Friday, March 27, 2009

"I'll go right home and tell Alice...."

I'm still consumed by the wonderful news of my son's engagement to his much loved girlfriend of the past year. In the midst of daily struggles, joy infuses my moments and I'm grateful and thrilled for these two wonderful people.

The night their engagement was official, I was sharing the happiness with my Mom, showing her pictures, and reveling in the unfolding moments, including Chris and Heather's plan to hop on a plane to Orange County for a day of celebration (and fun) at Disneyland. And then, we both had to laugh because an old, quirky, silly memory came to the fore in both of our minds.....

Years ago, I'll say about 41 years ago to be exact, when Mom and Dad lived in Aruba, communications with the "homeland" took the form of cryptic cable-grams and the occasional overseas telephone call received, not at home, but at my Dad's administrative office building. Most cable-grams and phone calls brought news of grave illness or worse yet, death. We hated to be on the receiving end of these calls. But, every now and again, the phone calls brought joyous news; usually the birth of a child.

Dad took a call from Houston in 1968 announcing the birth of his first grandchild, a beautiful little girl named Caroline. Apparently, one of the first people he saw as he left the "GOB" (General Office Building) as we called it, was a friend named Tony Proterra. Dad's joy was effusive; he apparently pulled Tony aside and shared the news of his new status as a Grandfather to a healthy baby girl back in the states. Tony's response? A classic; and one we laugh about to this day and a phrase we use whenever we've got good news to share with the world.....

"I'll go right home and tell Alice....."

I've the image of Alice, his good wife, at home, waiting for news of any kind from stateside, ready to share in the joyful moments and beyond that, to pick up the local phone (which worked just fine) and dial dozens of others to announce proudly that "today Dean became a grandfather!" News traveled fast in the small local community of Americans overseas in Aruba; what was one person's news belonged to everyone by the end of the day.

So world....let it be known that "I'm going right home to tell Alice" about Chris and Heather's engagement. Denny and I are thrilled and behind them with our love and support 100 percent!


  1. I am so happy for Chris and Heather too! Interesting story about Caroline and the old times... who is .Alice though?! A bit confused..

  2. Congratulations, Kate! The picture of the two of them is darling. That is exciting news!

    I loved the Aruba story. Eddie and I went there for our honeymoon. We went snorkeling near what had been the old club - can't remember now whether it was an American club or English. Anyway, it reminded me of a swim/tennis club that my family belonged to when I lived in Beirut as a child. Perhaps your parents went there back in the day.

    Congratulatory hugs to you!

  3. It feels special when someone else is as excited about your news as you are. Your plans for the week-end sound like the perfect celebration.

  4. Dear Kate and Denny,
    This is a profound post. Sharing good news spreads a blanket of joy over many. I've met Chris once and never met Heather, yet here in Dallas I am smiling and feeling happy for them, for you and Denny, and for the world!
    Kate, soak it up. Let the joy change the chemistry of your life. Life is good.
    With love, Wendy


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