Mom’s birthday celebrations didn’t typically reach epic proportions like Dad’s. For one thing, her October 4th birthday didn’t lend itself to leisurely summer reunions. And Dad didn’t organize us in quite the same way that Mom quarterbacked his birthday every July. But that seemed to be OK with her.
We did manage a few surprises for the later milestone birthdays. Here she is – quite glamorous on her 70th birthday – in a beaded dress brought by oldest sister. Not anything she would ever buy for herself and a bit of a risk – but she looked great! We should all look that good at 70.
My recollection is that, ever practical, she didn’t keep that dress – but she did fulfill the post-shopping family tradition — FASHION SHOW!
We had a pretty cool cake that year — looked too good to eat.
Mom could be a little hard to shop for but she always liked a set of pictures, art and school work from her modestly talented grandchildren, and news of family life. On her 80th birthday, we sent a photo album with these pictures sprinkled among the typical fare:
She got into the spirit of things — and sent this picture back:
We miss you, Mom/Grandma/Biddy!
And guess what! I’m going to Texas tomorrow to see your brother Jerry, cousin Tom D, and hometown of Sierra Blanca. Really wish you were going with me, but, in all the most important ways, you are.
P.S. After finishing this post, I remembered another birthday-related picture of Mom found tucked away among Dad’s things. This picture is dated November 25, 1945 – Dad was stationed in Korea at the time and she was in El Paso with her parents. Oldest sister had been born just three months before (not that you could tell….)Mom wrote on the back “the suit is the one purchased with the Boss’ [father-in-law J. A. C. Ruffner, Jr.] Birthday Money. Like it?”
We bet he did.
……and, now that I think about it, this is when the Ruffner family fashion show tradition was born!