The narrative of the entire conspiracy, in a series of emails between the conspirators, located in Shad Bay, Keswick Ridge, Ottawa, Toronto, and Vancouver can be found by clicking here. This is just the part we discovered a bit before 10:00 in the evening the day Russ finally made it home from Vancouver and Toronto (where the conspiracy had been swirling around the completely oblivious victim).
This is the short illustrated version, taken from the email Russ and Anne sent the family. Click on the pictures to see the full sized version.
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.
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, bleeding 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.
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.
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.
Love to all as it is very late and I must take 21 5 year olds to Science
tomorrow bright and early, but you haven't heard the last of this!