Monday, February 20, 2012

Birthday Memories

Today is my birthday. I have no idea how I got to be 55 so quickly, but here I am. I don't "feel" 55 (whatever that feels like), and I like to be delusional and think that I don't look 55. Please don't burst my bubble. There are days that I actually believe my delusions and other days where I'm rational and realize that perhaps I don't look 25 anymore.

My birthday always brings back fond recollections of my birthday parties. Having the "joy" of having your birthday fall in the middle of winter (and a mere 6 days after Valentine's Day), meant that your birthday parties were confined to the house.  For whatever reason, God decided to bless my parents with all three of us in the middle of winter (our birthdays are all within the span of one month), so it was a string of birthday parties. I'm quite certain that Momma and Ma-Ma were happy to see March 1st come around. I don't remember having a birthday party without my friends. My first toddler parties were mostly the neighborhood girls and boys and their mothers. Complete with cake and punch, we mostly played with toys while our moms enjoyed visiting with each other. On occasion, a certain cousin of mine would sneak under the table to kiss one of the boys, but for the most part, they were pretty tame.

As time progressed, the boys went away, and it was only my little girl friends at my parties. What fun we would have! Momma would decorate the dining room and the living room would be set up for games. We would have a lovely meal that Ma-Ma would make (featuring something pink--one year, it was pink mashed potatoes, and another year it was pink cottage cheese on pears). Always, always, always, the cake would be a "polka-dot angel food", which was a white angel food cake with those colored sprinkles put in the batter before it was baked. As it would bake, the sprinkles would melt, and when you cut the cake, it was filled with colored dots. I swear to you, it made the cake better. You could actually buy the cake mix like this, but I haven't seen one in years. Ma-Ma would put a piece of wax paper over the center, so that she could ice it for the candles. This is from my birthday party when I was 8. I love that we were all so dressed up for our parties. It was from a different generation, and I feel that we've lost a little something when we spend most of our time in jeans.

Getting ready to blow out the candles on my birthday cake.
Debbie and Diane Wells, Tina Voss (facing the camera)
 and Lisa Poor (in the turquoise dress)
One of my favorite birthday gifts that year was my first cookbook that Tina Voss gave me. I still have the book (although it was used so much that it's pretty fragile). It is a great cookbook, and holds special memories for me.

Soon, we progressed to slumber parties, which is what most of my high school friends remember. I would like to think that they were my friends because of me, but sometimes I wonder if it was because they wanted to be invited to my slumber parties. They were the bomb! No exaggeration at all. We usually had everyone for dinner--or a late snack, which consisted of things like homemade pizza, or Ma-Ma's famous homemade ice cream (what I would give anything for some of that right about now). The boys and Daddy would disappear (this was a very good thing), so it was all the girls and Momma. The boys were usually staying at Ma-Ma's, so she would bring the food over and then disappear with the boys. We would giggle, have seances (I have no idea who we were trying to talk to, but it always seemed that the dog would make a noise in the dark and we would all jump), freeze the bras of the unfortunate girls that actually were able to wear a bra and always tried to stop the train. Our house was built across the street from a train track, and every night around 2 AM the train would come by. We decided that if we waved from our front bay window at the train, they would see us and possibly stop. Sure enough, with enough hand waving, the train would blow the whistle and many times would stop. It never occurred to us that they were changing cars on the train. Whatever. We had fun doing it. Soon, we progressed from not wanting boys anywhere near our parties to having various boys, both from our class and my older brother's class, appearing at some point in the night--especially from my brother's class. They would appear "looking for Steve" (who was never there) and pretend that they had no idea we were having our slumber party. Right! Every now and then, one of my guests would disappear for awhile with whomever had appeared.

We had a large, unfinished basement that had a pool table, ping-pong table, extra refrigerator and a television with furniture to lounge on.  But most of all, I have a fantastic mother that allowed us to just have fun and not worry about what we were doing. She knew that we were going to behave ourselves and just let us have fun. She is an incredible momma (as was my grandmother) and it is because of them that I have these dear memories to cherish.
l-r: Kevin, Erin, Stephie (holding Steinbeck) and Ryan
Thanks for allowing me to relive the memories of 55 years of February 20th. This birthday was made special by having my precious girl come home and bring some of her delightful college friends (to include meeting her new boyfriend). We went out to dinner and had a lovely time visiting. I'm blessed with my daughter and her friends, and I thank my family for giving me yet another wonderful birthday. God has blessed me with a wonderful family and friends, and I am thankful for everyone of you that have joined me in celebrating a birthday or two and helping me form these wonderful memories. Love you all!


  1. The slumber parties were the bomb! We had great fun and now I have wonderful memories. Happy birthday my "old" dear. You were precious then and are still loving life. A true blessing.

    1. Thank you! I don't ever remember a party that you didn't attend. It's been a real blessing to still be able to stay in touch with you through modern technology! Hope your week is a good one.

  2. I agree with you about dressing up for birthday parties. I enjoyed any reason to wear a crinoline and my patent leather shoes. Your slumber parties were so much fun. Remember our Sr. year when we hung the centerfold from Playgirl on the back of the bathroom door? I had never seen a "nekkid" male until I saw that picture.

    1. I had completely forgotten about that! No wonder you spent so much time in the bathroom that night. Where did we get it? Clearly, it wasn't you or me that was brave enough to go out and buy a Playgirl. It's memories like these that make me cherish my childhood. :)