Sunday, October 9, 2011


On Friday 9/23 I posted this status update to Facebook:  On Friday, September 30, one week from today, my wonderful mother will celebrate her 90th birthday. She absolutely loves to get mail, and would be delighted to get birthday cards. Anyone interested in pleasing a sweet 90 year old woman, please PM me for her address. :)   

I was surprised to get more than a dozen messages from people who wanted to send her a card.  One person from high school that I haven't seen in decades, one person in another state that I only know from work, so many people who have never met my mother sent her cards.  She ended up getting 32 cards, here's a pic of her display (she got more after I left, so this isn't all 32):

Many of the cards were from our relatives in VA, including my cousin Clara Sue, who is a third grade teacher and had her whole third grade class draw cards for my mother.  How sweet is that?  Here is Clara Sue's birthday wish/memories:

Dad actually grew popcorn in the garden and had an old (very old, I don't even know how old - possibly from the 1800's, maybe the very early 1900's) popcorn popper.  It looked like a metal box on a metal pole, we'd shake it over the fire in the fireplace to pop the corn. Popcorn at my house was an antique country adventure, that's for sure.  He also had walnut trees and would sit on the carport shelling walnuts for hours.  I still miss those black walnuts, nothing that I've found in stores since then has even come close.  Back then Dad smoked a pipe, and I have to admit, as a teenage girl I bitterly resented all my clothes smelling like pipe smoke.  Everyone has fond memories of that smell except for me, I think.  Deidra is Clara's little sister, who was a baby when I was in high school, and my Mom really doted on her.  It's a thoughtful and sweet list of memories.

Here's a pic of the whole group of drawings laid out on Mom's bed:
I especially love the mermaid and the one with "Star Wors" characters holding little light sabers.

She also got a giant flower arrangement from my cousin Tony and his wife.  You can't really tell in this pic, but I swear it had to be nearly 3 feet tall.  And it meant so much to Mom, who remembered how Dad used to grow sunflowers in the garden in VA.

I had quite a wonderful trip.  I always get slightly anxious about making the long drive alone, but then once I'm on the road I'm fine, and everything went perfectly.  We had our traditional breakfast for dinner at IHOP the afternoon I arrived.  The next day we went shopping at Belk and Penny's and bought a couple of new blouses for Mom.  She made it just fine with her cane and with me helping her get around, although it always makes her very tired.

On Friday, her birthday, we went to Longhorn for lunch to celebrate: It was my brother and his wife and their daughter (her husband was at work and couldn't come), my sister and her husband, and me and Mom.  A big enough group to be celebratory, but small enough so that Mom was able to hear what was being said (most of the time).

I had several meals in the dining room with Mom and her friends Mickie and Wilma, and spent time watching Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune.  Mom has turned on the closed captioning because often has trouble making out what people are saying, but I tried to speak clearly and she rarely had to ask me to repeat anything.

She's been sad about her hearing, and I think this visit cheered her up.  I'm already looking forward to going back at Christmas.  It just makes me feel good to be with my Mom.