Wednesday, February 27, 2013

85 -- and counting

Today, my mother is 85.

She won't mind if I tell you.  Notwithstanding the nonsense about not asking a lady her age.  After all, it is a landmark birthday.  Especially, when people tell her: "You can't be that old."

The comment is not new to her.  When she was a model instructor in her early 30s, her students could not believe she was the mother of a sixth grader.

I attribute it, in part, to her Scottish genes.  Her grandfather died at 100 -- or 110, the records are a bit muddled -- while on a pleasure trip.  She seems to be blessed with the constitution of the Queen Mother -- without the gin lubrication.

When she was born at home in Powers. the world was a different place.  Telephones and automobiles were as rare as women in professions.

But she was always a pioneer of change.  When my father took her home to meet the aunt and uncle who had raised him, she came face to face with a rural tradition where women ate in the kitchen and the men ate in the dining room.

Not her.  She grabbed a chair, sat next to my Dad's Uncle Noble, and was the unexpected belle of the table.

She made success look easy.  As a mother.  A political activist.  A world traveler.  A church leader.  She turned difficulties into learning experiences.  And bore the glow of a golden girl.

85 years of life find her as an avid computer user, smartphone aficionado, and a driver with the attributes of Stirling Moss.

This day is not going to go unnoticed.  At 7:40 this morning, I board a shuttle to Bend.

What we are going to do, I know not.  And it doesn't matter.  We are not a family of planners.  After all, this is not a day of merely doing something.  It is a day for our small family to celebrate a life that keeps on giving.

Happy birthday, Mom.

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