Friday, December 16, 2016


Mom with her birthday flowers from sister Sue.

Wednesday was my mom's ninety fifth birthday. A week before Mark and I had visited her and while we were there Mark asked her what kind of cake she liked.
"Oh,...    I don't know."
"Do you like white cake, red velvet, chocolate..  ?"
"I don't like chocolate.... no.. not that."
So Mark started getting fancy.
"I could make you a Lane Cake. It's got that filling made out of pecans, raisins, and bourbon, with a meringue frosting."
"What? What did he say? What kind of cake is that?"
"Lane cake, it's a southern cake."
"You know, I don't really like cake that much."
At that point the subject of cake was dropped. We continued with our visit and after a while it was time to leave. As we walked through the living room, we said our goodbyes and started out the door.
"Goodbye Ma, see you next week on your birthday."
"Yes, we'll bring you something sweet" added Mark.
"Angel food cake." was all she said.
As soon as we got to the car Mark started to fret.
"Angel food cake? Do you know how hard it is to make angel food cake? I'll need a special pan, it takes a lot of egg whites. Angel food cake is not easy... "
All that day, all that week, I heard the constant worry by Mark about angel food cake.
"I've only made angel food cake once in my life, and that was in high school."
I'd had enough, "MARK!" I hollered. "She won't even remember saying that! Mom won't be looking for an angel food cake." Although there was a good possibility that she actually would. "We'll stop at a bakery and buy an angel food cake. Quit worrying for krissakes."
On Wednesday morning Mark and I stopped at the Jewel Supermarket so that I could pick up some flowers, a card, and a cake. It was not an angel food cake. As I walked up to the checkout counter the nice lady ahead of us asked if that was all we had to check out. I told her yes, and she said that we could go ahead of her as she had a basket with much more to check out. While we waited, I chatted with her. I explained what the flowers and cake were for, and how my mom was ninety five years old on that very day. As she loaded her things on the conveyor I noticed that she had a bottle of whiskey.
"Looks like you're going to have a party too." I quipped smartly.
She smiled and answered, "Yes, every day I have a party. One drink a day, it's good for you."
"Well, you keep it up and you'll probably live a long life." was my brilliant reply.
"Yes, I think so. I'm ninety years old now."
She didn't look it, I was impressed. But I took her advice to heart, and best of all it turns out that I'm already on the right track. Only instead of whiskey, I have a vodka cocktail most evenings. And instead of one, I might have two. Maybe that's why my grandfather lived to one hundred and two years. I remember him showing me where he hid his bottle of whiskey in the basement so my grandmother wouldn't catch on. 
Mom with her birthday flowers from brother Dave.

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