Today is Mom Dot's 87th birthday. I asked folks from her (and my) past to send her birthday cards; she got an avalanche of mail.
For lunch today, I brought her a quarter-pounder from McDonald's. Tried to get her a milk shake but the machine was broken. (McDonald's is one of the secrets to her longevity, she insists).
Yesterday we went to beautiful Carter Mountain in Charlottesville, Virginia (Thomas Jefferson's Monticello is just down the street). It was a perfect day, sunny and crisp and crowded with people. Mom Dot waited in the car while the girls and I--minus Hope--went apple picking. We brought back apples and apple cider donuts. "Donuts are health food. I am not so sure about apples," she said.
Along with her Mom Dot-isms, as I have come to call them, my mother-in-law (a former English teacher) can not only quote Robert Frost's poetry but also lengthy passages from Shakespeare. And with great feeling, too.
Tonight we will gather round the dinner table for corn beef and cabbage,cake, presents and "What I Like About You." Cousin Ellen is coming, too (one of her favorite people).
In honor of her 87th birthday, here are some Mom Dot-isms that have stuck with me. I bet they will stick with you, too.
If you find yourself on the obituary page, don't bother to watch the news.
If you say you can't complain, I give lessons.
I don't envy the women I see caring for their sick, elderly husbands. But I do envy women when I see them out walking their little dogs.
Your fifties are younger than your forties.
I regret deliberately putting the wrong year on my tombstone, making myself one year younger. I should have given myself at least five years.
It takes all three of my college degrees to fold all the laundry in this house.
Sometimes I think the women's lib movement liberated men.
The secret to a lasting marriage is commitment: not commitment to your faith as much as commitment to the marriage itself. You cannot rationalize that away.
Live a really long time, but don't get old.
Happy birthday, Mom Dot! What a treasure you are.
Dorothy and Silas Sims,