Monday, February 17, 2014

Celebrating Eight Decades

Happy Birthday Mom! Today you turn eighty, and I think that is pretty amazing. The world has changed quite a bit from your early childhood years spent in North Dakota.

Left to right: siblings Joyce and John and my mom (Thelma)

As a young woman you couldn't have imagined all the twists and turns life would take.



You married your high school sweetheart.


You became a mom.

Me!

A daughter, two sons, four granddaughters, three grandsons, and one great granddaughter is quite the legacy! Here is Rebekah, sharing her thoughts on what it is like to have such a spunky grandma.

My grandma was never a cookies and quilt-making kind of grandma. Instead, she packed us white bread and cheese sandwiches in mini-versions of grandpa's lunch box when we rode along in the combine.

Left to right: Karsten, Kellen, Rebekah, David, Alexandra


Five young grandchildren with different personalities all vying for attention when they arrived at her house could be daunting, but grandma always strove to be fair. We each got our turn, and none was spoiled more than the other. We got our catered indulgences. The older boys got their 'older kid' TV, Alexandra got her own special-diet treasure chest to choose treats from, David got to play as much computer as he wanted, and I got to forgo sandwiches for lunch (I hated sandwich bread).  There was always enough candy to go all around.

When I was younger, she knew I wasn't interested in frills and dolls and let me loose to tramp in the muddy fields. She taught me not to be afraid of being a little stubborn, letting the truth get in the way of a good story, or losing.  

A visit to grandma's house was never complete without a few games of gin rummy. While we were learning how to play, grandma never stroked our young egos by letting us win. We had to earn every victory and when we did, how sweet it was.

Another pastime was asking Grandma to tell me a story. Her way of retelling stories makes you ask her to tell them again and again. They're funny, they're shocking and sometimes maybe just a little bit tall, but always based on the truth. Like the one about the girl who fell into the outhouse…but that's a different story for another time.

I never had a huge sweet tooth, but I knew that when the moment struck me, there was always a Werther's waiting for me in Grandma's purse. Only when I got older did I learn it was because of her diabetes. I just knew that it was there, I only had to ask.

In a week I fly to Las Vegas to join grandma, mom, and my uncle and aunt to celebrate grandma's 80th birthday. It will be my first time in Vegas and I can't imagine a better reason for going. They say what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas, but I'm sure for grandma it's really a treasure trove of stories waiting to be experienced and shared.


Happy Birthday Grandma!




21 comments:

  1. I love your Mum's wedding dress. Gorgeous.

    Leanne xx

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  2. "letting the truth get in the way of a good story". lol, she must be quite the story teller! By any chance does your mom's side of the family have any Irish ancestors? I only ask because my grandmother was Irish (and loved to tell "enhanced" stories).

    Happy 80th to your mom! She's had an interesting path and is part of a very photogenic family. I hope all of you have a blast in Vegas!

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  3. Happy 80th to your mother. Have a wonderful celebration in Las Vegas.

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  4. What a beautiful tribute to your mother. I love the old photos and the newer ones with your own kids. Happy birthday to your lovely mom.

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  5. What a lovely tribute to your mother....and she sounds like she was a wonderful grandmother. And you were a cutie pie (And still are to fete her in this way :-) Happy Birthday, Thelma!

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  6. Happy birthday to your Mum, mine is 80 next year. The reclining pose must be one from that era as we have photos of my mum looking just like that, complete with the lipstick too

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  7. I just love those matching dresses in your mum's childhood photo! My mum and her sister always had matching outfits, too. Your mum sounds like a fun grandmother and mum to have. Happy Birthday Thelma, and enjoy your Birthday party in Las Vegas!

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  8. Happy birthday to your Mum, and have a wonderful time in Vegas.

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  9. Happy Birthday to your Mum, she is a beautiful lady! Hope that you all have a wonderful time in Las Vegas!! xx

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  10. Happy birthday to your mother....that is a lovely tribute to her.

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  11. Happy Birthday to your mother. 80 is a lucky number.

    I love all the photos, especially old ones. They are precious.

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  12. Happy Birthday to your mom! (I think Rebekah has the family gift for storytelling, by the way.) Have a great time in Vegas! -- Ruth

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  13. She had a real sparkle in her eye ... I'll bet she still does! Happy birthday to her. :)

    P.S. Will be anxiously awaiting the tale of the girl who fell into the outhouse....

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  14. A very Happy Birthday to your Mum, Kristie! I love her beautiful wedding photo, the perfect bride...and you were such a bright and pretty little girl. Still are, I think :)
    Rebekah writes beautifully, and what a lovely tribute to her Grandma.

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  15. Happy Birthday Thelma!! I imagine the fact that you're celebrating your 80th birthday in Las Vegas tells a bit about your adventurous soul :) My mom was the same sort of grandmother to my kids, and when they visited, the chocolate brownies were baked, and a "walk to the creek" was what they looked forward to. Love the beautiful shots of your mom when she was young ... and my goodness Kristie, you were a pretty little baby!! Wendy x

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  16. What a beautiful post, you are going to have a terrific time. Happy Birthday to your Mom.
    Meredith

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  17. Thank you for sharing your mum's eighty years with us and what a story. Lovely photos and her wedding dress was divine. Hope you have a fabulous time in Vegas Kristie and wish your mum a very Happy Birthday.
    Patricia x

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  18. Congratulations to your Mom, I hope she had a wonderful birthday. This is a lovely post from both you and Rebekah. Sarah x

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  19. What a beautiful post. And I love that pic of your five when they were younger. Your Mom sounds like a great lady Kristie, a very Happy Birthday to her x

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  20. Kristie, thank you for posting all the photos, I sure enjoyed them. I remember your mom said they were married in (Feb.?) I think and there was a snowstorm and they were afraid some of the guests might not be able to come. Like Rebekah, I have my own favorite stories your mom told. But mostly I like to think of the wonderful food I ate at your house. No one popped popcorn like your mom and her Christmas cookies, especially the candy cane cookies, were a special treat. Happy Birthday Thelma!!

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  21. Such a lovely and loving post, Kristie. The photos are super and Rebekah's tribute to her grandma shows she has your gift of writing. Slightly belated birthday wishes to your Mom.

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