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Actually, my birthday isn’t until Wednesday, but my two daughters and I like to celebrate birthdays the entire weekend before the big day.  So, on Friday evening my oldest daughter showed up for her usual weekend visit with flowers and two pints of gelato – let the fun begin!

When I went to the kitchen on Saturday morning I found a gift on the table to think about until my daughter got up for breakfast.

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It was two towels, hand-embroidered redwork with horses – I’m sure they’re harness horses.

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We met my youngest daughter and her two children for lunch at my favorite Mexican restaurant and did some shopping in the afternoon.

On Sunday morning, on the kitchen table was the most gorgeous box that was shaped like a book – and I wondered if it might be a book or a box with something wonderful in it.

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It was indeed a box with some amazing contents:  An 1883 autograph book that belonged to a woman living in Cozaddale, Ohio – a small town close to where we live.  Each page was filled with sentimental verses in the most elegant handwriting.  Did everyone write that beautifully in the 1880s?  In addition, there was a handwritten list by the woman’s daughter identifying the people who had contributed to the book.  Then, my daughter had taken it further by finding census records for the people and information on Cozaddale, as well as locating a book written in 1960 about the founder.

And the day had just begun.  At lunchtime, my youngest daughter, her husband and children came for dinner, after which there were more gifts including a Garrison Keiller CD, a Minnesota State Fair book, microwave steamer dishes, a big brass alarm clock with an alarm I can actually hear, a new garden flag and a set of solar lights for the front yard,

flaglts…a candle, a Jadite hen covered dish, mini loaf pans, a drop cookie maker, embroidered pillow cases and embroidered redwork panels for me to use to make a quilt.

The grandchildren, known here as Jellyfish (10) and Dolphin (6), made their own special gifts.  They each made molded, fragrant soap and they made decorated boxes to hold the soap.  Dolphin also made a horse light catcher and Jellyfish worked with his mother in assembling a book of his photographs of my “favorite things” – family members, of course, and all kinds of neat things that are in my house.

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As usual, the youngest daughter brought her renowned Best of Show White Cake with Caramel Frosting.  After cake and gifts, the girls, the grandchildren and I took a drive to – where else? – Cozaddale – a pretty drive on a late September day.

I was sorry to see everything end – and I don’t think it could all have been done in less than a weekend.

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