When event-planning is in your blood, you don’t leave something as big as your 50th birthday to chance. So it was that the first weekend in December, 1999 we took over the entire Annapurna Inn in Port Townsend and invited Sheila’s closest friends to spend the weekend. It was an ideal opportunity to share quality time with everyone. While Sheila organized the invites and other logistics, Spencer prepared the food, and  Dianne Grob volunteered to create a special ritual for the occasion. For the ritual, we all sat in a circle and first everyone wrote down something we leave behind at 50. After they were read, we burned them. Everyone was asked to come with a story to share about Sheila that shows a trait useful in the coming years. Tenacity seemed to be a common thread. Unbeknownst to Sheila, Spencer had been working behind the scenes for more than a year to pull off a few surprises of his own. The first was being greeted at the Inn by a table full of 50 fragrant lilies (Sheila’s favorite). After dinner, the ritual, and singing happy birthday over the cake, out came the big surprise…a gorgeous handwoven shawl (woven by friend Bonnie Tarses and contributed to by many friends) and a bag full of birthday cards from friends all around the world.

Sheila's Space