Sometimes something that starts out small seems to just grow and expand. Such is the case with the "little" retirement lunch that we were planning for my retirement. Two other cousins, Carol and Barb actually retired this fall from teaching as well; so back in July, Carol said, "we'll have to get together for lunch after you retire". I was actually planning to retire Sept. 30th but ended up working for another month, and officially retired on Oct. 30th.
I told Carol I would be available on Friday, October 31st, if she wanted to get together. We asked Barb, of course, as she was also newly retired. But then we decided we might as well invite siblings if they wanted to come. WELL, as it turned out we had 9 out of a possible 14 Gisel Girls cousins at lunch at Applebee's on Friday. (We actually have 13 girls, but we adopted Carolyn, a cousin-in-law). We apparently have some die-hard party goers in our group who won't miss a party if at all possible. My sister Brenda arranged to be there from Wheaton, Illinois. Then, much to our surprise, my cousin Dee came all the way from Arthur, Illinois just for our lunch celebration!
What a fun time we had! We ate and talked, and talked, and laughed and laughed. Fortunately Applebee's wasn't extremely busy, so I don't think we made a total nuisance of ourselves. We arrived at 12:00 noon, finally left the restaurant about 2 pm, but we stood in the parking lot and talked for about another hour. I received a balloon, and several cards, and I just really felt very special.
I'm already working on trying to find another occasion that would warrant getting together for lunch. Now, at least, if something fun-to-do comes up, I won't have to worry about my work schedule. Life is good!