You’ll have to guess what milestone birthday party my sister in-law Donna hosted this weekend. Like the rest of my nine sisters-in-law, Donna doesn’t age. It’s ridiculous, really. We have to rely on digital time stamps and context clues to date their family pictures (though sometimes the hairstyles help).
She may not age, but the woman does celebrate, with gusto and generosity. Look to the center of any family party — birthdays, graduations, sporting events, concerts, plays, weddings, engagements, music festivals– and you’ll find Donna.
As I’ve written about before, Donna cheerfully hosts family gatherings. She spent the whole weekend before her birthday organizing, welcoming, feeding, shepherding, and cleaning up after her giant family.
It started Friday, with a post-Cubs game gathering at her house. Then, she got up early and joined a bunch of us for the famous Egg Shell Shuffle 5K Saturday morning, after which she hosted lunch and an all-day nosh fest at her house.
All of this was a prelude to the big event, her birthday party, which she also hosted Saturday night at a nearby restaurant.
On Sunday, she rested…by hosting Easter breakfast and then dinner back at her house.
The exhausting schedule might have led to some surliness in a less worthy host, but Donna’s smile only grew bigger as the weekend wore on.
Like most of our family, I’ve enjoyed lots of adventures with Donna. We’ve battled bats on Mackinac Island, toured Croatia with the Appleton Boychoir, enjoyed delicious risotto in New York, and slogged through mud at the Dirty Girl Run in Chicago.
She’s already made plans to join us for Mile of Music again this year, and we’re hoping to get her back to our cabin for some campfire singing and s’mores.
What I’ve learned in my 30+ years with the Biskupic family, is that Donna is up for almost anything.
Although they were a little sleep-deprived and Vinnie’s contact lens falls out midway through the recording, he and Danni chose the perfect James Taylor song to sum up Donna’s enviable attitude: