Can someone have his best birthday ever — four days before his actual birthday? 

Knowing that Sophia and I we were heading off on our road trip to Portland, Danny invited us over for some pre-birthday birthday cake (which he baked himself!  Coconut!) 

First surprise:  Communicatrix and her boyfriend, Brenton, showed up to wish me an early happy birthday.  

Second surprise:  Sophia revealed that she has been secretly working behind the scenes to make my birthday extra special.   She has been emailing YOU for several weeks, telling you of my upcoming birthday, and asking you to mail me a card or a gift to Danny’s address. 

Third surprise:  A whole bunch of gifts and cards were piled high in Danny’s living room, the gifts and cards as varied as there are bloggers:

Chocolates from Belgium.   Art work.  Photographs.  T-shirts from various cities across the country.  Baseball caps.  Soap shaped like a woman’s breast.  A tool kit.  Books.  Movies.  CDs.  Fancy notebooks.  Buttons.  Chewing gum.  Handmade candy.  A beautiful purple bathrobe!   A hand-knitted scarf.  Magazine subscriptions.  Special beer from Chicago.  An emergency phone charger.  Poems.    And tons of birthday cards.  

And more is coming.

I was in shock for the rest of the night.  I had no idea of any of this.  I feel like George Bailey from “It’s a Wonderful Life.” 

I am still speechless.  I can’t think of anything clever to say, other than, “Wow, I’m truly touched.”  

I’m also drunk, so I’ll need to write more about this tomorrow.

Thanks, everyone.  Thanks, Danny.   

And Sophia, you really ARE the best!

P.S. — Does this mean I have to start reading your blogs again?