Saturday was my mother's big day. Her fabulous 60th birthday party. The party was held in the most picturesque of locations, in a big cottage-style hall, with grass on the roof and pine wood covering the inside walls, floors and ceilings. The hall was only accessible by a tiny, almost hidden dirt road, which led into the middle of a forest. Very Norwegian and very quaint.
Friends and family gathered that night from all over Scandinavia. Some travelled for hours by boat and car to get there. One family from Denmark arrived with 10 minutes to spare. Then proceeded to party the night away, only to get up the very next morning to travel straight back home again, as their oldest son was scheduled to go to a soccer camp that night. Talk about priorities!
The food was of the buffet type. I was in heaven, as there were lots of different types of fish, some kind of divine white asparagus sauce, as well as bread, bread, bread. Gotta love those carbs. Meat lovers had not been forgotten, with roastbeef, a selection of pates, cold cuts, potatoes and meatballs. Good, hearty Norwegian fare. The boys loved it, too, as they were given their own, private table, at which there were no mommies to nag them to eat, sit properly, lean it, stop talking etc, etc. I am not entirely sure that my youngest son actually ate anything that night, but no permanent damage has been done. He remains his crazy self.
Entertainment at the party was live music, as well as those before-mentioned songs...ah, yes, the songs. We worried for naught. Not only was our song received just fine, there was at least one other song that went further than we did. I mean, we did not make my mother AND father stand on chairs and discuss the benefits of cows (!?!) in a Scandinavian perspective.
Of course, the highlight, in terms of the songs, was the one from the grandsons. My mother cried, they smiled. Joy all around. After singing the song, they each walked up to her, gave her a single rose and wished her a happy birthday. Finally, Mathias (my sister's second youngest son), walked up again and gave her yet another rose, this time on behalf of his baby brother Emil. Cue the handkerchiefs.
After a yummy dessert, the floor was cleared for dancing. Then cake and coffee. More dancing. Finally "nattmat", which may be translated as "night food" or "midnight food". My mother had wisely kept this simple - since we were all stuffed at this point - and served Danish style hot dogs with bright red sausages. Apparently, food colouring is not a concern in Denmark. Mike got a lesson from one of my Danish cousins on how to make a proper Danish hot dog. He must have liked it, as he wolfed it down...
All in all a great evening for my mother. She was so happy, and that was the most important thing. During the course of the evening, Mike and I somehow picked up two more kids, so that when everything wrapped up and we were on our way home, our brood had increased to a total of four boys. They were in bed and asleep by 2:30 am. Pretty late for little kiddies, but they were happy and thrilled to have yet another sleepover with their cousins.