Connie Babcock celebrated her 80th birthday with the help of folks in Los Osos. Photo by Heather Babcock
A newly minted octogenarian in Los Osos celebrated her milestone with a gift from the community.
Amidst the hustle and bustle that comes with the holiday festivities surrounding Christmas and New Year’s, Connie Babcock had a pretty big day herself. On December 29, she celebrated her 80th birthday.
“Last July, my dad came to me and said, ‘You need to throw your mother a party for her eightieth,” said Heather Babcock in an email. “Dad very rarely asks for things, so when he made this statement, I knew it was going to happen.”
Heather came up with the idea to fill her yard with trees, trees and more trees.
“I thought about my mom and what means the most to her,” Heather said. “Mom is originally from Washington, and since her birthday lands right between Christmas and New Year’s, it made sense to create a winter wonderland using as many trees as possible. I wanted to recreate the ‘Evergreen State’ right here in Los Osos.”
Heather secretly started gathering a forest of sorts to fill her yard for when her mother came over to celebrate.
After placing a post for help with her mom’s eightieth on the Support Los Osos and Buy Nothing Baywood/Los Osos pages on Facebook, community members got in the spirit.
In all, 24 trees were donated along with bags and boxes of holiday décor including lights, candles and holders, baubles, wreaths, garland, beads and more, many of which were red and gold, Connie’s favorite colors.
“Almost daily someone would drop by my house and leave the most wonderful things,” Heather said. “At one point my entire garage was full! What a blessing to have people not only donate for my mom’s party but make it even easier by dropping it by.
“People were really getting into the spirit of giving. Beautiful things would show up, and each time was like a miracle, exactly what was needed. To top off the theme of Evergreen State, it rained! Nature provided the ambiance of Washington’s rain. Truly a blessing for our community.”
On November 27, the decorating started with pulling tree after tree out of the garage. Next, the lights went up.
“We had enough to surround, my house, place on the fences, and decorate the trees,” Heather said. “We were even given projector lights that twinkled green and said ‘Happy Holidays;’ all donated by the people of Los Osos. Not only did I have enough for the front yard, I was also able to decorate my entire house inside. We were surrounded by the love of this community at every entrance, exit and outdoor area.”
As the day drew closer, it was impossible to keep everything under wraps, but there was still a surprise to be had.
“We kept the magnitude of what Los Osos was doing for her a secret,” Heather said. “As my mom walked up to my house for her party, her eyes just sparkled, taking it all in. As I described what this community had done, she was overwhelmed.”
Since Connie ended the year surprised by what people in the community did for her, Estero Bay News thought she should start the new year with another surprise, she doesn’t know her story will be in the newspaper. We did ask Heather to be sneaky and ask her mom how she felt about the shindig.
“I am ever-so-grateful and pleased beyond belief for what this community did for me for my birthday,” Connie said. “Thank you.”
Heather, herself, has been personally touched by the caring nature of local residents. She is the owner of Sea Glass Salon in Los Osos that employs seven people. During the pandemic shutdown, the business had to close and reopen three times. It was during one closure that the Support Los Osos group on Facebook asked local small businesses what they needed to stay open.
“This community stepped up and helped us remain open by donating enough money to cover rent,” Heather said. “One thing I know, every time life has dealt me uncertainty, this community has given me strength. It has never let me down. I am truly blessed to be called a friend here.”