Thank you for the many kind birthday messages.
I had a truly memorable day. I said to Malcolm I did not want anyone
knowing that May 20th was my birthday and that instead of celebrating
then, I would wait and have a joint party with my granddaughter Sophie
in Italy in June.
In the middle of the morning Malcolm wanted to take a birthday photo
in front of our house. When I went out, Cindy, our neighbor, was sitting
in her pickup. Malcolm told me to get in the truck beside her.
"We are going to the high school where the children will sing happy
birthday to you," he said. I was not too pleased about this. Cindy
drove past the school as if by mistake and went to turn around in the
airport parking lot but instead came to a halt. Waiting there were my
three card playing friends and Marvin Mathews, the pilot of a small
Pat and card playing friends Lois, Joan and Arlene with
pilot Marvin Matthews.
"Go with the pilot for your flight briefing," Malcolm ordered.
For an hour we flew the coast line and the inner lagoons. It was a perfect
morning, the first after two weeks of rain. We looked down on surf breaking
on the coral reefs, long sandy beaches, magnificent tall trees standing
proud above the jungle canopy, and native villages on the banks of rivers
brown with the mud of the rains.
Finca Tranquillo, Malcolm's farm on the southern shore
of Laguna Tierra Oscura.
When we landed back on our island, Malcolm took the four of us to lunch.
In the afternoon we attended the anniversary celebration of the Isla
Carenero Elementary School where Malcolm crowned the Queen and everyone
sang Happy Birthday to me. In the evening I was painting in my studio
when Malcolm came to the door and asked me to come down stairs. Sitting
around our dining room table were six of my closest Panamanian friends,
who had crept into the house bringing dinner with them.
Two of the stars of the school celebrations.
Both are students of our English program.
To learn more about the P. Buckley Moss Society's
English program on Isla Carenero, click
So much for telling Malcolm I did not want anyone to know. However I
will not forget this birthday.
One week more and we will head back for a board meeting of the
P. Buckley Moss Foundation for Children's Education and then the
following week (June 7-9) we go to Cedar Rapids, Iowa for the Collectors'