When I think back on birthdays when I was growing up, my mom made an effort to make each person who was celebrating her or his birthday feel special. We never went out to eat for birthdays (that I can remember) when I was younger, but we were asked what special dinner we wanted. Often times, I remember choosing tacos or meatloaf.
There was always a homemade birthday cake with candles and ice cream; and then there would be time to open some presents.
One of the most memorable cakes I remember my mom made was of a doll standing up in the middle of a cake. The cake was the bottom of the doll's skirt. I could tell she put a lot of time and effort into the cake. It was beautiful.
I don't remember receiving a lot of toys on birthdays - maybe one or two - but nothing extravagent. Rather, more practical gifts were given - socks, underwear, and (perhaps) a new top or shirt.
My mom took a cake-decorating class one year where she learned how to make roses out of frosting and make the edges of the cakes look pretty. This is a picture of my mom back in 1982 with her mother and two brothers (Earl, on the left; Paul, on the right).
This picture was taken in the winter. In July 1982, my grandma died. This is the last picture I have of her.
We didn't take a lot of pictures when I was younger. With a camera, we were all much more careful with the shots we took and hoped the picture would turn out okay. There was no second chance. Digital cameras have changed that...thankfully.
I don't have many pictures of my grandma, and was thrilled to have found this one. It was in a box that checks come in along with two other pictures (one of a cat I had in college and the other of a sunset on the lake where I grew up); two buttons from high school; three pairs of decorative shoe laces; and two rosaries. This was my "memory box" from high school...a rather odd collection of items I chose to keep.
I found the memory box when I was cleaning out part of a closet that had old scrapbooks in it. My goal is to remove all the photographs from the old scrapbooks so that the photos can be preserved (this was before they made photo-safe photo albums). I wonder what other treasures I'll find as I look at the albums.