Home Vashon Living A Banner Day for Phoebe

A Banner Day for Phoebe


At my dear neighbor-turned-friend Phoebe’s birthday party, I toasted her citing my good fortune to select a home within walking distance of hers. Had the realtor known of her, I have no doubt the asking price would have doubled. Before the evening’s celebration, I was pondering a way to celebrate this gem of woman’s birthday.

For the last month, I’d been tripping over a drop cloth for the paint project that never began. (Color me sidetracked.) Then as I began to fold it to finally put the thing away, I thought, “Eureka, I’ll paint a Happy Birthday banner to attach to my fence for the world and Phoebe to see. Brilliant! If I wasn’t going to paint the walls, better that I at least paint the drop cloth.

Around 6:30 a.m., I stretched and nailed the cloth between fence posts for my makeshift easel. Collecting my Krylon satin colors, I shook the cans vigorously like a two-fisted, albeit skilled, bartender. I practiced and practiced air writing my cursive message before committing to the canvas. Sunshine yellow in hand, Oxford blue on deck, my fluid aerosol artistry began. Worried that there would not be enough room for the entire message, I was relieved to see that letter spacing wasn’t an issue at all; the message as written, fit.

Banner, zip ties and loppers in hand, all I had to do was prune back some intrusive brambles and Scotch broom from the roadside deer fence, attached said sign to fence, and await Phoebe’s response. Phoebe being a private person, I was hoping her return message would be one of delight, not chagrin.

Banner up, taut, bold, celebratory, I walked across the road to bask in my proud pronouncement for Phoebe. And then, a voice in my head, channeling a cartoon dog, said, “Ruh-row.”

I believe the banner speaks for itself…or at the painter.

Perhaps the best birthday gift is laughter, and if that’s the case this banner was a great success. Happy Birtday Birthday Phoebe!


  1. I hate to admit that I had to read it twice to find the error…but it IS the thought that counts and she looks like someone who can find the fun in anything! Happy (belated) birthday, Phoebe.

  2. Don’t you hate it when that happens? 😛 If you ever get tired up there in Vashon, we’d love to have you as a neighbor LOL. Glad you found such an excellent use for that drop cloth! Happy BIRTHDAY Phoebe, that lettuce looks amazing!

  3. How awesome! All of it! I am proud of you for just going with it. I would have probably tried to “squeeze” in that missed letter. 😉 But laughter and happiness from seeing someone else be human is far, far better. Phoebe looks and sounds like a true sweetheart!


  4. Beautiful colors, lovely message, and I’m glad to see you celebrate Birt Day.
    I’m surprised there wasn’t a drive-by copy editor in your neck of the woods. In some neighborhoods they out number taggers.

  5. Hahahaha! I didn’t see it at first either Tom! Now… did you correct it, or leave it as-is for Phoebe to enjoy?
    And I’m pretty sure anyone’d be THRILLED to have you as a neighour as well! 😀


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