Monday, January 18, 2010

Happy 90th Birthday!

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!


chelleyreads said...

gr mine?

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

YAY Chelley! He's all yours!

chelleyreads said...

happy 90th birthday Aunty Cindy's Aunt Liz!! WOW 90!! What a full life!! and a teacher for 25 years... i'm a new teacher and sometimes i can't imagine teaching a full week.

hmmm... for my 90th (on the year 2078) I want to start a month early and cruise around the world and then on my real bday i want to end up in paris, france--the most romantic city in the world--with my love. we're going to stay in a lovely suite overlooking the city and have a quiet dinner. sorry, banditas, not much of a partier :\

chelleyreads said...

yup! and he's going to help me make a unit test on regrouping addition/subtraction tomorrow :)

Jane said...

Hi Aunty Cindy,
Happy Birthday to Aunt Liz. I'm not if I would be up for partying at 90, but I would like to have a karaoke machine so everybody can make fools of themselves. Jewelry is always greats as gifts and I also wouldn't mind receiving a nice purse.

Helen said...

Congrats chelleyreads make him work hard on that unit test.

Happy Birthday Aunt Liz awesome to reach 90 my grandmother and great grandmother both did and they too were awesome Ladies.

For my 90th birthday I would love to have a party in a Scottish castle and be waited on by some good looking Guys in kilts with all of my family and friends there from all over the world. The Cabana Boys and Gladiators would be there of course and Sven I am sure I could do with a massage at the end of the party with all the dancing that would be going on.

Have Fun

PinkPeony said...

Hi Loucinda!

Thanks for sharing your Aunt with us!

Gee, If I make it to ninety and still have some teeth, I'd like to invite everyone to a buffet featuring my favorite things to eat! Of course, there will be handbags for all the ladies and "murses" for the men who are men enough to carry one. :=)

PJ said...

Happy Birthday to Aunt Liz! What a lovely tribute, AC. Aunt Liz sounds like an amazing lady. Can't wait to hear how she celebrates her 100th!

How will I celebrate my 90th? The place doesn't matter. If I'm fortunate enough to still be here I want to be surrounded by my family and friends (both two and four-legged), sharing memories and celebrating life.

Buffie said...

Oh Aunt Liz sounds like a wonderful person!!! And someone I want to be too! :0

What do I want to do for my 90th birthday? I have no idea. I just hope that I am here to celebrate with my family and friends.

Donna MacMeans said...

Hi Cindi - Your Aunt Liz sounds absolutely marvelous herself. What a blessing to have her.

My plan is to have already traveled the world and done most of the physical things that I wanted to accomplish in my lifetime by the time I'm 90. So for my 90th birthday, I'd like to kick back and spend the time with friends and family just reliving the good times and wonderful memories. My ideal birthday present would be a piece of artwork that I could enjoy or a good book - especially if it's one that I in some small way helped inspire. I bet your Aunt is mighty proud of you, Cindy.

Just wanted to remind everyone that the Banditas are staging an invasion on The Romance Dish all week this week. Bop on over to see what we can do with some photos that are inspirations themselves (grin).

Donna MacMeans said...

Oops - should have let a link:

Deb said...

Happy Birthday, Aunt Liz! Wow, what an awesome milestone!

If I celebrate my 90th birthday, I would want to spend time with family and friends with lots of cake and ice cream and party decorations.

I'm sure Sven will be just as sexy at 90 as now, so perhaps he can serve me---cake. ;)

Kim Howe said...

Happy Birthday, Aunt Liz! Wow, she sounds like an incredible woman. As for what I'd like to on my 90th birthday...maybe surfing in Hawaii (better keep going to the gym!) followed by a bottle of Veuve Cliquot. That would be a memorable celebration.

Anna Sugden said...

Happy 90th Aunt Liz! Much happiness and good health for this year and many more to come.

*sprays Lysol* With this dastardly flu and sinus infection, I probably feel less sprightly than Aunt Liz!

If I make it to 90, I hope that my wonderful hubby is still by my side and that we can celebrate with friends and family ... and the obligatory hockey hunks *g*. And, I'll be wearing a specially designed pair of Jimmy Choos that he had made for me and stored in a vault!

Anna Sugden said...

Congrats on being a new teacher Chelley! Those were the days *g*. I wish I could pass on all my various boxes of materials to you LOL.

Deb Marlowe said...

How lucky you are to have your Aunt Liz, AC! If I make it to 90, the best thing would be to spend the day with people who feel about me, the way you do about her!

Susan Sey said...

Good morning, AC!

Wow, a 90th birthday? Congrats to AL (Aunt Liz) and her zest for life. I laughed out loud when she mentioned she might have been willing to go with that kindly turk who kept trying to help you. :-)

As for my 90th birthday, I hope I'm with it enough to have a good glass of wine & a big ol' slab of chocolate cake (with ice cream, of course) then go for a hike with all the people I love most.

And I hope I"m together enough to cook them a nice dinner ahead of time. I love having people over for dinner.

Congrats on GR, Chelleyreads!

Joan said...

Happy Birthday Aunt Liz!!!

Wow. 90.

I would like to hold court in an Irish Ireland...then dance the night away at a ceaili (?sp) until the Prince of the Fae carries me away on his white horse!

Kirsten said...

AC, that's a fantastic story. I just love your Aunt Liz!

If I'm around for my 90th, then my beloved husband better be as well. So I'm thinking maybe for my birthday I'll let him plan it. LOL. Less work for me.

I think when I'm 90 I won't want to do a lot of traveling. Hopefully by then I'll be retired and living somewhere so fabulous I don't need to.

Stephanie J said...

Happy happy birthday to your Aunt Liz! That's fantastic. My great grandmother was spunky like your Aunt Liz. She asked if I was dating anyone so I said no and she said, "Good! Don't marry a man Stephanie, just live with him." She was 90 at the time!

I'd kill to have DQ ice cream cake at my birthday. And I'd probably want a tea party with vintage hats. I don't think I'll ever get tired of tea parties.

Nancy said...

Chelleyreads, congrats on the GR!

Cindy, happy birthday to Aunt Liz. That's phenomenal!

If I were turning 90, I'd hope the dh and at least a few of my buddies were around to celebrate with me. I'd like cake (no birthday party without cake)--either chocolate/chocolate or yellow with caramel icing. Heck, why not chocolate with caramel icing?

And Coca-Cola because if I live to be 90, I'll no longer care about sugar or high fructose corn syrup or whatever else comes along in the meantime.

No gifts, though. That'd be just something else for the boy to have to dispose of at some point. He's old enough, with sufficiently developed taste, for me to realize sadly that the books I've spent decades collecting hold little appeal for him. They'll be going when I do, most of them.

I saw an article in the Times of London online speculating that people may be routinely reaching 120 before too long, so maybe the banditas and our buddies will also be around to celebrate. I'd hate it if the only other survivor of the Lair at that point was That Bird. *g*

Janga said...

Happy Birthday to Aunt Liz! Her story is an inspiration.

I went to a birthday party Saturday for a church friend who turned ninety-nine. Purple is her favorite color, so there were flowers, balloons, table linens, and a birthday cake in many shades of purple. The guests, ranging from a handful of her own generation to babes in arms, wore purple in her honor, and there were so many of them that it really was a SRO crowd. I think a 90th--or 99th birthday--in a world colored to please me, surrounded by people whom I loved and who loved me, would be a lovely way to celebrate.

p226 said...

I'm thinking that right around my 90th birthday would be a good time to be shot dead by a jealous husband.

Beth said...

Happy Birthday to Aunt Liz! She sounds like an amazing woman :-)

For my 90th, I hope to be surrounded by my family and good friends. It won't matter where we are as long as we're together (although I hope by then to have moved some place WARM *g*)

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Hi again, Chelley!

Paris is indeed a romantic city and sounds like a great place to have a 90th bday party! And what can I say about French food other than YUMMY!

My hat is off to you and Liz and all the other teachers out there! I planned to be a high school history teacher at one point, but it never happened, and it's probably just as well. Being in that classroom day after day, year after year would have probably burned me out a lot sooner than later. :-(


Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Hi Jane,
I agree, jewelry and purses are always WINNERS for gifts! But a karaoke machine? Believe me, you do NOT wanna hear me singing NOW much less at 90! ;-)


Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

WOW Helen!
If both your grandmother and great-grandmother made it to 90, I'm betting YOU will too! Maybe we better start reserving that Scottish castle NOW coz it sounds like it will be one HUGE BLOW OUT of a party!

who definitely plans to be there

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Hey Pink,
Aunt Liz does still have her teeth! And her eyesight is still pretty good too, post cataract surgery. We'll just plan to be in equally good shape when we hit the Big 9-0!

And who knows, by then murses might be all the rage! ;-)


Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Thanx PJ,
Aunt Liz IS amazing! And what a good idea to include both 2 legged and 4 legged friends. Liz has a little black and white cat named Sammy, but he was too shy to join in the celebrating. Now my dogs would have been right in the middle of everything, as I'm sure YOURS would too! LOL!


Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

I'm with you, Buffie!

As long as my family and friends are there, it'll be a GREAT PARTY!


Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

That's why I'm doing all my traveling NOW! Liz hasn't been able to travel with us for about the last 5 years or so, but all things considered, WHAT A DYNAMO! After we went to China, Liz was disappointed that we didn't see the Xian warriors. So 2 years later, she went back WITHOUT US and went to Xian and for a cruise to see the 3 gorges before the dam was finished and flooded them.

Talk about some fabulous memories!


Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...


ONLY YOU, P226!!!

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Hey Deb, I'm sure you're right! Sven will still be sexy at 90. In fact, he might even be willing to jump out of the birthday cake! Now that would be something to see. :-)


Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

I have no problem picturing you surfing on your 90th bday! And I'll bet you will STILL look terrific in your swimsuit. ;-) Just keep pumping that iron!


jo robertson said...

Hi, Cindy, welcome back! What a beautiful homage to Aunt Liz. How fortunate people are to turn 90 and remain in relatively good health.

I can't imagine living to be 90, not really sure I'd want to, but as my daughters say, "Put you in a room with a TV and your fav vids and a tall glass of iced Pepsi, and you'll last forever!"

It's all about family, though, isn't it? I'd want to be surrounded by those who love me most and whom I love above all else.

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Hey VA,
Sorry to hear the sinus crud has still got you down. :-( I haven't completely shaken the last vestiges of this cough I developed back in November! :-P

Custom made Jimmy Choo's for your bday?!?! What a FABULOUS IDEA!!! And I'll bet you'll be dancing in 'em too!


Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Deb M.
I'm hoping you DO make it to 90! That we ALL do, and are as healthy and happy as Aunt Liz. Being around people who care about you is the secret ingredient, I think!


Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Hey Smoov,

Liz was perfectly serious when she made that remark, which is what makes it one of my favorite memories!

Since you love making dinner for guests, I'll let YOU prepare the goodies of MY 90th. Deal?!?!


Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

I wanna be right there in the pub lifting a pint and shouting Salante! And if a few legendary Fianna warriors show up, you won't hear yer olde Aunty complaining. ;-)


Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Thanx Kirsten!
Aunt Liz is indeed ADORABLE! She's always had a twinkle in her eye and a spring in her step.

I hear ya on wanting the DH around to help you celebrate! And all the other friends and family who make having birthdays worthwhile...


Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

LOL Stephanie J.!

Your great-gramma sounds like a HOOT! Just like my great-gramma who made it to 99. She said the thing that upset her most was not being able to see good enough to keep dying her hair! She was also known for hitting her 3rd husband with a frying pan. :-)

Gotta LOVE those spunky women!


Anna Campbell said...

I want a Bandita party when I turn 90!!! I want gladiators and Sven and cabana boys and margaritas and all my Bandita sisters around me. Oh, and Richard Armitage to pop out of a cake wearing only some strategically placed icing! Yup, that's my ambition for 90!

By the way, AC, Aunt Liz sounds absolutely fabulous! What a marvellous woman!

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

ACK!!! The GR living to 90, Nancy?!?! That is truly the stuff of nightmares! Of course, by then he'll have countless off-spring to continue his wicked ways... (Aunty grimaces)

Aunt Liz has quite a collection of unique objects all over her yard and house. I shudder to think who will have to be the one to dispose of everything. Personally, I have my eye on a couple of museum-quality Indian baskets Liz inherited from her father. He bought them from local Native Americans back in the 1920s.


Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

What a WONDERFUL story about your friend's 99th bday party and being surrounded in a sea of purple! I want that on MY 90th bday too!

And if, as Nancy's article says, we are about to make that jump to 120 soon, we need to start planning those triple digit parties NOW!


Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Hey Beth,
You're right, it's more about the people around you than all the other stuff.

Since my bday is in Dec. I LOVE spending it someplace sunny and warm, like I did this year in Puerto Vallarta! Maybe next year I'll be in the Southern hemisphere...


catslady said...

My mom is 87 so we're hoping she'll make 90. She doesn't like a big fuss but having family around her is all she'd really want. As for me - I want to go on a cruise lol.

Pat Cochran said...

Happy Birthday, Aunt Liz!!

Just off the top of my head: For my
90th birthday, oh let's start with
one of the top hotels here in Houston, kleig lights, red carpet,
Vera Wang gown, my favorite musicians and performers showcased in a special concert for family and friends, dinner by Ming Tsai, Bobby Flay, and Emeril, champagne and chocolate fountains, confetti
cannons and balloons, "swag bags"
with lots of special goodies,
special guests David, Jethro, and
Horatio and the casts of their
shows, and dancing all night long!
Now this is just as a beginning,
give me a few minutes and I'll
think of more. Like including all
the Banditas, Buddies, cabana boys,
gladiators, and all the regular
Lair inhabitants and guests!!!

Pat Cochran

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

I agree with your daughters! Pepsi is a great preservative, which means both of us will be around 4-EVAH! LOL! Or as Billy Joel sang, "Only the good die young."

who always adds, "We excellent will be around MUCH longer."

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Leave it to YOU, Fo to have Richard Armitage hopping out of the cake wearing only icing!

Why wait til 90? Your bday's coming up in August, isn't it?!?! PAR-TAY IN THE LAIR!!!


Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

How wonderful to still have your mother with you! I hope she makes it to 90, and since she's already 87 looks like she will. :-) It really is all about the people you care about being near, isn't it?

Please give your mother a big hug from all the Banditas and BBs!


Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

WOW-EEEE! Pat, you know how to throw a PAR-TAY!!! I want you as the party planner for my 90th bash!

Bring on those chocolate fountains NOW!


Anna Campbell said...

Wow, Pat, can we have a joint celebration? I love your party!

Christie Kelley said...

AC, what an amazing life Liz has led. I hope she has a great year.

For me, when I turn 90, I want to be surrounded by my family and friends. That is all that matters in this world. Besides, what I could I possibly need at 90?

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, guys, don't forget to check out the fun Bandita Invasion of the Romance Dish that started today and goes all week. Some amazing prizes to be had!

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

I'm with you, Fo! Let's get Pat to plan ALL the Bandita birthday bashes (say that 3 times, if you can)!


Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Hi Christie,
LOVE the new cover!

How very right you are! What could you possible need at 90 except maybe a hunk popping out of your birthday cake?!?!


Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Thanx for the link, Fo!

We have some really FUN comments so far today, and there's still time to pop over and try your hand at finishing one of the 3 vignettes.

Tomorrow, Trish, Beth, Christine, and I will have 4 new vignettes to tickle your fancy. Plus MORE GREAT PRIZES!


Louisa Cornell said...

Oooh, Chelley! He hasn't seen you in a while! Put him to work!

What a great lady your Aunt Liz is! I hope we all have that sort of spirit when we turn 90!

My Great Aunt Icie was 93 when she died and she was tough and self-sufficient to the end. She made drapes for a living well into her 80's.

One of my grandmothers lived to be 90. The other passed at 89 and they were two tough old broads!

For my 90th I want a two week cruise on a luxury liner with all of my writing friends and an all-male crew. In the middle of the ocean nobody can hear them scream when we pinch them and there's no escape from the clutches of a bunch of hot old ladies! And we get to design the uniforms. I figure the entire budget for the crew's clothing should run us about ten bucks? VBEG

I'll teach cake decorating classes with the cabana boys and the gladiators as the cake!

After that, how about a whipped cream slip-n-slide?

And then we will dance the nights away on the deck with a live orchestra and a champagne fountain!

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...


But we'd better watch out on the whipped cream slip & slide. Wouldn't want to break a hip or anything else vital. :-)

Your Aunt Icie and your Grandmas sound like fantastic old broads! I hope I'm spry and naughty just like them!


Virginia said...

Happy Birthday to Aunt Liz! What a full life to have and a busy one!
My husbands father just turned 86 last week, but he is not doing real well at this time, he can't see to well now. I would love to live to 90 and still be able to travel the world, that is what i would love to do at that age.

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Hey Virginia,
Thanx for popping by! Sorry to hear your father-in-law is feeling poorly. Good health is such a blessing, but I don't think we really appreciate it until we don't have it.

I hope all your wishes for your 90th birthday come true!


Gannon Carr said...

Aunty Cindy, Aunt Liz sounds like a one of a kind, amazing woman! How lucky you are to have her in your life.

I don't care where I am when I celebrate the big 9-Oh, I just want to be healthy, happy and surrounded by all the ones I love!