The setting: Gotta be Frasers Ridge in the big house. I’d have them celebrate there because I think that’s where she was happiest. This is where she built a life and home with her love.
The decorations: I picture the table set with a homespun cloth, candles and a crock full of the posey Jamie has picked from the fall colors found in their woods. No poison ivy this time <g>.
The food: I see the birthday cake is walnut layer with blackberry jam filling. Dinner is a beautiful roast turkey that Brianna shot and samples of the plenty Claire has stored in the pantry. The room is full of the delicious aroma of brewing coffee and the firelight makes the glass whiskey decanter glow.
The guests: They are all there, those Claire loves; Jamie, Brianna, Roger, Jem and Mandy, Ian and Rollo, Fergus, Marsali and their brood, Lizzy and the twins and the Buggs. Rollo is lying before the hearth and Adso is winding his way through legs and chairs. I see Jamie, wearing his good shirt, has plaited his hair and Ian’s shock of brown hair looks mysteriously slicked down. The children’s faces have the rosy gleam of freshly washed cheeks and are ringed with smiles.
The gifts: The ever practical Claire is thrilled with some new equipment for the surgery that Jamie asked Lord John to procure. She gets emotional over a sketch Bree did of her healing hands. Jamie wraps his arms around her waist and kisses her neck while she fusses over the pretty rocks the children have given her.
Roger leads them all in a round of the birthday song. They talk and laugh and play and celebrate the day. And…at the end when everyone has gone to their own homes, Jamie takes Claire to their bed where they talk of all the bountiful blessings God has seen fit to give them, especially the gift of each other.
Happy Birthday Claire!