Happy Birthday Panchita!

This post is also available in: Spanish


As you may remember from last week’s blog, Isabel was out of the country for the holidays. I saw her when she returned on New Year’s Day and I have to tell you that she looked fantastic. How someone who has just flown for 22 hours can look that good I will never know. Really, she was radiant!

Here is something else I have to tell you: Isabel was wearing a beautiful Eskandar poncho. Only it wasn’t really an Eskander poncho. It was an Isabel Eskandar knock-off! I will have to fill you in on Isabel’s sewing abilities sometime, but that is for another entry. For now, I want tell you about her mother’s birthday party.

Isabel’s mom, Panchita, turned 90 in December. (That means she was born in 1920. Think about that for a minute!) But Isabel says she is 90 going on 60. In true Panchita fashion, she celebrated her birthday in great style. She bought herself a bride’s trousseau—enough clothes to last several decades. (Apparently she is planning to live to be 130.) Isabel threw a fantastic party for her. It was held under a large white tent decorated with loads of fresh flowers. She invited all of Panchita’s relatives and friends—the ones who still have their marbles if not necessarily their teeth. The average age of the partygoers was 80; in total there were approximately 5,200 years under that tent.  An organ grinder and a flower girl greeted the guests, each of whom was immediately served a Pisco Sour, a traditional Chilean cocktail strong enough to fell a Cossack. Click here for a recipe. (Scroll down halfway to learn the proper [i.e., Chilean] way to mix the drink.)

If anyone can tell me how to get one of these I will be eternally grateful! I am talking about the organ, not the grinder….hmmm, that could theoretically be taken out of context….

Soon enough pretty much everyone was tipsy and happy. A magician went around doing tricks with cards, and a charming female singer with an impressive bosom sang popular love songs from the 1930s and 40s. All the old folks sang along, especially Ramon, Panchita’s husband, who is 94 and has a nice tenor voice—a good thing, since he’s not exactly shy. There were so many candles on the cake that the icing was mostly melted wax, but it still tasted good. Isabel cried nonstop, mainly because Pisco Sours have the opposite effect on her: whereas most people who drink them tend to become quite jolly, she becomes very melancholic.

Ramon is so handsome. I love a man with crazy eyebrows!

8 Responses to Happy Birthday Panchita!

  1. hop over to these guys May 4, 2018 at 2:21 pm #

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  2. Florencia Parra July 2, 2011 at 10:45 am #

    Querida Sarah!! mis comentarios muchos no aparecen.. asi que quiero volvera dejar impreso aqui que los padres de Isabel son ADORABLES.. y que entiendo muy bien el amor que ella siente por el TIO RAMON.. yo ame y amo a mi padre( padrasto), que fue mi padre del corazon.. nos elejimos mutuamente cuando tenia yo cuatro años, TODO MI CARIÑO Y AGRADECIMIENTO PARA TI,,, UN GRAN ABRAZO A ISABEL… LA QUIERO MUCHO, AL IGUAL QUE ASU FAMILIA,,, CUENTO LOS DIAS PARA TENERLA ACA EN CHILE!!! ….FLORENCIA PARRA CASTILLO

  3. andrade_teresa May 6, 2011 at 10:51 pm #

    My heart rejoices on finding out that Panchita and Tio Ramon are still alive and kicking. I feel like they are part of MY family.
    I just discovered the blog today mostly because I live on another planet, but I AM Isabel's most loyal fan. Keep it a secret but sometimes I read her books and once I finish, just read them again, IMMEDIATELY just for the joy of it.
    I guess I owe Isabel tons of money that should have otherwise gone to therapy.
    And one last comment: When's Isabel coming to Australia? And where do I get a program of future activities for her? I'd LOVE to meet her in person one day.

    A Venezuelan Teresa who lives in Australia.

  4. Marla kendrick January 10, 2011 at 1:45 pm #

    >Hi Sarah, I love reading this blog! I have a question to ask you about a project i am helping a friend with and we were thinking of Isabel and i'd like to tell you more about it, do you have an e-mail address that i could contact you on?
    Many thanks,

  5. femme hesse January 8, 2011 at 11:43 pm #

    >I dropped by because today is January 8th…a special day with Isabel as I understand. I've only recently discovered her writing and am really fond of her style! Happy Birthday Panchita 🙂

    Peace and Love,

  6. Claudia January 8, 2011 at 8:25 am #

    >Por fin conozco a Panchita y a Ramón!!! Los admiro mucho…hermosas personas todos!!!

  7. MaLuisa SChaves January 7, 2011 at 6:59 pm #

    >Mis mejores deseos de Salud y Buen Humor, para el resto de sus bellas vidas

  8. Hobbit January 7, 2011 at 11:56 am #

    >This blog es writed for Isabel Allende or her assisteant?? Este blog es escrito por la Sra. Isabel Allende o por su asistente??? Saludos y Feliz Año!!!

    Pd. perdon si no esta escrito bien en ingles, solo hablo español 😛

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