it was a ruse

On September 3, Erin sent out a local-family-wide invitation that went like this: “Hey all! We JUST accepted a great offer on our house! 😊😭 Holy cow… and our closing date on the new place is Oct 12. SO we were thinking of having you guys over for a last family get together at our Coffey Lane house. We have shared significant times here with you all and thought it would be nice! Can you make it on Sat, Oct 6 at 5:30pm? I know it’s a ways off but it’s gonna go quickly!”

Sage’s birth then Brynn’s birth and then Rachel’s death all occurred in the Coffey House living room. Surely these significant events will always be part of our family story. And I moved on an idea for the perfect gift to honor the occasion.


I sent this listing photo to my friend Susana as the starting place, commissioning her artistic efforts. She makes one-of-a-kind shadowboxes with peg doll people. Check out her website.

2017 Allison Breakfast-102

I also sent her a few photos of each person in the family.


First she tackled the backdrop.


And then the people. I also sent Susana a photo of the kids’ backyard, asking her to add some scenic mountains (some might call them hills) behind the house.


It was SO fun to work as a team, Susana so patiently interpreting my suggestions.


She regularly sent pictures of her progress.


The final decision was how to include the from/to dates. Of course! The girls loved to fill the sidewalk and driveway with chalk art. Perfect!

2018-09-21 13.44.35

I could hardly wait to pick up “our” masterpiece, but then I could hardly wait for October 6 to give it to John and Erin and Sage and Brynn at the family gathering!

But it was all a ruse. A crazy ruse!

As children and grandchildren from far away showed up at our house to surprise me I kept thinking I need to let Erin know the family gathering keeps growing! Ha! The “family gathering” was only a placeholder, a ruse to keep me from making plans that evening.

2018-10-07 18.43.43

Our final meal together before the travelers headed out provided a perfect time to present the Coffey Lane gift.


Not everything works out how we plan; sometimes the outcome is ever so much better than we could possibly plan.

This entry was posted in in the neighborhood, nostalgia. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to it was a ruse

  1. Pingback: more shadowbox fun | a little bit of this and a little bit of that

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