Tuesday, November 24, 2015

A Good Birthday

From Friday through yesterday, my birthday was celebrated, and I enjoyed it all. Since I had an appointment in Carbondale right before lunch on Friday, Gerald said he would take me, and then we went to the Asian restaurant that friends Bill and Mickey Tweedy has introduced us to a couple of weeks ago before they left the state for a month. I loved the beauty of the rows and rows of artistic food displays there, so that was my choice for a birthday dinner. Afterwards we went to an afternoon movie Woodlawn, which we both liked. There were only three of us in the theater! Going to a movie is a rare treat for us, so I felt that was all that needed to be done for my birthday. But when I got home, there was a package and card from my sister in Amarillo. The next day there was a package and card with notes from Gerry and Vickie in College Station.

Yesterday, my actual birthday, I had birthday breakfast with my youngest daughter, birthday supper with my oldest, shared birthday cake with my husband at lunch, and heard from my middle daughter and son on Facebook. I received birthday phone calls from my 87-year-old brother Jim and my almost 90-year-old sister Rosemary. That was one of my best treats! I was also overwhelmed with all the community and friends’ wishes on Facebook. So heart warming!

The special day started as soon as I got out of bed at 8:30 when I heard a voice. My youngest daughter Mary Ellen, who is local, was there. In addition to a card and a very lovely birthday cake saying, “Happy 82nd, Mama,” she gave me a gorgeous autumn floral arrangement. That takes care of our Thanksgiving dinner table centerpiece that I had not solved yet! As if that were not enough, she also brought a beautiful poinsettia to start my Christmas decorating. These were added to the dining room table with other gifts and cards including a sweet one from my husband. Before the celebrating was over, the table was almost full.

The best part of Mary Ellen’s visit was the time she took to have a breakfast with me. For some years, I have taught everyone in our house at breakfast time that if they wanted an egg, all they had to do was this: Spray a small safe microwave dish, break an egg in it, and beat with a fork. Put into the microwave for 30 seconds and, viola, you have a scrambled egg. I always say to use a real dish rather than anything plastic for the microwave. That may be perfectly silly. But just in case plastic in the microwave is not safe, why take a chance?

Just recently, I think from Katherine, I learned that you do not have to beat the egg if you put a saucer on top! Thirty seconds and out will slide a very pretty white egg! That has been my latest routine breakfast treat with toast. I am usually too full then and have to remember to eat a banana for a snack later in the day. (I do breakfast by kicks that I get on—for a long time it was a raisin bagel in the microwave and a cup of yogurt. Then cold cereal and a banana was one long-time breakfast. Gerald always gets up early, punches the button on the coffee maker I fixed the night before and fixes his own breakfast—either the microwave scrambled egg or quick oatmeal.) Anyhow visiting with Mary Ellen over our eggs and toast was fun. She had me talking and laughing, which is not something I do often in the early part of the day.

At lunch, I cut the birthday cake for Gerald’s and my lunch dessert. Then that evening I went into Katherine’s house and took a piece for her and a second piece for me. (I was wondering how we would eat an entire cake—and suddenly it was half gone!) Usually if I feed Katherine a meal, I do not eat along with her as that is too complicated, but I fixed enough chicken strips from her freezer for both of us. I baked her a potato in the microwave as she asked and added a green salad and a bowl of lovely fruit that Connie, a wonderful long-time aide, had prepared for her. After all the necessary adjustments and putting her bed up so she could eat, I was able to feed her and eat my chicken strips at the same time. So we had supper together. She asked all about my birthday and if anyone had sung happy birthday to me. Since no one had although Gerald mentioned it, Katherine agreed she would if she could. She sang ever so sweetly, and I teared up as I was afraid I would. And then we ate birthday cake together,

Now that multiple sclerosis has damaged her voice, I rarely have the emotional strength to listen to a recording of her beautiful music from days long ago when she was a professional singer, a teacher, a children’s librarian, and story teller. She could hold an audience rapt whether it was an auditorium of soldiers at an army base or 100 or more preschoolers at her public library.

I drove home early watching carefully for deer, but only saw one which turned away. After filling the next week’s supply of prescription pills, I went down to play on the computer and enjoy more birthday greetings until I was finally tired enough to go to bed hoping I would fall quickly asleep. I am embarrassed at writing such an egocentric blog, but that is all that’s happened so far this week, and with family coming for Thanksgiving break, I may not have time to blog again for while.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sue, I'm glad you had such a good birthday. My prayers are with you and Katherine.