Wednesday, March 4, 2009

It's not Just Another Birthday!

Happy Birthday Papa!
Hans Bartel turned 97 years old.
March 2, 2009.
A Day to celebrate life.
It's not just another birthday.
It's a blessing to life, lived well.

Yesterday, I had the honor to host his birthday.
I have looked forward to this day for awhile.
His siblings/spouses and wonderful wife, Helen,
were invited with some of their closest friends.
There was a total of 15 guests arriving.

The morning preparations started early.
I loved fussing with the candles, flowers, and napkins.
Just to make it special for Papa.

We decked the table with nothing better than our linens.
My Victoriana Rose by Paragon was laid out carefully.
I'm not sure when was the last time I had used it.

They loved there wonderful German Torten.
This is their favorite.
This is their Tradition.
They were all dressed to a tee.
Throughout the following week thoughts raced through my mind.
Way back when, we knew that relatives were arriving from Germany,
to visit our farm, we were all sent about scrubbing.
We even had to distribute limestone powder throughout the barns,
giving it a clean smell and fresh appearance.

Do any of you remember these water bowls?
They were disgusting.
In those days we had to clean the old water bowls
with the old scrub brush.
We even had to lift the float to make sure there was no
hay or silage stuck inside.
Woe to us!!
We had to scrub down the milking parlor.
We did that every day, but I mean power washing.
Everything had to be Spic and Span.
The Germans were coming.

Well it's De Javu' the Germans are all coming to my home.
Am I really ready to start cleaning again?

Did any of them notice that I had washed all the garbage cans?
That I had cleaned my china cabinet?
I cleaned out the cutlery cupboard.
That I had washed the floors?
That I had washed all the fine china before using it?
That I had sewn a table cloth just for this purpose?
I washed the windows inside and outside....
Well I realize that probably nobody noticed.
What they did notice, was that we had food and fellowship.

He is our Papa, our Opa to my children.
He tells us that he's always praying for our children.
He has lived the faith and walked the talk.
It was such an honor to celebrate with him.

We shared his favorite verse from Psalm 103.
"Praise the Lord, O my soul;
All my inmost being,
praise his holy name.
Praise the Lord, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits.

Happy Birthday Papa,
It's not just another Birthday!


  1. What a very special birthday party you hosted! Your guests would have been honoured to be there for this occasion. I knew that you had this party, as I met one of the couples in the photo at the post office, on their way to your home. We had a good visit in the parking lot. Papa has, indeed, lived quite a life! Dairymary

  2. Ninety-seven years well lived is worth every bit of celebrating you did! How special is have your 'Papa' share in your life and pray for your children and this ripe old age?

    I'm sure all the cleaning was worth it in the end (smile). I didn't know all that cleaning was required before 'the Germans' came...and now I'm wondering how often I have hosted Germans when I was totally unprepared. Your table looked set for a royal banquet.

  3. Marg, what a gift of hospitality you have. It looks like a wonderful celebration to set the stage to celebrate a life well lived...nearly a century. All of your guests probably felt celebrated as well as your guest of honor. Looks amazing.

  4. What a lovely tribute to a wonderful man. Happy Birthday to your Opa!

    I have to smile about the cleaning. Half of my heritage is German :)

  5. What a wonderful celebration with your Papa. You set a beautiful table Marg!
    I know all about the cleaning..and then who really notices?? But it did make you feel better, right?

  6. what a beautiful tribute to your dear papa... what a legacy he leaves behind, one of faith and family, is there anything more precious.

  7. Wow Marg. .what a special girl you are to make sure that each detail is perfect. What a wonderful thing it is that you have had someone to help you pray for your children all these years. .
    The good thing is that when the company left. . you had your spring cleaning completed. .woo hoo.

  8. The German on both sides comes out whenever I have people over: it has to be spic and span! And for something as marvelous as such a party...Spic AND Span in SPADES!

  9. What a wonderful job you did. It was so fun to see the pictures. (Before they came...and after.) Everyone looks so dressed if they are giving honor to this special man.

    I love the verse that "Papa" has chosen for his daily living.

    It's true...We must never forget His benefits!

  10. Happy Birthday to your Papa. Ninety-seven years of a life well lived is heart-warming.

    Your table looks wonderful, and I know everyone loved attending such an incredibly special event.

  11. Looks like a lovely celebration! Hope you found time to rest and relax after all your busy preparations.

  12. An incredible time for sure! What a wonderful age he has reached. What a blessing. My goodness....yes...well, I can see remainders of that scrubbing/cleaning with how we were raised and how I still am tempted to 'bleach the beejeebers' out of everything!

  13. You went all out for your dear family. Fresh flowers, china, and new table cloth and delishious dessert. I'm sure they felt honored and special. Kathy

  14. Marg, you do indeed put on a good party. You didnt know this, but Helen, who is your Papa's wife is the sister to Mary who is the wife of my husband's brother!
    Did I lose you on that?
    Incidently, the torten look wonderful!

  15. People may not notice that you cleaned, but maybe they would notice if you didn't ... =) and now it's done! It takes someone special to plan such a beautiful celebration! I'm sure everyone had a wonderful time and now a wonderful memory!


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