NATIONAL SENIOR CITIZENS DAY

8-21 NATIONAL SENIOR CITIZENS DAY

The older I get, the younger everyone else looks!  – Linda Palmer

 

TOO OLDBODIES NEW AND STRONG

When my mother turned 65, she started getting all that “fun” mail…  you know, all the “old people” mail.  She was visibly angered and depressed about it.  As her only child, I knew I had my work cut out for me to make her 65th birthday a happy one.  She was a valentine baby – her birthday was February 15th, but we always celebrated with lots of hearts and roses.  The normal routine was for me to bake her a heart-shaped cake with number candles on top.  I had to do something extra special for her 65th…  I had no idea what that would be, but I had to nail it.  And this year I didn’t think she’d like having the numbers 6 and 5 staring at her from a heart-shaped cake.

Mama loved girly things like hairstyles and makeovers and spa stuff.  Our Towne West mall was only 7 years old in 1987.  It was fun and hopping and there were all sorts of girly stores at the time.  I wanted her to be pampered, but on my budget I couldn’t afford very much.  I went in to Dillard’s to talk to a sweet lady in the cosmetic department.

Lisa was not a young person but not old either.  She listened to my story about how mom was celebrating a milestone and she had received all this mail that made her feel like it was time to go out to pasture.  She understood exactly what I was talking about and we plotted and planned such a great makeover for her!  Lisa and I talked for TWO hours!  She didn’t seem to be concerned that she’d lost some sales in that time.  I was so impressed with her.  This was one birthday that I knew my mama was going to enjoy.

There’s something you should know about me…  I never get away with surprising anybody – EVER!  I am the worst surprise party giver that ever lived.  I was so afraid that somehow my mom was going to find out about her surprise makeover.  I swore my family to secret – all two of them – but they were both men, so…  my husband and my dad.  My bases were covered…  and I was so anxious for the Saturday before her birthday to roll around.

Saturday rolled around.  There was not any significant snowfall, for which I was thankful.  My boss said we didn’t have to work, for which I was even more thankful.  Everything was working out great!  I called mom just to make sure she was getting ready to go.  She said, “Oh, I’m not sure I feel up to it today.  Can we go out next week?”

NO NO NO – we can’t!!!  I didn’t say it, but I sure thought it.  OK, compose yourself and don’t appear too eager.  “Well, you know I’ve worked most Saturdays lately and I didn’t have to work today, so I may not get another opportunity to get out on a Saturday again for a while.”

There was a pause in the conversation that seemed to last forever.  I waited for a response…  wait for it…  wait for it…

“Oh, okay.  I’ll be ready when you get here.”

YES – SCORE!

I got off the phone, grabbed my purse, dug out my keys and headed out the door.  As I got in the car, I saw the first snowflake.  I thought, “OK, we can get this done quick and get back before it gets too bad.”

When I got to mom’s, she was not quite dressed.  From the looks of things, she had tried on about 4 different outfits.  I looked at my watch and looked out the window…  it was getting late and the snow was falling.  It’s my mom…  it’s her day…  and she needs to feel pretty.  She was always pretty.  The only one who never knew it was her – even though I told her every day.

I gave her my honest opinions about what looked best and she got dressed.  She put on her coat and we cautiously walked to the car.  The snow was still just drifting around and didn’t look like it was going to be too bad.  Yay – we were on our way to the mall.  I was so excited.

Once in the car, mom said, “Are you sure you want to go to the mall today?  It looks like it’s going to snow like this for a while.”  I assured her that it will be fine – just fine.  I was determined that this was going to happen for her.  She was the best mom in the world and deserved the best birthday.

We made it to the mall and I parked as close as I could to Dillard’s.  Surprisingly, mom didn’t ask what we were doing at that particular store, but I had a story all ready.  I used it anyway because it took me so long to come up with it – :-/  “I just need to quick grab a new mascara here at Dillard’s and they’re the only ones who have what I like.”  See – isn’t that a great excuse???  I thought so.  Actually, the only make-up I buy is from Walmart and there is no counter.  I can’t afford make-up from behind a counter.

We slowly walked to the door.  The snow was starting to stick a little more now, but I wasn’t overly concerned.  My mind was on mom’s surprise birthday present.

When I saw Lisa, she got the biggest smile on her face!  “Hello, Mrs. Turner!”  You should have seen the look on mama’s face.  She couldn’t figure out why this lady knew her name!  It was funny and one of the best memories tucked in my mind.  Lisa and I started laughing and explained what was going on to my poor mother.

I knew at that moment that it was worthwhile…  the time, the effort, the planning.  I think it was the best time and mom felt so special and pampered.  I bought a few of her favorite products and she bought a few.  We laughed and chatted and we were just girls being girls – of all ages.  I think for a little while, mama forgot she was 65, she forgot about the mail, the stigma, the meaning behind being that particular age.

I’m not good at surprise parties as a general rule.  I try to make birthdays special and sometimes I think surprises are fun – but on my mom’s 65th birthday…  I NAILED IT!

When she was all prettied up, we waded back out to the car.  The snow had stopped falling and it wasn’t freezing, so we pulled into Spear’s restaurant across the street to get a cup of coffee.  I mentioned that it was my mother’s birthday, and the waitress gave us a free piece of pumpkin bread, which tastes more like cake.  It was our family’s favorite treat year around, not just in the autumn months.

I wish I could have taken a photo.  We didn’t have digital cameras back then.  I didn’t make a habit of carrying my Polaroid camera around with me.  My mother was beautiful – and more importantly, she felt beautiful and that made me very happy!

If you know a senior citizen, give them a call or visit them and let them know how much they mean to you.  They just want to know they are still important to someone.  Happy National Senior Citizens Day!  🙂

 

 

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

TL ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY (3)

TO THOSE IN OKLAHOMA

On April 19, 1995, two men decided to destroy the lives of people and destroy buildings, cars and other property.  It’s referred to as the Oklahoma City bombing.  It’s considered a domestic terrorist bomb attack on the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City.

Because Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols made a decision to carry out this evil plot, 168 people lost their lives and more than 700 people were injured.  We still don’t have answers.  Of course the question on everyone’s mind is – why?

The short answer is – we don’t know why.  We know there is evil in the world – but where there is evil, there is more good.  The best came out after tragedy struck.  Local, state, federal and worldwide agencies helped in the rescue efforts after the blast.  Donations to help were received from all over the country.  Where evil crops up – good overcomes.

McVeigh was apprehended quickly – within 90 minutes of the explosion.  Officer Charlie Hanger , an Oklahoma State Trooper, pulled him over for driving without a license plate and arrested him for illegal weapons possession.  Forensic evidence linked both McVeigh and Nichols to the attack.  Nichols was arrested, and in a matter of days both were charged.  Michael and Lori Fortier were later identified as accomplices.  McVeigh was executed by lethal injection on June 11, 2001 and Nichols was sentenced to life in prison.  Michael and Lori Fortier testified against McVeigh and Nichols.  Michael still had to serve 12 years in prison for failing to warn the U.S. government, and Lori received immunity from prosecution in exchange for her testimony.

I don’t want to focus on the evil today, but the good.  Those who helped after the bombs exploded at 9:01 – then again at 9:03.

The FBI conducted 28,000 interviews, collected 3.5 short tons of evidence and collected nearly one billion pieces of information.

My husband and I went to the Oklahoma City National Memorial in 2001 and took some photos.  I didn’t think after so much time had passed it would be emotional.  I was wrong.  The memorial was dedicated on the site of the Murrah Federal Building, commemorating the victims of the bombing.  Every year remembrance services are held at the same time of day as the explosions occurred:  9:01 and 9:03am.

It’s so sad because people were just going to do their job – trying to make a living.  No one thinks that walking into their place of employment will be dangerous.  Since then, we just don’t know if it’s safe to leave the house.  May God give us the strength and courage to live our lives without fear.   😦

 

 

 

TALK TO A TELEMARKETER DAY

TL 7-16 TALK TO A TELEMARKETER DAY

 

If you lived in the 1970’s then you will understand the humor in the story I’m telling you.  Nixon was the President and the scandal called Watergate was in the news every day.

Mom and Dad gave me a cassette tape recorder for my birthday one year.  It was a fun toy and I used it to record music off the radio and my friend Linda Brumbaugh and I used to do funny little “interviews” with each other.  As I got older though, I outgrew the need for it.

I started at Wichita State in the fall of 1979.  I still lived with my parents and helped them out as much as I could.  My studies took priority and between them, my part-time job on campus and teaching over 20 piano lessons a week, I was pretty busy.   One day I walked into the house and saw the funniest sight!  Mama was “dealing” with a pesky telemarketer!

She was arguing with the person and trying to nicely explain that she was not interested in whatever was being pushed down her throat.  This went on for a few minutes.  Then mama took the little portable cassette player and calmly set it up on the phone stand.  She gently said, “Hold please” and put the receiver of the phone right next to the speaker of the cassette player.  Then she pressed the PLAY button and played one of the recordings I had made years ago!

Had she done it to some poor soul before?  I don’t know, but she did it like it was not a brand new idea to her.  She came into the living room, sat on the couch and asked me how my day went.  She didn’t mention the fact that she had just put a poor unsuspecting telemarketer (just trying to make a living) on perpetual HOLD.

Of course today we have no-call lists for which I’m thankful.  I will never forget the day I walked in to see mama putting the telemarketer on hold.   Wink!   😉