Sunday 5/12/19 – 7:30 pm. I just got off the phone with my mother, who now lives in Oak Ridge, Tennessee in a senior living center about 1/2 mile away from where my sister lives. She had a great day. They went to church, then back home for a wonderful brunch. After that a walk along the lake until some showers started moving in. Oak Ridge had over 2″ of rain yesterday into last night. Like much of the country, it’s been a wet year there.
The pic. above is my mom last year along with Rosie the cat. Rosie was a stray that was hit by a car and lost its tail. My mother didn’t want a cat (we had one for 17 years when us kids were growing up) because she was afraid of stepping on the cat’s tail. So…perfect match! When mom moved from her condo into the senior living center, she didn’t want to take the cat, afraid that the cat would get out of her rather tiny apartment. So…Gayle and I drove to Tennessee, picked up the cat and took it to daughter #3 in Traverse City, where it’s adjusted very well and has a big house to call home.
My mother is exactly two months shy of 100 years old today (Sunday 5/12). When she was born in 1919, Woodrow Wilson was President, women were not allowed to vote, and there were only 2,200 people living in the tiny town of Las Vegas, Nevada. Mom is older than UCLA and older than the Green Bay Packers. When mom was born, Babe Ruth played for the Boston Red Sox and two of the newer inventions were the toaster and the zipper (that’s why many men had suspenders 100 years ago).
This pic. is from her 99th birthday party on 7/12/18. We actually made 5 trips to Tennessee in 2018. Here father lived to be 98. Her grandfather died at age 29 from a disease that would be easily curable today.
Mom and my sister came north to visit us in Michigan last year, too. This was a feast that we had at our house, complete with Michigan wine and moose napkins (my wife and I call each other “sweet moose” – my wife is part Swedish and she first called me sweetheart in Swedish – which sounds like “sweet moose”). My wife’s Swedish grandmother also lived past 100 and was alive every day of the 20th Century!
This pic. is mom and I at the Oak Ridge bowling alley last summer. She actually bowled at 99 years old…a couple games and she had a couple strikes! Tonight (Sun.night) the Senior Citizen Center was all getting together to watch the movie, “The Sound of Music”. It’s a favorite of my mother, who is part Austrian (and part Dutch and part a few other nationalities). She first went to Austria in 1930 with her mother to see if there was any inheritance left for my grandmother’s family – nope, none. She went back to Europe several more times. She and my father (who’s family came from Luxembourg) spoke German quite well and had no problem going off on their own. My father went to Europe for about 5 months in (I believe it was) 1938 as the drummer/percussionist of the band that Northwestern Univ. assembled to bring American big band, swing, dixieland and jazz to Europe.
We’ll go down to Tennessee for the big party in July. I’ll try and do a facebook live and I’m sure I’ll have some pics. to share from the trip. Happy Mother’s Day everyone.