Sunday, July 26, 2009

Elvis Sighting In Greenville, Maine

My husband Mike is turning 50 this week!!! He is pretty tough to surprise and my son Adam and I thought we'd plan something special for this milestone in his life. After almost 29 years of marriage, it's hard to be sneaky...

When he had turned 30, we were living near a round barn and we decorated the roof of the barn with a huge sign announcing "Mike is turning the big 30". We also had the owner of one of his favorite restaurants - Big G's, put "Mike D. is turning 30 - wish him a Happy Birthday!", on his road sign on Benton Avenue in Winslow. A good friend of his was also turning 30 later that year and his wife and I decided to rent a limo in honor of their birthdays. We went out to dinner and then as we came out of the restaurant, they were greeted by a limo driver who opened up the limo door and said, "Your limo is waiting". They laughed, thinking that we had paid the driver to say this but were stunned when we said that we had truly rented it for the next three hours. We had a cooler with their favorite beverages inside and a rented movie. We only drove about 40 minutes away to Gardner, Maine and back but the ride was really fun. They were surprised with this gift but thrilled!

When Mike turned 40, I had a surprise party for him at another favorite restaurant, The Pointe Afta, also in Winslow. All of our friends and families showed up and surprised him for appetizers and drinks. They all brought joke gifts suitable for someone now "Over The Hill" - shirts and gadgets with Old Fart printed on them, Geritol, and even a pin cushion doll where you could select different aches & pains - age appropriate...

Now Mike is turning 50 and he had already mentioned way back in June, suspecting that I wouldn't let this special birthday go unnoticed, that he didn't want any kind of birthday party this time and actually didn't want me to do anything at all. Of course we couldn't let this special birthday go by without any kind of hoopla....

Knowing that he has always wanted to rent a camp in northern Maine, I mentioned it to Adam and he went on line to search for camps in the Greenville area and found one that was very reasonably priced for the weekend. It was an older camp and privately owned. Adam contacted the owner and made the reservation. I had to make up a story to get out of the house on Thursday to meet Adam and buy the groceries needed for the weekend getaway.

We didn't tell Mike anything about our plans, even when he started getting suspicious a couple of days ago, thinking that we were up to something. Even my daughter Amanda kept the secret. Adam borrowed his truck a few hours before we were planning on leaving to load coolers, wood, and the canoe. When he and his wife Amber showed up with our grand dog Ella, we hit the road. Only then did we tell him that we were going to Greenville for the weekend. He was pleasantly surprised and quite relieved.

It had been raining all week, as it has for most of the summer so far, and we were hoping for good weather. It rained on and off all the way to Greenville, but as soon as we got there, it stopped. The camp we rented was on a dirt road off a couple of main roads. It was past the point where the electricity ran and it was powered by propane gas. It was an older camp but quaint. Ella was immediately thrilled that it overlooked Wilson Pond and ran right down and jumped in.

The sun came out yesterday morning and after a short hide and seek game, stayed out for the rest of the day. Adam had bought Mike his hunting/fishing license for a gift and the two of them went out in the canoe in the afternoon to try their luck. No fish were caught - I'm told that they weren't big enough yet so they left them in the pond... It was so relaxing and Ella was thrilled to have all of us there with her. She kept jumping in and out of the pond and running through the woods all day long.

The funniest part of the weekend occurred yesterday while we were sitting on the deck having lunch. My daughter Amanda is the biggest Elvis fan that I know. She was seated across from Ella in the pictured Elvis camp chair that has a huge head of Elvis on the back and Love Me Tender printed on the seat. She had just gotten up from the chair when all of a sudden, Ella started to make a low growling sound.

We had heard a story from the owner about previous renters having a bear come into the screened in porch during the night and wondered if the bear had returned. Ella kept up the growling and started going in the direction of the chair. We figured that an animal was sitting just inside the woods behind, directly lined up with the chair. Ella made her way over to the chair and started sniffing and looking at one side of the chair and then the other, still growling. After a minute, she went back and laid down. It was then that we realized that Ella was actually growling at Elvis and trying to figure out if it was a person or not because of the huge head. We couldn't stop laughing. What do you know; someone who didn't know who Elvis Presley was!!!

We had a lot of laughs, the sun came out, and Mike had a great birthday weekend! What will we do for his 60th????