09 September 2005
happy birthday to you
Happy birthday, Aunt Hattie!

Today is the birthday of my great Aunt Hattie, who is 86 years young. This amazing lady flew all the way from northern Maine to the Netherlands 2 years ago for my wedding. She's incredible!

Can you imagine watching the world change around you, but still keep pace with it? Aunt Hattie gets email, flies and drives (around the world!), keeps contact with her far-flung friends and family, gardens, watches birds, and does the daily crossword puzzles! To give you an idea of how much the world has changed during her lifetime, consider the major news events of 1919 (the year of her birth):

* The League of Nations was founded.
* The Treaty of Versailles was signed.
* The 18th Amendment (prohibition!) took effect.
* The Nazi party began, formed as the German Farmer's Party.
* The Fascist Party forms in Italy under Mussolini.
* Women are given the right to vote in the Netherlands.
* The first non-stop air crossing of the Atlantic Ocean occurs.
* America's first passenger flight took place.
* An 8-hour workday was demanded by and awarded to French and Dutch workers.
* The pop-up toaster is patented.

There were no computers or TVs; cars, telephones, indoor plumbing were rare luxuries in most parts of the US. Values, expectations, ethics were different. It really was a different world.

Aunt Hattie deserves much more than a hearty Hip Hip Hooray! on her birthday, but since I'm too far away to do more, hopefully lots of people nearby are treating this very modest woman like the celebrity she is!

(Aunt Hattie, between you & me, I love remembering the summers that Rich and I stayed with you and Uncle Don, the Scrabble and UNO games we played in the screenhouse, the endless supply of popsicles you always had in the freezer, the blackboard you hung in the kitchen where I could write down all that I was too shy to actually say aloud. I remember watching parades on TV with you, exploring in the barn, watching Uncle Don make baseball bats & boxes out of hunks of wood. You were the first to give me a camera and start off my life-long love of photography. You laughed and played when other adults were quiet or serious or too busy to notice me. And best yet, my own kids adore you every bit as much as I did as a child. You have a rare and special gift, and you are a most remarkable person. I love you.)
posted by mainely stitching at 3:35 PM ¤ Permalink ¤ |