Capture the Memories: It’s Great To Be A Grandmother

life after 50, over 50, retirement, baby boomer women, baby boomers

While I’m not a grandmother yet, when the team at Bluestreak Books (an imprint of Weldon Owen) asked me to partner with them to talk about grandparenting and offer a special giveaway for their new Grandmother’s Journal and Grandfather’s Journal, (plus a webcam) I agreed. It’s a timely gift for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.*

 

Grandmother's Journal

Enter the giveaway for Grandmother’s and Grandfather’s Journals

Memories of My Grandmothers
I’m fond of talking about my grandmothers. I was lucky to know the two through my teens. Both my grandfathers died before I was born. In fact, my mother never really knew her father. He passed away when she was a toddler.

We called my maternal grandmother Nana. I think I was one of her favorites because I was the youngest grandchild. She lived nearby our apartment in The Bronx, NY and spent summers with us in Long Beach, NY. I so enjoyed visiting her after school. She would make brownies and store the brownies in an empty Maxwell House coffee can. They were as hard as rocks. We would have tea time and dunk our crusty brownies in the tea. Sometimes my Nana would read my tea leaves at the bottom of the cup. My fortune was always a good one.

Nana Mary

My maternal Nana lived nearby.

Growing up, many Sunday afternoons were spent at my paternal Grandma’s home, also in The Bronx. She only spoke Yiddish. All the aunts chatted while the uncles played cards. I had many cousins so it was quite lively. Grandma would make homemade honey cake, knishes, and kugel. She was a good cook until her hearing and eyesight declined.

Thankfully, they both lived into their late 80s and early 90s, respectfully.

It’s Great To Be A Grandmother
Although I’m not a grandmother, I wanted to know more about grandparenting. So I asked some of my friends and blogging buddies. The answers were pretty consistent — it’s great to be a grandmother!

Grandmother's Journal

There are pages to share your wisdom.

S spoke about the differences between her four grandchildren: “The random mix of genes in their biology continues to amaze me. The youngest has my curly hair but his mom’s fair skin and freckles. His older brother has the serious demeanor and scientific curiosity of my late husband and has inherited his straight light brown hair.  Two of my grandchildren have my husband’s high forehead and one has a nubbin of hair growing at the nape of his neck, precisely where his father and his grandfather had theirs.  And yet they have gifts from others that did not come from me – my grandson’s musical ability, my granddaughter’s visual and artistic leanings. All mixed up and a new unique person emerges.” Continue reading

Is John Stamos Really “Grandfathered” This Fall?

life after 50, baby boomer women, boomer womenWould you like to attend a preview of the new television show, Grandfathered, with John Stamos?” asked C from the BlogHer team. The preview was a special event during the BlogHer ’15 Conference held at the Hilton in New York City.*

“OMG, is John Stamos really playing a grandfather?” I exclaimed. “How is that possible? Wasn’t it yesterday that he was Uncle Jesse on Full House?” I watched that TGIF show with my daughter A and son D. It was one of their favorites, even on syndication.

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John Stamos plays Jimmy in “Grandfathered.” Image courtesy of FOX.

Flash forward 20+ years and Stamos is now fifty-something with a “likely dyed” full head of jet black hair. Grandfathered follows a longtime bachelor, Jimmy, played by Stamos, whose life is turned upside down when he learns he’s not only a father, but also a grandfather. Josh Peck, another child star (from the Nickelodeon duo Drake and Josh), stars as his son Gerald. The series airs on Tuesday evenings on FOX beginning September 29th.  

The sitcom is cute. Being a foodie, I liked that Jimmy is a restauranteur. It’s sweet to see how this ultimate bachelor sheds his independence and eventually warms up to his new family.

I had a chance to meet Josh Peck at the preview. He has grown into a handsome young man – almost felt like I was talking to my son D, as they are close in age. I told Peck that D was a big fan of Drake and Josh during his pre-teen years. Peck said that the show still airs on Nick-At-Night. No longer a chubby kid, Peck was dressed in a tailored suit for the occasion.

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I met actor Josh Peck at the “Grandfathered” preview.

When Will I Be “Grandmothered?”
As I watched Grandfathered, I thought of my own adult children and how much they both have matured in recent years. I wondered if and when I will be blessed with grandchildren during my life after 50 — likely not until I’m in my 60s. But then again, perhaps I may be “grandmothered” in different way.

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I could fall in love with this cockapoo grand pup.

“I really want to get a puppy,” said my daughter A last weekend. “I saw this adorable cockapoo. You will love her.” “You’re way too busy to have a dog,” I said to A. “That’s not true,” said A. “I can walk it early in the morning and when I come home from work. If necessary, I’ll get a dog walker during the day. Plus, I can purchase pet insurance if she gets sick.”

I was hesitant to approve. Then there was more chatter. “You’ll come and babysit or I’ll bring her home sometimes. A puppy is a great conversation piece and maybe I’ll meet a guy while I’m walking the dog.”**

“Hmm, hmm, hmm,” I started to waiver. “Maybe this is not such a bad idea,” I thought as I passed by Biscuits & Bath dog retreat near A’s apartment. I could take my “grand pup” to the local spa when I’m babysitting. Might be nice to introduce her to Grandma Judi’s favorite spa delights early on in life. Just no mani-pedis for my baby cockapoo!

Meantime, I look forward to seeing how John Stamos manages through the trials and tribulations on Grandfathered in September. Maybe I’ll learn some good tips.

Judi

*Disclosure of Material Connection: This is a “sponsored post.” FOX and SheKnows Media who sponsored it compensated me via a cash payment to write it. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

** Disclosure about my potential “grand pup”: While I think that this baby cockapoo is absolutely cuddle-proof, I do not recommend that my daughter A get a dog at this time in her life. If she can rent one on weekends, then maybe I’d say “yes.” And her mother (aka moi) is not going to adopt the “grand pup” after A realizes that she is too busy.

28 Memorable Moments Of Motherhood

life after 50, over 50, retirement, baby boomer women, baby boomersThis Sunday is Mother’s Day. In April, my daughter A turned the same age that I was when I gave birth to her. After that day, I realized that I’ve been a mom for half of my life.

I tell new mommies (and remind friends who are mommies who haven’t experienced some of the ages and stages of child-rearing that I have) — that parenting is not only a time to watch your child or children develop, but also a time to explore your own self-growth.

I’ve continually learned from my children, even when I was pregnant. A arrived two weeks ahead of schedule, while D decided he was going to make his entrance several weeks later than planned. A good education in the art of flexibility and patience.

As I think about my legacy, being a mom to A and D will always be top on my list of most fulfilling accomplishments. I’ve had other achievements — including graduating from Cornell University, being married to my late husband M for 24 years, having a successful 30+ year corporate career, and writing an award-winning blog during my life after 50 — but none of these experiences are as satisfying or rewarding as being a mom.

When my friends at Midlife Boulevard asked bloggers to participate in a bloghop about memorable motherhood moments, it was easy for me to make a list. I could go on and on, but I thought I would share 28 — in recognition of the 28 years I’ve been a mom. There is no rhyme or reason why I chose these 28, as there are thousands to choose from. I’ll save more for next year.

Here’s a sprinkling:

Moment #1. A is born. (I was a mommy when she popped out of my tummy. Wow-o-wow, what do I do now? How do I learn the art of good parenting? Trial and error?)
Moment #2. D is born. (Second time around D popped out in under an hour. A boy. I gave birth to a boy. Never had boys in my family. What now?)
Moments #3 and #4. A is potty trained and D is potty trained. (Love M&Ms. Goodbye to Pampers. Let the good times roll. More $ for the 529 Plans.) Continue reading

A Year Later – Remembering Mom

life after 50, over 50, retirement, baby boomer women, baby boomersLast week marked a year since my mom passed away. It’s been an entire year since she left me and my sister N to fend for ourselves. She lived a long and good life into her 90s, but I still miss her so very, very much. I think of her almost every day. Sometimes I forget that she is no longer in Flo-ree-da and I find myself dialing her number. Then I remember she is not there.

“Mom, what should I do?” I asked when I was in a jam or one of the kids was sick. She always had comforting words to say. “Don’t worry, it will be okay,” she would calmly reply.

“Mom, I’m frustrated with my job,” I complained when I was unhappy with how my career was progressing or how my boss was treating me. “Do your best,” she would reassure me. “Just do your best.”

My mom was at the top of my list when I had happy news to share. “Mom, I’m getting married. Mom, I’m having a baby. Mom, I bought a condo at the shore. Mom, I’m retiring from my full-time job.” I could feel her hugs and kisses through the phone lines.

When my sister N and I emptied her condo a few years ago (before we moved mom to an assisted living residence) we donated most of her furnishings. The only prized possessions I wanted were the family photographs that she kept in her nightstand drawer.

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My mom was in her 20s during the 1940s.

I took the box of old photos out of my closet the other night and flipped through hundreds of pictures. It was like a history lesson – the fashions of the 1940s when my mom was in her 20s, the baby carriages of the 1950s when my sister N and I were born, the beehives and bouffant hairdos of the 1960s – the pictures made me smile and a few made me laugh. There is a lifetime of memories in those photos. Continue reading

Some Wonderful Words From My Daughter

life after 50, parenting, boomer women, over 50Since this Sunday is Mother’s Day, I thought I would share a special blog post from a special person in my life — my daughter A. Yes, my daughter A is my guest blogger for this week. She gave a rousing speech at my retirement party last month when I left my corporate communications job after 30 years. 

As I think about my successes in life, being a mother ranks higher than any of my other careers, financial accomplishments or life experiences. The gratitude and love I have for my two wonderful children — my daughter A and son D — and the legacy that I (and my late husband M) have created with them are my greatest achievement for sure.

My daughter A’s words moved me to tears along with a few laughs too. I hope you enjoy her remarks. Take it away A…

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My daughter A gave rousing remarks at my retirement party

“Most of the time when a young girl is asked what she wants to be when she grows up, the answers are usually a ballerina, a princess, an actress or a singer. But as far back as I can remember, I have always said that when I grow up I am going to be just like my mom.

I wanted to live in New York City and be a businesswoman. I also wanted to do all of this, get married, have kids and raise a family all at the same time. So I guess, you could say, that growing up I wanted to be a superhero – but more specifically, superwoman. My mom has many powers, to say the least.

She is the smartest and most knowledgeable person I know. She graduated from high school a year early and was second in her class. She also reads The New York Times every morning – and not just for the current events, but also because it connects her to her roots in New York City, a city that she grew up in and if given the choice, probably would have never left and during her life after 50 may even move back to.

She always seems to know what is going on at any given company, what’s new, what’s hip and what’s innovative. She always likes to instill this knowledge to her children – like that time my brother needed a summer internship and my mom made him email the founders of this chocolate company that she saw in the newspaper. My brother D ended up getting a job with the chocolate company and working there that summer.

For those of you who know me, I have extremely high aspirations of running a company one day – on a monthly basis my mom sends me CFO magazine, which usually includes Post-it notes with the people she thinks I should email and connect with to help me make that goal a reality.

My mom is the strongest and bravest person I know. Not many people lose their spouse and have to start their life over at the age of 50, but she did and she did it with grace, never missing a beat – throwing herself into her writing and her blog and focusing on keeping life as normal as possible for my brother and me.

She is also a risk taker; sometimes when people go through traumatic events in their lives, they take an extravagant vacation or buy a fancy sports car – my mom bought a house. I remember when she told me she bought that beach house at the Jersey Shore. In the beginning, I actually thought she was a little crazy because growing up we never really went to the beach, my dad was not really a beach person. But then I saw how happy and relaxed she was down at the shore, and suddenly the idea didn’t seem as crazy to me anymore. My mom took a risk on that house and in the end that risk turned into a great reward.

My mom is a fashionista. In case you haven’t noticed, my mom accessorizes very well. Very rarely will you find her without her signature item – her scarf. If you saw her closet, you’d see that she has one in every color and every pattern. I tried to count them once but eventually lost track. My mom also loves to shop. If you asked her what her favorite time of year is, I’m pretty sure she’d say July and not because it’s summer, but because it’s the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale.

My mom and I have a ritual – I usually take off from work and come home, and we do our biggest shopping trip of the year together – sometimes we even invite my brother D. I think we broke a record one year – our shopping trip at Nordstrom lasted eight hours. You may think this is a joke, but I’m not even exaggerating. When mom and I are together – there is no stopping us.

My mom’s love of shopping has definitely been passed on to me. A few summers ago my boyfriend and I had just broken up so to make me feel better my mom took me shopping. On our way out of the mall, we walked by the Louis Vuitton store. We decided to go in. I proceeded to try on bags and was on the verge of buying one when I said “Mom, be honest here – am I crazy?” Her response, the PG version, was “Screw it. You only live once.”

And so I bought that handbag and these are now words that I live by. Anytime I am indecisive about buying anything I think of what my mom said and I say “Screw it. I only live once.” Suffice it to say that I have a lot of clothes and a VERY extensive shoe collection.

My brother and I have learned a lot from our mom in both our professional and personal lives. She has inspired us to be career driven, to always go after what we want no matter how unattainable and that no obstacle is too great to overcome. She has taught us to dress the part, because eventually, if we are going to run companies, we have to look good doing it. And most importantly, she has taught us that life doesn’t always go as planned. We must take chances and risks, embrace new opportunities with enthusiasm, even if we have doubt, and if we believe in ourselves, we can make any dreams of ours become a reality.

Thank you.”

life after 50, Godiva chocolates, baby boomer women, Mother's Day

Enter to win a box of GODIVA chocolates!

What do you think? Didn’t A do a good job? How has your mom inspired your success? Share your thoughts and you’ll be entered into my Mother’s Day raffle where one lucky winner will receive a box of GODIVA chocolates (courtesy of my friends from GODIVA Chocolatier). Leave a comment on this blog post or  “like” Judi Boomer Girl on Facebook or “follow” judiboomergirl on Twitter and leave your comment there. Deadline for entry is Sunday, May 12, 2013.

GODIVA is celebrating inspirational women by offering a gift that also makes a difference in lives of children in need. GODIVA has partnered with FEED for Mother’s Day to create an exclusive “FEED 10 Tote Bag”, as part of their corporate philanthropy initiative, The Lady GODIVA Program. Each “FEED 10 Tote Bag” will be bundled with either a $30 or $50 box of GODIVA chocolate and provides 10 school meals to children in cocoa-producing regions through United Nations World Food Programme (WFP). Stop by a GODIVA boutique or go to www.godiva.com to get your Mother’s Day chocolates and tote bag.

Celebrate your mom and have a happy Mother’s Day!

Judi

A Daughter Is A Precious Gift

It’s the first week of April. That means my daughter’s birthday is coming up and my daughter A is inching up the age bracket. I won’t tell you her exact age (she wouldn’t want me to). I’ll just tell you that she is twenty-something – somewhere between 25 and 30 years old.

It’s been more than a quarter of a century since A came into my life. I was just about the age she is turning this week when I became pregnant for the first time. I was so excited when she popped out of my belly. “It’s a girl,” said the obstetrician. “You have a daughter.” I was scared too. I became a mom and at times I felt like a child myself. How was I going to take care of a baby girl? (Separately, why don’t babies come with a set of instructions on how to be cared for? Huh?  Wish someone would figure out how to do this by now and tweet it out to the world! It would make parenting a whole lot easier.) Would I be able to pass on the family values that my mom (and dad) had passed on to me? Would A and I have the same close bond that my mom and I had from childhood through adulthood?

Looking at the woman A has become, I think I did a pretty good job. (Okay, okay, I must give a huge amount of credit to her dad too. My late husband M was a great dad. He would be so proud of his daughter.) She is a fashionista like me and like her late grandmother P . She is smart and has traveled the world, much more so than I did at her age. She lives in the big city, NYC, just like I did when I was twenty-something. She is on the path to a successful career. I know she will be a CFO one day. Yes she will. She will pursue her aspirations and dreams.

And hopefully one day, yes hopefully one day, she will give birth to a daughter just like I gave birth to her. (Of course, she has time to have a daughter – I am much too young to be a grandma or nana or mom mom yet. Much too young.)

I didn’t know what to get A for her birthday. I’m taking her and her brother D to France next month to celebrate my retirement from my 30+ years of corporate life. That’s her (and D’s) BIG birthday gift this year.  However, being the mom that I am, I wanted to get something small, something tiny but special, to celebrate A’s birthday this week.

life after 50, aging, boomer women

This book by Marci of Children Of The Inner Light struck a special cord with me as I celebrate my daughter's birthday this week.

As I walked into Whole Foods tonight, I found the perfect gift. It is a book. A book by an author who I never read before. The author is named Marci and the book is called “To My Daughter – Love and Encouragement to Carry With You On Your Journey Through Life.” Marci looks to be a boomer girl like me and her company is called Children of The Inner Light.

I stood at the table at the back of the store and read the entire book before I bought it. Just like the book jacket says, “This book has all the right amount of magic and emotion to let your daughter know the unconditional love you feel for her. It is everything you’ve ever wanted to say to your daughter in a way that will touch her heart as much as she has touched yours.” Marci’s words are so eloquent and her stick figures that accompany the words so cute.

Each paragraph was better than the next. My favorite paragraph was titled “I Just Have One Question…Where Did The Time Go?” It is exactly how I am feeling about my daughter A as she approaches her next birthday and as I look back on her life during my life after 50. Here’s Marci’s answer:

“Wasn’t it just yesterday that you were a baby in my arms? I looked at your precious face and wondered where life would take you. Today, I look at the person you’ve become…strong, kind, thoughtful, caring, and optimistic, and I realize that the dreams I held in my heart for you are alive in your beautiful spirit.”

Happy Birthday A! Happy Birthday To You! I hope you read this book cover to cover just like I did tonight. A daughter is truly a precious gift. Cherish all the words, one page is better than the next.

Judi

P.S. – Congrats to Nancy McMahon on winning the March raffle prize of the “Reader’s Digest The Digest Diet.” The book is coming your way soon. I’ll be reaching out to you via email. Thanks for your comment on the blog post: Staying Fit and Fabulous After 50.

P.S.S. – Be sure to read the press on JudiBoomergirl’s blog featured this week in Harvard Business Review at HBR Blog. Read all the great news about the power of boomer girls. We are a strong and vibrant group of women.

Breaking Bread With Those I Love

The nest was full this week with my two adult children, my daughter A and my son D as they arrived from the big city to visit with me in the suburbs. I was so pleased to have them home…to enjoy their company and to “break bread” with those I love.

“What’s on the menu?” asked A. “What are you cooking?”

Sweet Potatoes with Pecans and Goat Cheese from the Smitten Kitchen Blog

“Saturday is chili, Sunday is spinach pie, Monday is BBQ salmon with a new sweet potato side dish from the Smitten Kitchen blog,” I replied. I made sure that my fridge was filled with food and my cupboard adequately stacked with snacks. “There’s a whole half-pound of American cheese just for D,” I said, so pleased that I remembered to stop by the deli counter when I was grocery shopping. D likes to have American cheese on his bagels for breakfast.

It felt good to be mom for a week. Playing “where did all the water glasses go” each day. I knew where to find them – buried in different spots in D’s room.

It felt good to be mom for a week. A and I went shopping to Nordstrom to check out the new styles from the pre-spring catalog. “Do you want to share the ‘girlfriends’ dressing’ room?” asked the saleswoman J. “Ooh, ooh, ooh, there is a girlfriends’ dressing room. Wow-o-wow. Of course A and I want to share the girlfriends’ dressing room,” I said. It was big enough for two – mother and daughter.

It felt good to be mom for a week. Giving lots of hugs and kisses to A and D and sending them to bed each night with a round of “I love you’s,” just like we used to do when they were young. “I love you too,” said A and D before bedtime.

It felt good to be mom for a week. We cuddled on the couch and caught up on some movies we had missed – Brave and Ruby Sparks – two cute flicks. “How can you possibly watch a Pixar movie (Brave) without a Blu-Ray player?” said D. “I cannot believe you don’t have a Blu-Ray player. You know you eventually will not be able to watch DVDs in the future if you don’t get a Blu-Ray player,” said D. “Really?” I said showing my boomer girl technological ignorance.

The Terrain Cafe in Glen Mills, Pa

It felt good to be mom for a week. I took A and D out to lunch at the Terrain cafe, located in my favorite home and garden shop in Glen Mills, Pa. We each picked a different entree – goat cheese omelet for me, braised short rib sandwich for A and portabella mushroom  sandwich for D. A also ordered the special snickerdoodle latte which was oh so sweet with a scent of fresh vanilla. And we all adored breaking (and eating) the warm bread that had been baked in a clay flowerpot and sharing the cinnamon apple cobbler dessert from a mini-iron skillet.

“I’m so lucky to have a mom like you,” said A. “You introduced us to the joy of good food, you taught us to love trendy fashions, and you encouraged us to travel and learn about the world.” “I’m so lucky to have two great kids who I can enjoy good food with, who I can shop till I drop with, and who want to travel with me to Paris and Provence” I said. “I cannot think of better partners to celebrate my retirement trip with this summer – c’est merveilleux!”

We left the Terrain cafe and headed home. It was hailing and heavy rain. D drove as I navigated – being a good mom, I reminded D several times to be careful and go slow. There was only one detour left on our trip – a stop at the electronics store to purchase a Blu-Ray player. “I will only buy a Blu-Ray player if you will set it up before you go back to the big city,” I said. “Don’t I always?” D responded.

Yes, it felt good to be mom for a week and break bread with those I love. And now I also have a brand new Blu-Ray player so I can watch Blu-Ray movies. Ooh, ooh, ooh, now I can rent The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel at Redbox. They only had a Blu-Ray copy the last time I was at the store – c’est merveilleux!

Uh oh, uh oh. I forgot to ask D to show me how the Blu-Ray player works.

Judi

Flo-ree-da, Mom’s 90th B-Day and a Hot Red Sports Car

Last week I was off to Flo-ree-da for my mom’s 90th birthday.  It was a BIG occasion.  After all, it’s not every year that my wonderful mom turns the BIG 9-0. My sister N and nephew N and my daughter A and son D all joined in to honor mom’s birthday with a BIG celebration.

My daughter A and I took a little detour before heading to mom’s assisted living residence to spend two glorious days in South Beach at the Dream Hotel.  It was truly dreamy.  They even had Dream Water in the room to help guests have a restful sleep.  I didn’t try any relaxation water therapy, but I wrote down the website if I ever want to order any water for home use – might be good for some nights when I have menopausal insomnia.

After our mother/daughter Miami trip, A and I took a cab back to the Fort Lauderdale airport to pick up a car and pick up my son D before driving north to mom’s birthday party.

“I ordered a compact Ford Focus,” I said to the rental agent at the Budget Rental Car counter. “Sorry, no compact cars left.  But we are going to upgrade you to an SUV,” said the agent.

“What do you mean?  I don’t want an SUV,” I said rather loudly.  I’m here for my mom’s 90th birthday and she cannot climb into an SUV.  You gave my sister an SUV and now she cannot take my mother out for a ride. I need a car,” I said.

“Well, I’ll give you an upgrade to our best car. It’s a Lincoln Towncar,” said the agent.  It is a car with four doors.   “Okay, I’ll take it, I’ll take it,” I replied.

“What are you doing?” said my son D as we walked to the car.  “That car is a boat. We cannot drive a Lincoln Towncar,” said D.  “Grandma will think we are going to a funeral not her 90th birthday party.  The car is big and black.”

I walked back to the Budget counter and demanded a different car. “I cannot drive around in a big black car for my mother’s 90th birthday weekend,” I told the agent.

“Well, I’ll upgrade you to a Cadillac Escalade,” said the agent. “No, no, no,” I replied.  “I told you, no SUV.  I need a car.  Do you have any cars left in the shop?”

“Well, the only cars I have left are sports cars, either a Camaro or a Dodge Challenger…and you’ll have to pay extra,” said the agent.

By this time I was quite annoyed.  Plus, we had to get going if we were going to make it in time for the party at 3:00 p.m.  “Okay, give me the Dodge Challenger,” I said.  “Way to go mom,” said my son D.  We loaded up our luggage, revved up the engine and off to the races we went,  I mean off to the birthday party we went, in a two door, hot red sports car.

We arrived at mom’s place just in time for the party.  E, the events planner at my mom’s residence, was a pro when it came to celebrations.  “Do you want to have a really, really great 90th birthday for your mom?” she had said when I spoke to her a few weeks prior.  “Of course I want to have a really, really great 90th birthday for my mom. Why wouldn’t I want it to be a really, really great birthday?”

“Then I suggest we have some entertainment.  Do you want a singer or a comedian?” E had asked.  I chose the singer and my sister N agreed.

At 3:00 p.m. sharp there was a sitting room only crowd waiting in the living room. (All walkers were folded to allow for maximum accommodations.) Singer Jeanne arrived and belted out a bevy of show tunes and love songs to honor my mom’s nine decades.   She ended her serenade with a Peggy Lee favorite, “I’m A Woman,” and the crowd sang along.  Oh, it was so good, I feel like singing it again.  Come on and have some fun and sing along with me:

I can wash out 44 pairs of socks and have ’em hangin out on the line
I can starch & iron 2 dozens shirts ‘fore you can count from 1 to 9
I can scoop up a great big dipper full of lard from the drippins can
Throw it in the skillet, go out & do my shopping, be back before it melts in the pan
‘Cause I’m a woman! W-O-M-A-N, I’ll say it again

I can rub & scrub this old house til it’s shinin like a dime 
Feed the baby, grease the car, & powder my face at the same time
Get all dressed up, go out and swing til 4 a.m. and then 
Lay down at 5, jump up at 6, and start all over again 
‘Cause I’m a woman! W-O-M-A-N, I’ll say it again 

If you come to me sickly you know I’m gonna make you well
If you come to me all hexed up you know I’m gonna break the spell
If you come to me hungry you know I’m gonna fill you full of grits
If it’s lovin you’re likin, I’ll kiss you and give you the shiverin’ fits
‘Cause I’m a woman! W-O-M-A-N, I’ll say it again 

I can stretch! a green black dollar bill from here to kindom come!
I can play the numbers pay the bills and still end up with some!
I got a twenty-dollar gold piece says there ain’t nothing I can’t do
I can make a dress out of a feed bag and I can make a man out of you
‘Cause I’m a woman! W-O-M-A-N, I’ll say it again 
‘Cause I’m a woman! W-O-M-A-N, and that’s all. 

Wow, that was fabulous.  Don’t you feel empowered?  Oh, you want to know about the rest of the party?

Well, chef E at my mom’s assisted living residence made a delicious fruity birthday cake with pineapple filling and whipped cream frosting. Almost everyone had a slice, except for those who were diabetic, they had to have special cookies.  Then my mom blew out her birthday candle and made a birthday wish.

We spent the rest of the weekend driving around in the hot red Dodge Challenger sports car.  “It was great,” said my mom at the end of the day on Friday and at the end of the weekend too.  It truly was a best-ever birthday.

I especially love the quote in my mom’s 90th birthday card.  It is by poet Emily Dickinson and says “We turn not older with years, but new every day.”  That’s how I feel about my mom.  She may be 90 now, but she still inspires me in new ways every day.

We dropped off the hot red Dodge Challenger sportscar at the Budget rental car return and boarded the plane at 6:00 a.m. back to New Jersey on Monday morning. A and I were exhausted (D had already left on Sunday) but glad that the weekend had gone so well. “Maybe we’ll be back to celebrate grandma’s 100th birthday in 10 years from now,” said A, “That would be really fun!”

Judi

 

Are You Lookin’ Good or Good Lookin’?

I was visiting my mom this week in Flo-ree-da.  It’s always nice to visit Flo-ree-da, especially when the weather is cold and snowy at home and it is 80 degrees and sunny down south.

I was visiting my mom in her new apartment in an assisted living residence.  It was my first visit to see how she is adapting.  Like mother, like daughter, we both moved around the same time and are both adjusting to our new environments.

Miracle Spa and Resort; mountain climbing; rock climbing; Going In Style

My mom and I were both climbing new mountains in our life.

“You look marvelous,” I said to my mom as I entered her room.  Her hair was all poofy (just like mine had been before I landed in frizzy Flo-ree-da).  She had her hair styled by the hairdresser earlier in the week in preparation for my arrival.  I am so happy she is adapting so well to her new surroundings.  I’m very proud of my mom.  It takes courage to make a move at 89 after living in the same place for more than 25 years.

We went out to lunch and then went shopping at Walgreens.  My mom wanted to get some nail polish so she could do her own manicures.  “I like my nails with pointed tips,” said my mom, “The manicurist squared them off the last time.”

We went to the mall to try to buy shoes.  “I want a closed toe shoe with velcro and I want it to be like a sneaker but light weight,” said my mom.  We looked and looked.  I adjusted several shoes on and off  her foot. One was too snug, one was too short, one was too wide, one was too heavy.  I felt like the Prince from Cinderella must have felt each time he took the glass slipper to a different household and the shoe didn’t fit the fair maiden.  No shoes for the weary and no more shopping for the day. By early afternoon and after a pit stop to sit down on the new lawn furniture at Sears, it was time to go.

When we arrived home, mom introduced me to her new roommate S.

“S, my daughter Judi is here,” said my mom.

“Heh, what?” said S.

“My daughter Judi is here visiting,” my mom said again.  I walked out into the living room and greeted S with a hand shake and a smile.

“How are you?” I said to S.

“Not so good,” said S.

“Oh, well you look good,” I said. “You look good,” I repeated to ensure she heard what I said.

“What’s that you say,” replied S, “I’m good lookin’. Why, thank you.”

So a few words got juxtaposed.  It wasn’t worth correcting.

“Yes, you are very good looking,” I said to S before my visit was over.

Lookin’ good or good lookin.’  It’s all means the same in sunny Flo-ree-da.

Judi