard back from my email attempts either.

If we need a german speaker, I have a couple of friends from there.

Dad won't be able to check bags in toronto so Kit's package will have to be small enough to carry on- with nothing sharp or explosive! Dad also mentioned not having any space in his bag, so we need to be sure stuff is in a self-contained package of some kind.

> Meme? You've got him at hand....

The mole is on it. He's out right now. I'll ply him with wine when he gets home and suss out his plans for Sunday. Expect a full report tomorrow.


> Kay. Any ideas on keeping Mom out of the house between

> like noon and Dad's flight? I guess Lynn's going to be

> busy with other matters at that point... Ann Cameron's

> not in town by _any_ chance is she?

Ann's in Wisconsin with Leslie I think. Or Dad thinks anyway. I don't think she's on the island here, anyway.

Gotta go! Dad's back.

An address & number? for the Duttenhoefers(!?!)

Weingut Marienhof

Franz-Joseph Duttenhvfer

Rheinstr. 48

55276 Dienheim

Tel (0 61 33) 13 66 Fax 13 88

Believe in Google.


Re: contributions

Yay Kate! You rock. Now I don't have to keep harassing the poor Germans. I was afraid they were going to have a restraining order put on me. I emailed my plea to a couple of weinguts, a wine museum curator, a tourism office and a wine buyer, all in the Oppenheim area, and didn't get a reply from any of them.

I guess having the right town helps. It's still very early there, and it's very late here, but if someone calls tomorrow 8am EST/9am AST it'll be – I think - 2 or 3pm there? I'm afraid we might have missed the boat anyway. But if they purolate it with weekend delivery it may still make it. We should do it either way, eh?

Dad's still out. haven't yet had a chance to talk to him about his schedule on Sunday. Conference schedule has been packed. But I'm on it.

Luckily, on the baggage front, he was given a rather large man-purse type bag at the conference he's attending, which could fit some anniversary tidbits quite nicely in a pinch.

G'night guys.

Kit - my package...

. . . I got it on the bus, it'll be at the Toronto

station by Saturday morning. It's addressed to you

guys, and if there are any space considerations, feel

free to unpack, repack, whatever. Hope it travels

okay... *crossing fingers*


(oh, and I think I hit 'reply' and not 'reply all' on

the last couple of messages I sent... oops....I'll get

the hang of this...)

RE: An address & number? for the Duttenhoefers(!?!)


I just tried the number, and...


(any one else being brave this morning?)

Wouldn't it be funny if it was busy because one of you is already on this?

I think/hope I have the right country code etc., so I'm going to try again. The idea would be to get it to the Fredericton airport before M&D go through, right?

If anyone has already gotten through, please let me know...


Not givin' up on the dang wine...

Man, I wish we'd found that number sooner.

Kate- you're a genius. (but we knew that)

I just talked to his daughter in law (I think), in very broken German, and she was very excited about our little scheme, but we're very late. The airport is an hour away, which for the Germans is an eternity. I'm not even going to suggest that they drive it there- they'd have to plan an excursion like that for weeks. If we knew someone who was flying from Frankfurt to Canada (Halifax, Toronto, Fredericton) it would make it much easier. She's going to look into the possibilities and I have to call her back.

I'm going to get her to send it. Late is better than not at all, right?


Re: Dutenhoffers

Wooohhoooo!!! Yay JiF! That's fantastic news.

Could we send them a postal money order? If you let me know how much to send and where I can do that when I'm in the SUB for lunch today.

So apparently Dad's flight gets in "around 1pm". When I asked about plans for the anniversary, he said "uh, dinner or something, I guess." (Geez, Dad)

But I just checked the online schedule and the Tango flight gets in at

12:40. Mom is definitely picking him up, but I couldn't find out whether she's going home. I'd imagine she's NOT, given the time frame though.



Hi guys,

quick up-date- I've spoken to Franz Josef's wife a couple of times now, and Kit has contacted FedEx- we're in the process of figuring it out, but it MAY be possible. She is getting a "Trocken Beren Auslese" ready along with a gift package of three bottles of their newest red wine- the labels all create a picture of Dienheim- it's like a souvenir type thing. When I asked her about how to get the money to her, she said, "Das geld is einfach, aber die wein nach Canada am Sontag zu shicken, DAS ist schwerig! Ruhen sie nicht uber das geld." (or, "Money is simple- getting the wine to Canada for Sunday is hard- don't worry about the money.")

Woah. It's Friday the 13th- anything could happen on my lucky day!

We'll keep you posted.


Re: Dutenhoffers

> Wooohhoooo!!! Yay JiF! That's fantastic news.

I just stared at my screen and said "Oh my god." Can't

believe you got through to them!! HOOOOORAY!! (I think

I remember Franz Joseph's wife, actually... I have a

face that might be hers in my head...)

WOW. Frickin unbelieveable.

> I just checked the online schedule and the Tango

> flight gets in at 12:40. Mom is definitely picking him up, but I

> couldn't find out whether she's going home. I'd imagine she's NOT, > given the time frame though.

Eeeeeeeexcellent. *oo hoo hoo hoo*

*bouncing in seat*

This is gonna SO rock!


The plan so far...

Hi Lynn, David, Jon-o and Sari

(hereafter referred to as "the co-conspirators")

O.K., so here's the plan so far...

Dad will be given a package in Vancouver when he sees Amelia (not to be opened until he is home with Mom on Sunday)

Then he will get another package from Kit in Toronto (not to be opened until he is at home with Mom on Sunday)

Then when they get back from the airport on Sunday, which should be about 2 or 2:30 in the afternoon, one of two things will happen;

a) the "the co-conspirators" will already have picked up a parcel from the bus station in Fredericton, and will be in said house complete with package and harpsichord, ready to serenade them as they arrive.

b) the "the co-conspirators" will already have picked up a parcel from the bus station in Fredericton, and will be ready to descend upon them complete with package and harpsichord at a pre-determined time shortly after they arrive back.

I guess this hinges on us finding a key, or making sure that the house stays open somehow- if necessary, maybe the "the co-conspirators" could simply ask for one? maybe blatantly say, "I have a bouquet for your anniversary and I wanted to drop it off, could you leave the house open or lend us a key?" (or something like that) They wouldn't DREAM of the possibility that you might want to drop off a HARPSICHORD COMPLETE WITH TWO MUSICIANS.

I'm planning on sending my package to F'ton on Saturday's bus- if there's any problem with that, please let me know, otherwise, it'll get there at around 8pm on Saturday...

I can't believe this is really going to happen. Jon-o and Sari being able to play for them is like the icing on the cake- thank you so much!

Let me know which bus works best for you...

Talk to you soon,


pieces of a puzzle and ducks in a row...

OK, dudes,

Here's the scoop-

I just talked to Jon-o, and they are going to go by the house on Sunday at 1. Hopefully it will be unlocked, but if it isn't, they are going to go home and wait until 2, call the house and say they have something to drop off, then go by with the harpsichord and my package. Perhaps Kit, you can mention to Dad that there's another part waiting at home, and they can't open anything until it's all together...

I am hopefully going to meet up with Lynn and David on their way by Truro tomorrow instead of sending it on the bus, so they can take it directly home. This will mean that I can include that French desert and possibly some lupines. (Yay!)

I'm not sure where we are with the wine, except to say that I've had a great time talking to Uta (Franz Josef's wife), and we've both decided that at the very least it will make a great story. It will get there, but whether or not by Sunday, I have no idea. (I'm still crossing my fingers, though.

It sounds like we're set... Kit has finished our card, and it's gonna be awesome. (of course, it's KIT.)

I think the plans are in motion...

Man, I just wish I could be there to see it!



Congratulations all!

I just got back from dropping off my package (complete with the individual Tiramisu cakes from the French bakery and a bunch of freshly picked lupines) in Truro.

Yep, you heard right, I ended up connecting with Lynn and David in Truro on their way back from Cape Breton, and everything will be hand shipped and delivered. Yay!

I also got a phone call from Franz Josef today on my CELL PHONE. Yikes- his English is non-existent... He called home first, but I guess Sean just told him the numbers for the cell phone, and he repeated them, and called it. It's a pretty funny story from Sean's point of view... you should get him to tell it the next time you see him.

The upshot is: the wine can't get there by Sunday, but it will get there eventually. We've decided to go for the "something else is on it's way" tactic for that one, and "make the celebration last" (in a more typical Hunt fashion). The shipping to get it there "quickly" (read: four or five days) was going to be almost three hundred dollars (150 euro dollars), so I decided we should just go for the slower, cheaper method, which will take about four weeks, but won't cost so much. Honestly, I was willing to pay that if we could get it there for Sunday, but it seemed kind of silly to pay that much and still have it be late.

The only address he had was for SwiftTrade, so I told him it was OK to send it there, but maybe we should be sending it directly to Mom and Dad. He can't send it out until Monday, so if you think we should do that, let me know, and I can call again and give him their address... He still wouldn't talk about how to pay him, but I guess we can figure that out later.

Everything else is set- I put a thank you card in my package for Jon-o and Sari (with a cheque for playing) and one for Lynn and David thanking them for helping us out.

All I can say now is; Well done.

I think this will be an anniversary to remember.

Love to you all- I miss you.


News Bulletin from Co-Cons

Hi Jif

Well... the co-conspirators had a slight problem (but have no fear!) with exit #14-- it wasn't there! We passed #13 and drove on in excited

anticipation of #14 but - ALAS! we found ourselves at #15 and headed for Fredericton. However David had a tremendous struggle with himself because as a point of honour to the brotherhood of manliness he has sworn to NEVER, NEVER TURN BACK. But David wrenched the wheel toward #15 and actually turned back towards Truro. We held our collective breaths until there before us appeared the magical number and shortly thereafter the sign of the Shell.

So we carried the limping lupins carefully in our arms or between our toes (while we were drinking coffee) and arrived home safely

with the goods (yum yum! I think they'll like it! them!)So we will proceed with plan A. If we can't find our way in, I was thinking

that we would continue with plan B but maybe we should amend it slightly. Suppose they are really tired and just want some down time and maybe some lunch and maybe they won't be up for a concert and extra people right then. Maybe we should tell them that a concert has been arranged by their lovely eldest daughter, but that it will be held at a time that would be most enjoyable for them. Jon-o and Sari just suggested presenting them with a gift certificate for a concert whenever they desire (ie right then, while they are having supper or sometime when they feel rested). What do you think? You know them best.

Thank you for my beautiful card. We love being co-cons.

Hi from Sari too! Thanks for the resting card! We like boats.



RE: The plan so far...

Hi Lynn (et al)

I'm so sorry about exit 14! I hope you didn't spend too much time hunting around...

I'm on my way out to church, but I really think that it would be awesome if Jon-o and sari could be playing when they arrive... We're never on time with anything, and this time we all managed to get our presents there on THE DAY for once.

However it works out, please let us know!

and Thank you!



Subject: Re: The plan so far...

Just had a call from Jen and Kit: Russ missed his plane to F'ton!!

Apparently the time had been changed and he hadn't got the message. So

he'll stay with Jen and Kit tonight and be home tomorrow. So I don't know if he'll go straight home from the airport or stay in town until Ann finishes work. I’d offer to pick him up at 1 p.m. so he can get home but then he'll know that I've been in touch with Kit. .....Unless I call your Mom and invite her and your Dad for supper tonight and then offer to pick up Russ when she tells me the sad news...

Or if he stays in town and goes home with Ann, we could have the presents in a basket with the flowers (fortunately I hadn't picked the ones from the garden yet and your lupins perked right up when I put them in fresh water in a bigger vase for the night) waiting by the door when they get home. We got some Godiva chocolates and a bottle of Italian wine for our contribution. The wine is from one of the little towns we visited on our trip to Tuscany a few weeks ago. Jon-o and Sari made up a gift certificate entitling them to a private concert at their convenience and signed it with all your names. We'll roll it into a scroll and tie it with a pretty ribbon and put it in the basket.

Tomorrow is Jon-o's birthday but he says he doesn't mind sharing it if they want their concert tomorrow. He and Sari have been playing for hours and the new harpsichord sounds wonderful! It has a lute stop! I wish you could be here.

I put the yummy-looking bread in the freezer after Jen called. The little pastries still look fine- I hope they will still look (and taste) as good tomorrow. If not I can make something-- I'm on holiday! Exams finished last week at the high school.

Tell me if you want us to do anything differently.

the Co-Cons

Que Sera

Hi All,

Just back from not meeting Russ at the airport. His suitcase is here

though and his dirty clothes are in the washing machine. I actually

had a funny feeling when I arrived at the airport and the 12:40

flight was not on the arrival screen. There was one scheduled at

11:57. The screen said that it had arrived. In fact there was no

plane on the runway so I asked the folks behind the counter. They

said that the 11:57 was really the 12:40 and that they didn't know

why it was posted as arriving but that if it said it was here it must

be here. Hmmmm.

I stood around for about 10 minutes, then, and I don't know what made

me do it, I turned on my cell phone. I noticed a plane landing at

about the same time as my cell rang. Yep, you guessed it, it was

Russ in Toronto. The schedule had been changed so when he arrived

back at the airport after breakfast with Jen and Kit his flight was

just taking off.

Happy Anniversary indeed! Oh well, maybe I'll get more report cards

done than I had planned on. Guess the nifty dinner will have to wait

till Tuesday night. Meanwhile, Russ, I'll see you at the pool at

4:30 and we can grab a bite before you head home and I go to my


Love to all,

Mom, Anne, Grandma

Subject: success!

So, we left all of the stuff, flowers, presents, and a gift certificate

for one private concert on the porch shortly before they got back

(9:30ish), lit with 3 heart-shaped tea-lights and one big oil lamp. We

then checked back a bit later, and the deck wasn't on fire, and they

were inside in the kitchen surveying their acquisitions, with two lit

candles on the table!

We haven't heard from them, but it looks like everything went well! I'll let you know how the concert went after it happens.


Jon-o Addleman

RE: success!

Thank you!


This story just keeps getting better- Our family is legendary for sending things late on special occasions, so all of us kids were feeling quite smug about our organizational skills (with a little help from some wonderful co-conspirators) and the fact that everything was going to arrive on time.

I guess it's just too ironic that the one time we were organized enough to get things there on time, the recipients weren't there!

I got a note from Mom and Dad last night, and it sounds like plan c (or is it d now?) was a huge success. Thank you once again.

Oh, and when you get a chance to deliver the concert, I'd love pictures!

Oh, and HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY birthday, Jon-o!



Enchanting an evening

OK, you four & four. So. How can we describe this?

Russ first.

So I was upstairs sending email and stuff, and went down to turn the

porch lights on about a quarter to ten, in expectation of your

mother's arrival. When I looked out on the deck, I saw a light, down

on the floor. then I noticed that what it was illuminating was a huge

bouquet of flowers, and a bunch of other unidentfiable stuff. I knew

what this must mean . . . or part of it . . . so I didn't even go outside. I waited. When the garage door went up, I opened the door and

waited while Frederika pulled in.

Anne now,

I pulled into the garage and there was Russ just signaling for me to

come along. I followed him out into the gloaming and there on the

deck was this "display" (not flamingoes either). A three foot bouquet

of tulips, lilacs, bleediong hearts, mums and that kind of flower Jen

likes. There was a wicker basket full to overflowing with wrapped

and unwrapped packages including several bottles of wine, beer

and mineral water. Three little tea lights were burning in heart

shaped holders and there was an oil lamp too. We tried to take a

picture of it but who knows in that late evening light what we will get.

Now Russ again.

We stood there trying to get our heads around all this -- we knew

who must be _immediately responsible_ (flamingo farmers), but it

was more than we could think about. So we brought it all in and put

it on the counter, along with the green bag from Vancouver, the

bunch of tissue-wrapped packages from Toronto, and the box from

Ottawa. What were we to do? We'd figured tomorrow was the

anniversary de facto (the only night we've got this week), but nobody

could possibly resist starting to see what all was there. It was at

least an hour later, maybe longer, when we finally had it all out on

the counter to look at and smell and read and be overwhelmed by.

Listen, I can't remember being so moved.

Anne now.

So, maybe I didn't get any more work done on the report cards

tonight. Who cares! This is fantastic, folks! Can't wait to nibble and to have our own private concert. The cards are super, the ceramics, beautiful, girls. They are in the bay window in the kitchen. That's where the amazing kaleidoscope is too. It is mesmerizing! We

keep revisiting the cards, especially the creation by the graphics

king. You are a clever bunch, pretty thoughtful, too.

Russ now.

More than thoughtful. I wish there were a way to go through every

individual item in this tidal wave of edibles and lookables, so that

you'd all know what everybody else did, and how wonderful it is. We

have tried to take some pictures -- in fact, we spent about ten

minutes setting up Clunky on Jif's cooler on the stepladder on the

blue recycle box so we could get a picture of us _with_ the loot, but

of course we can't be sure what we've got until I take the film to the

Stupor Store tomorrow. I'll put them on the Web site, whatever we

get. But what's really wonderful here is the imagination-- the sense

of what we'd like and who we all are, and what fun it all is, and has

been, that we're amazed by. This has been, is being, is going to

continue to be, one long, strange and wonderful trip, eh? Our jokey

slogan is, "we do good work, don't we?" Well, we don't do it, and we

know we're not responsible for it, but we sure as hell did luck out.

Anne again,

Love to all as it is very late and I must take 21 5 year olds to Science East tomorrow bright and early, but you haven't heard the last of this!

Me once more . . .

The signature says Russ, I think, because I can't remember how to

change it at this hour . . . but it's _us_. We love you all.


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