If you know me at all, you know that to some extent I've internalized the narrative of the American West. It probably started with The Cabin Faced West, a book about some pioneers who built their cabin facing the frontier so that in case Providence or the neighbors should think they'd pack their wagons and head back toward the Mississippi, one look at the cabin would set them straight. If there isn't exactly a frontier anymore (other than Space, and what fun is that?), there's consolation in things like country music, square dancing, and good books. If you read TOO many books, of course, you won't be able to talk about the West or write a blog about your birthday party without thinking about American Exceptionalism, grand narratives, and the ups and downs of Fredrick Jackson Turner's thesis.
("In the implementation of an egalitarian social structure based on the leveling impact of the frontier and the development of political cognates to frontier existence, an American national identity emerges. In arguing that "the advance of American settlement westward explain American development," Turner equates the American character with the frontiersman and explains its uniqueness in terms of pragmatism, labor, and a materially-based existence. Life on the frontier altered the European conventions brought over and shaped new patterns of behavior that allowed the people in wilderness lands to subsist, coexist, and, ultimately, profit. Those practices which benefitted these small social units and subunits most were written into the larger narrative of American practice and identity."
In case you were wondering.)
Anyway. Birthday party.
Aubrey and Diana and Valda planned and co-hosted a fantabulous western themed birthday party for me Friday night! We dressed the part and listened to enough Waylon Jennings and Dolly Parton to keep me happy for a while. I hope you enjoy these pictures...I'd like to say that I'm supposed to be a part time stage-coach robber, but none of these pictures really show the outfit to it's full bandit potential. Have to run to a bus! Will put the photos in a more sensible order later. :) ta ta.
Valda serves up some enchilades, homemade by Diana. Those girls were sneaky: they got mom to find out what I'd want for a birthday dinner "If I were home" and used her recipe!
He's pretty convincing in this getup, don't you think!?
It was nice to have friends from different circles chatting it up. I had hoped my bosses could come, but alas, the kids were cranky and had to go to bed. I wonder sometimes if they believe me when I tell them about various friends and what I'm doing/where I'm going. I tell them the truth, but as far as they know I could be making it all up. The party would have been a good opportunity to verify the existence of almost everything I've ever told them. Somehow I think it would have built another layer of confidence into the relationship if they'd come and met people I spend time with (I did send them an sms from the party, however, that was a nice mix of Bernese dialect, Aargau dialect, and stephanie's creative dialect. That's sufficient proof of two friends, I think.)
Richard...looking like a scholarly cowboy.
Richard's space. My space.
Cow cake (not to be confused with a cow pie). Aubrey made it, and it was tasty!
Mrs. Stücklin, Gina, Diana, and Aubrey.