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Wyeth: Treasure Island Art Print

Treasure Island by Newell Convers Wyeth

. . .  So, if one has not already gathered, I am from the event planning philosophy of “Go Big or Go Home.” By “big” I mean elaborate detailing and time consuming enjoyment. I threw a “party” for My Suitor on Friday night, just for the two of us. The day was fraught with . . . improvising as small obstacles came up. First, and most frustratingly, the air conditioner on the floor I live on broke down. So I moved my planned event over to my parents dwelling. Or their backyard, to be precise. My mother was not in town and my father who was originally going to play along was under the weather. I had three and a half hours to stage! *panics*

What was all the fuss about, you wonder? I am a thematic follower and since My Suitor is young at heart; I created a  . . . Pirate Party! Arrrrrrgh, matey, are ye listenin’? The mid-1700s through most of the 19th century is considered the Golden Age of Piracy. Fitting for this blog, eh? From ten in the morning until eight at night I texted him clues and hints every hour upon the hour; as he loathes surprises, but was willing to appease me for the moment. The previous night I baked his traditional Modified-Jell-O Cake (which he always prefers on his birthday). This was my second attempt at the delicacy. The appearance was much better than previous, but I am working on making it taste like his mother’s version. (Given my pitiful abilities in the kitchen, this just might be an on-going crusade!)

Pirates like Jell-O cake, I am told . . .

Pirates like Jell-O cake, I am told . . .

Originally, I was going to draw a treasure map; but simply did not have the time to go into grave detail, so I fashioned one using Microsoft Publisher, printed it on parchment-esque paper, crumpled it up and tore off the straight edges. My imaginary location was christened Isla de Tres Joyas (Island of the Three Gems) Viola! Insta-treasure map. I rolled the map tightly and shoved it in a bottle. I placed it next to the wooden side gate, in the weeds with a mini-pirate flag to draw attention to the directions. Also using Publisher, I whipped up a “Wanted” poster of My Suitor using an old photographed and nailed to the wooden gate. On the inside of the gate, I placed one of my father’s wooden swords for My Suitor to use. . .  The original plan had my father jump out with his own wooden sword and rush My Suitor to add to the element of surprise, but as my father was under the weather this did not occur.

Along the walkway, I created “Pirate Alley” with remnants of resting treasure hunters. I raided my father’s liquor cabinet for props. My father helped me erect a “tent” or “shack” I dubbed “Degenerate’s Digs” on the treasure map; this was the headquarters and hide out of the most seedy and smarmy pirates. Make-shift tables and chairs, candles, playing cards, a map, steins, Sand Dollars, star fish and a how-to-speak pirate dictionary decorated the table. The vignette to the side was the most elaborate. It was strewn with maps, star charts, pirate books, compass, candles, a small little parrot, shot glasses and a myriad of booze bottles. I forgot to purchase oranges (to prevent scurvy, of course) So I plucked a few green unripe oranges. On the other side of the digs, was . . . the old “wreckage” from previous boating disasters, replete with fauna growing on it. Beyond the jettison and debris; between “Angelitos Grave” and a tree, I buried the first of three possible gifts for My Suitor. Behind the “Blue Lagoon”, near one of the Ocher Stones, I hid the mini treasure chest (really a small cedar box with an assortment of pearls and other jewelry I own and the second possible gift). The last of the gifts were buried just outside “Grimm’s Grotto” in a waterproof bag with jewels and fool’s gold. The grotto was designated by river rocks and seashells.

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The night descended and my final text to My Suitor read “Come to the side gate. Look on the ground to your right, you’ll find your next instructions. Take any weapons you find.” He was most amused. I dressed in my make shift pirate outfit, of which I have no pictures (why is it I always forget to take photographs of myself?!) Faux leather pants, brown riding boots, ruffled white blouse, mustard colored Renaissance vest, bangles and hoop earrings, and a nautical scarf tied around my head to evoke a passable pirate. I hid on the far side of the yard while he stalked in looking for presents via the treasure map. I did not have the heart nor the temerity to rush him with the sword (in part I feared if I startled my burly suitor, I might lose a limb!) I walked out inquiring “Ay matey, who goes thar?” I wrapped another a nautical scarf over his head and he donned the clip on gold earring I handed him and looked for his other gifts. It was most enjoyable watching him slowly walk around trees and lift up heavy rocks with ease (like I could feasibly do thee same . . .). He found all his gifts and agonized over the choice of picking one (as was the deal–since all items have to be ordered). He decided upon the fancy shmancy watch, in case you were wondering. We dined on traditional pirate fare of fish and chips (Red Lobster carry-out. I was not about to risk cooking another item for the health and safety of all parties involved!) After dinner, he held his sword and made his birthday wish over the cake. After desert we changed into swim-ware and relaxed in the grotto. I suggested we could do pirate-y games such as shoot craps, play poker, partake in a drinking game or I could draw an intricate “Tattoo” on him with a ball point pen. Laughingly, he declined all suggestions. Ah, well, it was his party after all.

It was rather fun, but thrown together. Mrs. Astor and Mrs. Vanderbilt would not approve of the execution even if they agreed on the theme. I vowed to My Suitor, next year I would not surprise him (nor make the cake again, for that matter). . . But I already have a theme in mind; like I do . . .