My father turned 70 this weekend, so my son and I visited Santa Barbara for the grand event. Dinner was a beef rib roast, Yorkshire pudding, salad, and asparagus. Cherries jubilee was dessert. Good stuff, and well appreciated by all.
Presents were minimal, as we were told the birthday boy was touchy about actually recognizing the day. We brought a nice card, ourselves, and some native plant materials for the upper 40 - a Lavatera (Tree mallow) in 5 gal pot and a new Quercus agrifolia (Coast live oak) sprout in a 1 gallon pot. I put in a couple hours planting 6 or 8 new oak sprouts (my father had his own, started from acorns), a couple new black sage plants (from cuttings off a nearby hiking trail), and the Lavatera. It's not exactly clear how well the natives (other than oaks) are received, but I think they've proven their mettle over the past year and something needs to be done to plant that hill. The neighbor thinks that he's adding value by watering the ivy.
When I was growing up, it was just my brothers and I who did the heavy yard work. Now my parents pay a gardener to do the parts of the yard that they see on a regular basis. The areas farther away don't get all the attention they need.
Back on the present theme, I didn't manage to come through in time with the hand made wooden sign indicating "Private Drive", though I now have the router tooling to make it and plan to do so presently. For birthday 71, I could make "Keep off the grass", and for birthday 72 I could consider the merits of a simple, "Keep Out!". After that, I'm sure it will devolve into the usual "Trespassers Will Be Shot" followed by "Abandon Hope All Ye Who Enter" and maybe a sign giving actual misdirections farther down the road. Curmudgeonly behavior runs in the family, so I should start now on my own signs - they're sounding like they could be useful.