Thoughts on Mom’s 88th birthday

Thank you so much to all of you who left messages of congratulations to my mom on her 88th birthday.  I read each and every one to her, as well as the Facebook messages. She said, “How very kind people are. Tell them I really appreciate their wishes.”

On Thursday, hubby and I went to fetch her here for the weekend, and met my sister for lunch. Those of you who read about the “elusive turquoise top” which I was trying in vain to find for her birthday which is today, may be amused to know that we walked into a boutique at the centre where we went for lunch, and found the perfect one, and it wasn’t turquoise at all, but a mélange of soft greys. It waved to sister, almost as soon as we walked in the door. Crisis averted. 🙂

That evening, just as I was about to start preparing supper, the door bell rang and there was a courier with a cardboard box addressed to mom. She was beside herself with excitement, never having had a couriered parcel before in her whole long life. It was from my daughter in Johannesburg, and contained  yummy chocolate goodies. Her thoughtfulness really made mom’s day complete.

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On Friday, we took mom down to the bench at the top of our beach steps, and there we sat for quite a long while, watching the waves and the ships. It was a very special time for both of us.

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We weren’t the only ones enjoying the sea air.

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Saturday morning was my day for playing piano again at the mall, so hubby brought mom along to listen, and then we went for a tasty lunch and a bit of shopping. Helping mom to negotiate her way through the crowds of shoppers, I couldn’t help keenly feeling the reversal of roles. I remember when I was a child, having to run to keep up with her as she strode along the street, walking the mile or so into the town because it was “quicker than waiting for the bus.” “Step it out, you’ve got long legs.” she used to say to me. Now I hold her arm protectively, as she’s not too steady on her feet, and I’m afraid she might get bumped by some passing stranger who doesn’t know how special she is. I know it comes to all of us who are fortunate enough to have elderly parents, but I can’t help feeling a twinge of heartache as I see how frail she is. I’m so glad that something which hasn’t changed over the years, is her sense of humour. When we’re together, the smiles and laughter come thick and fast. She sees the funny side of everything, and I’ve inherited this sometimes embarrassing trait. My sister is the same, but even worse, and when the three of us get together, you might be forgiven for assuming that we’ve been let out for the day from some institution for the insanely comical. I’ve also passed this gene on to my daughter, and our long-suffering husbands have  just had to learn to live with it, bless them. 🙂

On Sunday, mom’s birthday dawned bright and sunny, and as usual I took her tea in bed. There she lay, her slight form hardly making a bump under the bedclothes, and I couldn’t help joking. “Happy birthday mom. You’re two fat ladies today!” She replied with a laugh, “That’s exactly what I was thinking when I woke up and realised that I’m 88 today. She had Facebook messages from family overseas, my daughter and granddaughter phoned from Johannesburg, and my sister and her husband phoned from Lesotho where they are spending a few days in freezing cold temperatures. Hubby’s 99-year-old mom in England also spent a good half hour chatting to us all. I then made a really nice lunch, and one thing I will say is that mom has a great appetite for her size.

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Just before I served our sticky toffee pudding, we had a Skype call from our son and family in New Jersey, and mom was so thrilled to see her grandson and his three gorgeous children. Little Taylor was also celebrating her 4th birthday, and Sienna kept jumping down off her dad’s lap to show us how she can do cartwheels. Two-year-old Max came to say “Hi” and then he was off on his own mission. Isn’t Skype just the best thing since sliced bread?

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Now mom is back home in her little cottage, and I’m sure her neighbours were glad to see her back. They all love her to bits, and gathered together to see her off on Thursday, and wish her a very happy weekend, which I know she had. That’s another thing about my mom. She never takes anything for granted, and is always so grateful for each little thing and every act of kindness. My darling mom, may you live to enjoy many more years.

Looking up whilst checking out our beach.

Marianne at East of Málaga featured me in her photo challenge this month. The theme is ‘Looking up’, and she has posted some awesome photos taken from down below. As some of you may know, I’ve been away from my beach house for almost a whole week. Today was a spectacular day weather-wise, so we just had to take a stroll to get our fill of healthy sea air, and check out the beach. The lighthouse beckoned us  from a distance, as we walked along the promenade.

When we got close, I looked up, and this is what I saw. Do you see that chip out of the plaster right at the top?

There were quite a few people around, and I was wondering which one of them was the owner of this car.

I don’t like to get too close to “nut-cases,” and anyone who would pay good money to secure this car registration plate, must surely qualify as one. 🙂

This next photo definitely won’t do for the challenge, because it was taken ‘looking down’ from the end of the pier. You can see why this seaside resort is called Umhlanga Rocks. The ships really do need that lighthouse.

A bit further along, I looked up at the quite recently built ultra-expensive apartment blocks which now block out the sun from the beach, for the best part of the day. 😦

Here is a shot looking up at the sun through this tree filter.

Now for a totally unrelated couple of ‘looking up’ photos. First one is of hubby doing his trapeze act in Phuket a couple of years ago. I was utterly ‘gob-smacked’ as I looked up at him merrily swinging away upside-down. My very own Tarzan!

Anyway, as some of you may have already seen, I got my own back when we were there this year, by insisting on trying out the parasailing over the bay at Patong. I don’t think he could quite believe that it was his scaredy-cat wife flying around up there. 😆

Now I have to feature two blogs, which I follow.

I have chosen Gunta whose blog is called “Movin’on.”  She posts the most awesome photos, mostly, but not exclusively, of her beach on the Oregon Coast. I have been following her for a while now, and always look forward to each new post.

Second up is Lisa of the “I write what I like” blog. She is from Durban, South Africa, but is now living in France, where she runs her own chalet.  She skis in winter and hikes the Alps in summer, and posts the most breathtaking photos, together with tales of her adventurous life there.

I do hope that you will take time to visit these two blogs, and enjoy them as much as I do.