Chip, me, Sasha, and Katherine, last month, at Sasha’s graduation from Chip’s alma mater, McDaniel College.

The love of my life, Chip, is turning 50 in August. Unlike his looming 30th birthday (couldn’t believe how he mourned his 20s!), he’s taking this one in stride. In fact, he’s even embracing it. (Though the AARP packet in the mail was not received with any enthusiasm.) And he wants to celebrate it. With a party. A big party.

Now this is music to my ears. I LOVE a big party. I love everything about it: the planning, the creating, the decorating, the prep, the event itself, even the cleanup has a certain charm for me. I just, plain love parties.

So you’d think we have them all the time, wouldn’t you? Not so much. My soon-to-be-50-year-old husband likes to keep his home and his family to himself. So my having a business literally in our backyard, with the public streaming in once a month is really asking all I can of him and his domain.

So hearing him calling for a party was pure delight.

And then the other shoe drops: “You know, a real kegger!” And he’s smiling so genuinely . . .

College memories of drunken frat guys, blaring hard rock, and beer bottle littered yards came to mind. My little bubble was burst.

You see my idea of a party begins with the perfect invitations to set the mood and theme of the event. My favorites are outdoor parties, so strings of lights, beautiful tables, flowers, upbeat music, flowing wine.

The decorating I had in mind didn’t involve wheeling in a row of kegs and bags of red Solo cups.

But I’m a creative person. And I love this man. There must be a way to marry these two concepts. We’ve been married for 25 years, after all. Certainly our ideas of a party can be melded.

So here’s what I’ve come up with – and I’m SOOO excited!

Chip loves cars. He loves fast cars. And he loves racing. The kind of racing they do around great big circular racetracks. And the mother of all these races, in his estimation, is the Indianapolis 500. Now I love vintage. This race has been run for over 100 years. So I think, “There must be some really cool vintage tickets out there – the perfect image for his invitations!”

I actually found a 50th anniversary ticket on eBay (similar to this one).

That’s the seed. Next I envision bunting hung from all our porches.

This is actually the home of President Harrison in Indianapolis, IN, but the volume of porches (and bunting) is like what I have in mind. (I’ve already ordered it!)

Little American flags interspersed with checkered flags in the flower arrangements on the tables.

Maybe I could even make little checked flags to go in the drinks!

An adorable double wash tub (yes, I already have one!) filled with little pints of milk (the winner of the Indianapolis 500 is traditionally handed a glass bottle of milk to drink in winner’s circle).

I know, you’re thinking, “Cute, but, YUCK! Who would want to drink milk at a party?!?!” But you see, I’ve got the cure for that, too. Sitting along side our cute little tubs of milk will be the mixin’s for mudslides. Another of Chip’s favorite things.

Add tubs of beer and wine (and maybe even a keg . . .), strings of lights (you see there are just some things I must have), pretty tables and chairs throughout the patio and lawns, highlight reels of Indianapolis 500 scenes showing on the side of the cottage, and we’ve got ourselves a party even Chip would enjoy.

Am I sounding a little too carried away already?

Wish me luck!

And thanks for reading,
Virginia