posted by Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy
Last week my DH's beloved Aunt Liz turned 90!
I have adored Aunt Liz since first meeting her more than 20 years ago. She was a lovely lady who welcomed me with open arms, a gracious nature and marvelous sense of humor. Liz retired after teaching third and fourth grades for twenty-five years. She was the first person to inspire me and make me believe that I too, could have a fabulous, active retirement.
An avid hiker and gardener, Liz could walk circles around me even after a double hip replacement in her mid-70s. The entire front yard of her suburban home is planted with roses... no lawn just rose bushes of every imaginable color and variety. And her back yard had no lawn either, but a wild conglomeration of trees, plants, and objects from wind chimes, sculptures (some made by my DH), and of course, bird feeders. Liz has belonged to the Audoubon Society for decades and taught me the difference between an ibis, an egret, and a heron.
Aunt Liz accompanied the DH and I on many travel adventures including many places in the US, Italy, Turkey and China. We made so many fun memories on our trips. I'll never forget sitting on a park bench with Liz in Bursa,Turkey when a nicely dressed older gentleman came up and insistently offered to help us. When we finally convinced him we were fine and he walked away, I said to Liz, "I think he wanted to take you home with him." And she replied, "I think I wanted to go!"
I'll also remember Liz at age 77 climbing on the Great Wall of China! She was the oldest person in our tour group and actually walked farther on the Wall than I did! And then there was one of our last trips to Italy (Liz went with us twice), Liz had just read Under The Tuscan Sun, and convinced us to drive all over the Tuscan hill towns. I most vividly remember the DH, Liz and I sitting near the ancient city wall of Cortona at sunset, drinking Peroni beers.
I could go on and on, but I think you get the idea that Aunt Liz is my own personal Shero! And happily, she's a fan of mine too! She's read both my books and pronounced them, "Marvelous!" (Her favorite word of praise.) Fortunately, she's never said one word about some of the racier love scenes. AHEM! Of all the people I know, I most want to be like her!
So it came as no surprise that last week, on the auspicious occasion of her 90th birthday, Liz was given not one, not two, but THREE different birthday parties! And knowing her as I do, I'm sure she had a BLAST at all of them and ate lots of ice cream (Hagen Daas chocolate is her favorite)!
But I couldn't help but think: What will I do on my 90th birthday, assuming I'm lucky enough to have one?!?! I hope I have three parties, just like Liz, and I can't wait to see all the celebrating when Liz turns 100 in 2020!
Okay, let's pretend it is YOUR 90th birthday. What kind of party do you want (and yes, it can be anywhere)? What gifts ? What special party favors (and of course the cabana boys and gladiators count as party favors)? Pull out ALL the stops! After all, you only turn 90 once!