Storming the castle

We’re well on our way into spring now. Or is it summer? It’s hard to tell with the way the weather keeps messing with our minds. In any case, it’s been a delightful season full of lunch outdoors and trips to the park with Hannah.

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Speaking of getting out, Vivian and I dropped by Twin Valley Church on Friday to deliver a surprise birthday party to our good friend Don Stubbs, who happened to turn 60. I doodled a caricature on Don on the whiteboard to greet in when he walked in, and a couple dozen guests huddled in the dark multipurpose basement to wait for Don and Deena to arrive. I think the surprise came off successfully. We watched a slideshow I put together and stuck around for an hour or two eating cake and vittles as Don opened a variety of over-the-hill gag gifts. I was in my element, of course, snapping photos and video throughout the entire night.

Afterward, we dropped by Mark’s house for a late night full of goofy movie karaoke via Yoostar on his Xbox. Hannah nearly slept through the whole thing, but then I made the mistake of playing Leonidas in 300 yelling “This is Sparta!” loud to enough to bring Hannah well out of whatever baby dreamland she was in.

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On Saturday night, Vivian and I had fun “storming the castle” for Kaleb’s annual murder mystery extravaganza. This year, the theme was based loosely around The Princess Bride. The event was held in a charming little reception hall called Lucile’s which felt like it came out of another time. This was primarily because its eccentric previous owner decorated the interior with a hodgepodge of architecture stolen from other historic buildings: ceilings and walls covered in doors from various hotels, leaded windows from the old Brandies Home, an antique fireplace from the old Wilcox House in Council Bluffs, and crown moldings from the old Cornhusker hotel in Lincoln.

I became Fighter Nangar of Persia, and Vivian got to be a nursemaid (so we could bring Hannah along for night). We bumped into several familiar kings, archers, rangers, privates, and miracle-makers throughout the night. I didn’t get to untangle more than one tiny thread or two in a very tangled plot (as Kaleb painstakingly explained at the end of the night), but it was loads of fun.

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