Monday, September 10, 2007

Happy Birthday, Mom!


I'm one day late -- but better late than never, I say. It was my mom's birthday yesterday (September 9). The day before was my aunt M's (her older sister) 80th birthday. They were born 8 years and one day apart.


They grew up on a farm just north of Jackson, Minnesota, along with their younger sister and two brothers. My aunt graduated from high school and worked in town for a couple of years, and then moved to Minneapolis when she was 21. My mom moved to Minneapolis when she graduated from high school, inspired at least in part, I think, by my aunt's bravery. My aunt worked for Augsburg Publishing House for awhile; they both worked for General Mills (home of the fictional Betty Crocker).


One of my aunt's claims to fame is that she worked on the classic Betty Crocker Cooky Book. There were those who wanted to spell it "cookie", and my aunt insisted that this was the way they spelled it at her house! I do think the spelling contributed to the charm.


My mom got married when she was 20, and had me when she was 21. At a certain age, I did the math, and asked her, "Was I planned?" She answered, "Let me put it this way. We didn't plan not to."


Both my mom and my aunt are smart women. Neither went to college from high school. That option just wasn't open them at the time. I remember when I was in high school, that my aunt decided to go back to school and get her teaching degree. I rode the bus with her to the University of Minnesota one day when I was looking into colleges. She took me to classes and, most important, I thought, to the college cafeteria. Then, when I was in college, my mom decided to go back and get her business degree.


On Sunday afternoon, we had a birthday party for both of them. Part of it was a surprise. My mom had invited some of my aunt's girlfriends, including one of her good friends she had worked with at General Mills, and one of her roommates from when she first lived in Minneapolis.


At one point, my aunt got up and gave a little speech, thanking her sons (she said she didn't know they were capable of giving a party like this) and my mom. She said, "For a long time we have been sisters.... but we've also been good friends."


I'm so proud to have them both as a mom, as an aunt ... and as my friends, too.


11 comments:

RevDrKate said...

Happy Birthday Diane's Mom and Aunt M! Sweet post, Diane!

Presbyterian Gal said...

Happy Birthday!! That's a great picture.

And what a perfect answer to your question.

Jan said...

Happy Birthday! What a beautiful story, full of love, for these two ladies. My mother was like your aunt and mother--very intelligent and well-read, but never went to college. If she were still alive, she would be 88, but she died 15 years ago. It was fun to hear what your mother said about you being born! AND since I love to bake cookies, it was really nice to hear about your aunt working on the Betty Crocker Cooky Cookbook!

They're lucky to have you, and you're blessed to have them. So nice to know about them. Thank you.

Rowan The Dog said...

This is a really great post! Most of my cousins have stayed pretty close to the family farms, or at least in Texas and I often think that they have a sense of place and of rootedness that I lack. Those of us who left never really settled. None of us. I like hearing about your roots, your place. You are a cool writer Diane.
Lindy

"PS" said...

It must be a "Mom-day" as I just finished reflecting about my mom. Lovely tribute.

mompriest said...

Really special to have a family like that. I'm glad you all could celebrate such a special occasion. Oh, and I remember that cooky cook book...

Katherine E. said...

This is beautiful, Diane. When my sister and I reach that age, I hope to be able to say the same thing that your aunt said. Thanks for posting this.

FranIAm said...

What a testament to two great women! I loved reading it. Happy Birthday to them!

Barbara B. said...

great post and LOVE the picture!

Kievas said...

Great post!

MayB MayB Not said...

Serena here .. new i.d. .. this is a lovely post ... how blessed you three ladies are to have this relationship. Thanks for sharing.