It’s the Time of the Season

Now that it’s August, my family is getting ready for one of their favorite seasons.

The calendar has turned to another month, and that means a new season is approaching. If you said school season, you’d be correct since many schools are starting soon or have already started, but that’s not the season I’m thinking of. It’s also close to football season, but that’s not quite on my radar yet. It’s too early for deer season. But for many in my family, especially the paternal side of my family tree it’s birthday season.

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August has been birthday season for my dad’s family as long as I’ve been alive and was apparently a thing even when Mom married into the family a few years before I was born. When she was welcomed into the family, she was lucky enough to be included in birthday season by having an August birthday like so many others in the family. Both of my aunts celebrate birthdays in August, my oldest cousin was also born in August, his stepdaughter is also an August baby, and my grandfather and my brother shared the same birthday on August 28. Additionally, my sister-in-law is an August baby as well and has been added to the celebration. The most recent addition, or the youngest August Birthday is my first cousin-once removed who just barely slid in under the tag much to her mother’s chagrin.

Given that more than a half dozen people were born in August, it made sense for my Dad’s side of the family to celebrate all of the birthdays as one big shindig. Growing up, there was always an August Birthdays party for everyone in the family born in this month. Additionally, worth celebrating are the two anniversaries celebrated in August thanks to my parents’ and my brother and sister-in-law’s nuptials being part of the festivities.

What’s strange is a similar acknowledgement of multiple family members being born in the same month doesn’t occur on my mom’s side. Much of the members of her family share the month of February as their birth month. This includes my grandfather, my cousin, his youngest son, another cousin’s twins, and of course my own birthday. This may be more since my cousins’ children were born after my grandfather’s death. While my grandfather was alive, three birthdays in the same month would neat but not as remarkable as the number on dad’s side. Now that it would be five people celebrating birthdays it might make more sense, but the family is so spread out that it might present some challenges.

I think Dad’s family celebrates the August Birthdays because so much of the family is within an hour’s drive of each other and we also will find any reason to celebrate and get together. In fact, we floated the August Birthdays party to September a few years back, so we could accommodate everyone’s schedule and celebrate. Thankfully, this year we’ll celebrate the August Birthdays in August, so my mind doesn’t try to comprehend a one-month belated celebration.

Do you have several family members with birthdays in the same month? Do you do anything special to acknowledge them?

Judy Not in Disguise

Judy Garland is not the top ‘Judy’ in my life. Read more about who is.

I’m going to get a little personal today, an approach that’s worked well for my blog numbers in the past. So, to that end, I want to talk about my Mamaw. I’ve previously written about my Mamaw Doris, my paternal grandmother, but I’m talking about my maternal grandmother — Mamaw Judy.

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It’s fitting to talk about Mamaw today as it’s her 87th birthday today. Mom and my uncles will honor Mamaw today for her birthday. I’m grateful that both of my grandmothers are still alive even into their middle 80’s. Sadly, both of my grandfathers have already passed.

I grew up spending time often with both of my Mamaws. I’d spend the night at each of their houses at various times during summer break and especially on the weekends. Mamaw Judy was usually good for being the typical grandmother to spoil her grandkids and that was no exception for me. Much of my childhood spent with Mamaw Judy was spending that time with her alone because her husband, the man I knew as Grandad died when I was only 5 years old. So, I grew up going to visit Mamaw Judy when I went to see my maternal grandmother and I’d visit both Mamaw Doris and Papaw when visiting my dad’s parents.

The house I live in (at least for the next few weeks) is the house I visited in Corydon growing up when I would come visit my Mamaw Judy. It’s interesting to live in the house instead of visiting it. After spending six years here, it’s now more my house as the interior design is matched to my style instead of Mamaw’s. Even though the interior design has changed drastically, it’s still Mamaw’s house somewhere in the recesses of my memory. I can remember when my neighbors wouldn’t have been my neighbors. I have witnessed the newest addition to my neighborhood get built within the last 20 years.

Mamaw Judy’s house and visits were always exciting for the toys she kept her for the youngest grandkids—me and my brother. Much of those toys were Legos® that she bought for us to play with. I was always careful retrieving the bucket of Legos® from the attic though, one out of fear of being stung by wasps or encountering Joe the ghost who lived upstairs, or so claimed my Grandad. There’s debate if Joe moved out when Grandad passed, but I think he lived here at least for a few years to watch over Mamaw and probably also be a connection for me to Grandad when I visited.

I always enjoyed visiting Mamaw in my childhood because it meant there was more to do in town than Paoli. Corydon had more restaurants and entertainment options than Paoli and visiting Mamaw meant going to those restaurant and entertainment options. For what it’s worth, Mamaw Doris’s had different entertainment options on the farm, but the dining options were the same I already had if I was at my house.

While I reminisce about these wonderful memories of Mamaw Judy it’s heartbreaking because I’m not sure she can remember them that well. She has been suffering from Alzheimer’s and dementia for at least the last 3 years. The disease finally worsened to the point that Mom determined that Mamaw Judy needs to be in a long-term care facility. Somewhat paradoxically, Mamaw isn’t aware that she is suffering and in a nursing home and is agreeable with most of what anybody suggests. This unawareness means she won’t know today is her birthday or her age, but Mom will visit with her and celebrate for Mamaw.

As I try to refocus through the sadness of this disease and transition, I’m reminded that the memories of Mamaw when I was growing up are the ones to remember and not her current condition. That’s the overall healthiest approach. So, I’ll celebrate Mamaw Judy’s birthday for the Mamaw she was when I was growing up.

 

So, Happy Birthday Mamaw Judy and my gift is that I didn’t publish this with your given name like I did growing up.

Current Event Friday #5

A Current Event happening this Sunday that commemorates a very special day in 1985.

It’s #CurrentEventFriday again today. What’s in the news? 🤔 Hmm? I know…wait I don’t want to wade into that, there’s already enough in the news about that. What about…nope don’t want that. I know, how about something going on this weekend locally, that’ll do.

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Yep, Sunday is the anniversary of my birth. I’ll be turning 33 years old, and yes, I’m using old instead of young. My salad days have definitely gone, and they’re just that mushy bag of spinach in the crisper drawer kind of days more and more.

I’ve noticed that more and more each year after age 25 that most birthdays are usually the same. You get a few cards with some money from your family while out at your favorite restaurant. Then the next day comes, and you’re back to the same routine. Not that I’m complaining about it, just my observation. Maybe when I hit 40 things will be different. [Crosses Fingers]

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I definitely understand this scene from Billy Madison when Billy warns the kid about growing up. I know I’ve covered before about growing up or not and my inner struggle, so I’ll not beat that horse anymore. I’m going to enjoy my birthday weekend and make an effort to do so. I’ll go with Mom, Dad, and Grandma to El Nops for dinner tonight and Grandma Stroud is fixing Sunday Dinner at her house for my actual birthday including her Mac ‘n’ Cheese. 😉

So, in that spirit to start the weekend I’m going to rock out to “Birthday” by the Beatles to celebrate. Plus, I kinda have to, since the late George Harrison and I share the same birthday.

Also sharing my birthday:

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So Happy Birthday to all those above and me.