Up with DH. Head off to "hair" appointment before heading into office for Retirement Celebration Party. Home, pick up DH, change of clothing, extra bags for hauling stuff to car. Into City Hall East, take DH up to Main Street where the Farmers Market is setting up. The mere smell of Strawberries and other produce is enticing, we browse. DH askes "are you nervous?" My reply "yes" DH "why?" My reply "Lord only knows what they are going to say about me, snicker" We both laugh. Head up to office, co-workers greet Dear Husband, they ambush him into talking about his recent road trip to and from New Orleans. Watch DH light up like a firefly - and the discussion is filling the air. Call from dad and step-mom "hey, we're here at Weilands waiting for you" Grab DH, "we gotta go NOW - parents are here" Meet up with parents for lunch before party. DH pulls out his Challenge Coin, slams it on the table, stars at his father-in-law, my dad. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO - geez, my brain screams. Dad - smiles,,,,reaches into his pocket,,,slams his Challenge Coin on the table and says "your buying apparently" They both laugh. Yep, DH lost this one. Talk, memories, laughter, plans, questions, answers, lunch was great. We all walk Japan Town together heading back to my office. Take them upstairs where we start running into co-workers waiting for the party to start. Go to my office. Watch my "group" running like rats in a maze, with food, stripping flower stems for arrangements, hauling balloons, Explain,,,,,the kitchen is directly in front of my office,,,,there is no way I cannot see what is going on. We head out to planned party event. ALOT of people show up. Parents, DH and I - separate just by the sheer numbers of people we are all ending up talking to before the formal stuff starts. I stare at conference room, notice all the work it took to transform it,,,it's beautiful. Tell myself - DO NOT CRY! at least not before the party starts. Several people speak, then it's my turn. I'm so honored by those who came, I'm stunned by hearing words addressed to me, about me and for me. Then, my best friend (since high school) speaks, who is also retiring in January. OK, the tears are sitting on the edge of my eyelid...NOOOOOOO DON'T....arggghhhh...give in. Some comedy is thrown in...people are standing outside the doors in the lobby because there simply is no more room. It's overwhelming. Is the only way to describe it. My dad and my step-mother - who gave me the application 34 years ago - are holding their own tears back. I thank everyone - in various remarks/comments and small speech throughout the event. DH and I say goodbye to parents who have to get on the road. I thank the hard work of my group to make it so successful. We talk about the space shuttle Endeavor fly over (still got to do that) on Friday. DH helps me load boxes, balloons, some food from event, and we head out to Ribbon Cutting of Dance Studio. Perform, as one number of many others by others, at ribbon cutting, where I'm presented with another cake for my retirement. Hugs abound with congratulations. Husband and I head home, now the happy tears can fall....as we collapse....with a permanent smile.