Turning 39 for the 46th time

For my granny’s birthday a couple weeks ago, we all trekked to Winchester to celebrate. My brother and his awesome girlfriend, Tiara, came in from WV. Granny flew from Long Island. And we had a great time celebrating her.

One of the best surprises for all of us was that a few of our friends from back on the farm in WV drove over the mountain to join us. Stump and Tina rolled up in their big truck. Alice drove Mirijana and Lora. I was so touched that they made the trip. Every year at Christmas, folks ask after her. She has some good friends there, from way back when she thought my parents were crazy, but kept visiting anyway, even back when the shower was a bucket on the porch and the bathroom was a chilly walk outside. Granny’s face when she saw them pull up was just unreal. She was in tears, she was so happy.

The party was pretty low key. Gary made a great spread of food, people brought potluck dishes.

Granny opened some presents–some that were kind of funny, and lots of books because everyone knows that’s what she likes (I get it honestly).

She told us some stories of different things that she had seen and done in her life. One that I hadn’t heard before was about how she didn’t realize that her second husband walked with a limp from polio until their second date (he worked hard to hide it). She was in a hurry and he was lagging behind. She sarcastically said, “What, have you got a broken leg?” and he said, “Well, actually…”

She also showed off her new lighter collection (?).

Mom made bubbles because that’s her thing.

And Petra tried out hula hooping (it takes practice).

Everyone gathered to watch the evening primrose bloom, which is very much the kind of thing we’d do for fun back on the farm when I was a kid. Of course, that was before the internet (so now we do these things and post videos on Facebook).

Trying to guess which one is going to open next.

The kids goofed off with people I’ve known and loved for most of my life, and that did my heart good.

I particularly enjoyed getting to catch up with Alice. She grew up down the road from me and is more like a sibling than a friend. I love how we always pick up right where we left off, even if it’s been six months or a year since I saw her.

Before we got there, Granny and Mom went to a thrift store, where Granny found… this.

It moves. It plays music. Its horns make noise when you bop them. It responds if you scratch it under the chin. The children named it “Gargoyle.” I was…overwhelmed. Granny said, “Well, grandparents are supposed to spoil the grandkids, and I’m a great-grandmother, so I can spoil them greatly.”

I love how it looks like Gargoyle is about to pop a balloon and startle Tiara.

If we’re being honest, I also would have had a hard time walking away from a find like that. It is pretty fun. And it’s living at Grammy’s house.

More than anything, I am grateful to still have my Granny around to spoil my kids. She’s had so many health problems, so many times when we didn’t know if we’d have her for much longer, but she is a tough lady. Here’s to many more birthdays.

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