As we begin to gear up for what will forever be known to us as ‘Cake Week‘, I can’t help but think back to my own family’s birthday traditions. There were themed birthday parties each year, from ‘magic’ to ‘Double Dare’ to attempts at surprise parties (Mom, I love you, but I knew). There was a birthday cereal – a treat that diverted from our standard Cheerios and Chex to a sugar and marshmallow laden disaster of our choosing, that most often went stale before it was finished. And, with a little bit of pleading, there was homemade cake.
My grandmother, Helma is many things. She is sharp as a tack, both in memory and in wit. She has a naughty streak to her, one that we grandchildren have been privy to see more and more of, the older we’ve become. She is thoughtful and creative, sending out hand written cards each time a birthday or holiday rolls around, each with a special and unique poem written just for us.
She is determined to a fault whenever she sets her mind to do something. She decided after retiring from being a nurse, that she should become a painter. So she did. She painted commissioned works for her friends at the temple, became president of her local community college’s art club, entered shows (and won), exhibited at her local library- sometimes by herself, other times with my grandpa who also decided after years selling jewelry that he in fact, was a painter too. Continue reading