My Going Away Party

 Excited about seeing family and friends, but not so excited to be saying goodbye.

Excited about seeing family and friends, but not so excited to be saying goodbye.

Jolly, Janyll, Jackie and Nina put the last minute touches to the lovely party James, Janyll and Jackie hosted for me.  With family and friends like these, I have no fear or anxiety about leaving Sacramento or the USA because I know they have my back no matter where I go.

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Old Friends and Relatives catching up with each other or meeting for the first time.

Jennifer regaling Mary Helen and Jerry Fischer, friends that go back to 1984 at St Patrick's, Placerville.  Our daughters were in the same CCD (Confraternity of Christian Doctrine) classes from 1st grade to Confirmation.  The girls also attended Music Camp at Sugarloaf for a couple of years. 12 years later, Amy, became my granddaughter Jacey's Godmother.  Jerry was a contractor who enclosed a loft and added 2 bathrooms in my Shingle Springs home. Mary Helen was the school librarian where one or both of my children attended elementary school. Oh yes, we all ended up together at Holy Trinity Church when the new parish was formed in 1992.

My 2 granddaughters could not be with us, but grandsons, Michael and Jolly were there, having fun with great great niece Kaitlyn Mulder, and great nephew, Alex, with his dad, Sean Cookman.

The Barbara and Jerry Guthrie connection goes back 42 years from Barbara's and my days of working at Sutter Hospital on H Street, Sacramento.  You'll read more about the Guthrie's soon.

Nina Krebs, along with her husband Dave became friends through their friends Joe and Jackie (host). We all enjoyed the great parties Joe and Jackie gave; especially the Kentucky Derby parties, and bus trips to San Francisco to see the Phillies play the Giants. Nina is an artist and Jackie has several of Nina's pieces displayed in her home and garden.  Nina reminded me of back in 1998 when she first left her practice, of her Vision Quest at my Shingle Springs property.  

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Brian Sanders, Sara Rounds and I worked together at the League of California Cities.  We continued to be friends (they also live in the neighborhood). Last year I was shocked and delighted to learn that after 10 years of friendship, they got engaged.  To each other!!! They will honeymoon in France and Italy, but I'll be leaving the day they arrive in Italy, so our paths won't cross this trip.

Lorraine Okabe is another League of California Cities initiated friendship.  Lorraine, Brian, and I were on the  'travel' team and can tell some pretty good/bad stories about out-of-office time.  Actually, we can tell a lot of stories about 'in-office' time.

Lorraine retired after 40 years with the League and found an even better way to spend her time. She met John and now they are engaged to be married.  To each other!!!

Thanks Lorraine and John for joining us on this very sad and difficult week for you. 

AWKWARD

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And then there was FOOD...delicious bar-be-que.  The pulled pork was chosen with me in mind  and was also a hit with the guests.  Lots of salads, along with chicken and turkey burgers, accompanied with chips and dips, and lots of accoutrements and  plenty of soda, water, beer and wine.  KUDOS

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Another friendship originating at Sutter Hospital, circa 1976.  Carol Voyles, Barbara Guthrie and I worked together on 6 East, Children's Inpatient Psych Ward. If that doesn't bond you, nothing will!

Barbara and Carol hosted a couples dinner party/baby shower for Jim and me, at the Guthrie's home before Jennifer was born.  We were anxiously waiting to adopt this baby any minute. We met Jerry, our host, for the first time that evening.  Jerry asked me, "are you doing Lamaze?" He's never, ever been allowed to forget that.  I excuse him because I did have on a flowing gown.  

Our boys Clay Birmingham (James), Jim Guthrie and Glen Voyles enjoyed playing front yard football at Guthrie's annual summer party.

Meredith and Scarlet Lange with Jennifer Joan, Janyll and me. Meredith is the daughter of my friend Joanne.  We met our Sophomore year at Franklin High, in Stockton.  Joanne gave a long and valiant effort to defeat cancer, but lost her battle on August 6, 2017.  Joanne would be so excited that Meredith is now teaching art at our old high school.   FYI: Scarlett is a fashionista.

Loretta Steichen and I met at parent meetings when our 4 and 5 year old sons were in El Dorado Hills Creative Preschool. I knew Loretta's parents from St. Patrick's in Placerville.  When we formed a new parish in Cameron Park/El Dorado Hills, Loretta became the assistant to the pastor.  Our friendship started in 1992 and has continued these 26 years since.  Just for fun: Loretta's son, Shane Steichen is quarterback coach for the LA Chargers (previously San Diego Chargers). He was the youngest NFL coach ever when he was on the coaching team with the Cleveland Brown's.  Of course, she is equally proud of her 4 sons.

Nephew Sean Cookman with Alex, Cathy and Audrey.  Alex was having his second 'no nap' day. Audrey had spent several hours at a birthday party at the Sacramento Zoo before arriving. I am very grateful they came to say goodbye for now on a very busy day for their family.

Friends and Neighbors,  Ashley and Meghan Tillman live in the apartment just above me. They went to the high schools my kids did; Oakridge and Ponderosa.  Ashley works at Oakridge. You'd think by moving to midtown Sacramento you could escape the past.  Never! 

Charlotte Siggins (we spent a month in Italy last fall) lives upstairs just across the hallway from Mashley.  The party continued on Saturday night at Charlotte's.  Ashley made great pizza on the grill. Charlotte made a very tasty salad, the lettuce base which came from Going Away Party leftovers.

Nephew Phil and Kris Turner (just in front of James). I'm privileged to be godmother to their daughter, Autumn. Phil graduated from Humboldt State shortly after I married his Uncle.  Kris came into the family just a few years later after she'd graduated from Fresno State. They have 2 daughters, Amber and Autumn.

Mimi May was Mimi Kelly and I was Liz Claybrook when we met in 1968. Long relationship include things to laugh about and things to cry about.  We've done both.  

Ginny Smith is Mimi's next door neighbor in Oakmont, Santa Rosa.  I'd met her when I'd visit with Mimi, however, we became friends when she and Mimi and Phyllis spent a couple of weeks with me in Montepulciano.  That trip was all about LAUGHTER!

Melissa Lienau

and Kimmy joined us but I don't have a photo.  Does anyone have one I can add to by blog of memories?   Melissa came to work at the League of Cities about a year and a half before I retired.  She was the FUN one, at work.  She's still the FUN one.

Family: Niece (Jim's) and mine, Joan Mulder, with her son Dennis and granddaughter, Kaitlyn Mulder.  I've known Joan since September 18, 1969 (Jim's 40th birthday) before her uncle and I married on February 14, 1970.  I was the proud godmother of her children Steven and Eva.  And, of course, proud great aunt of Henri, Dennis and Theresa.  

Stacey Scholz and I met when she came to work at the League of California Cities.  She was only there about a year and moved on to greener employment pastures.  Stacey's daughter Peyton and Kaylie (granddaughter) became friends when they were 2 and 4.  We've 'leaned on and then held up' each other from time to time over the years.  

My lovely family: Michael Holinsworth, Jennifer Birmingham, James Birmingham, Joan Mulder, Janyll Birmingham, Jolly Birmingham, Dennis Mulder, Chris Holinsworth.  They know I love them!  

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Adding to my Memory Bank

As Carol wrote, "I know you are traveling light, but I hope you have room for my good wishes". I have room for unlimited good wishes.  Thanks everyone!

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Jackie Horn; another time, another place.  We've been friends since I met her in 1984. I helped her with decorating her home in Davis, and a couple of more since.  Those trips to the Design Center in San Francisco allowed lots of time for getting to know one another.  We liked each other and the rest is a 34 year history of friendship. 

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Didn't get a photo with Jennifer and James today, but here's an old favorite instead.  I'll miss them terribly, but we can remedy that.  They can visit me!

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Thank you, thank you, Jackie and James. It was everything I could wish for in a

She's Leaving and She's Not Coming Back Party. You outdid yourselves and I felt the Love.  I love you(s), too.

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