Today, I'm old, at least older than yesterday and way older than when I blogged about being old three years ago
. Today marks the twelfth year I've been eligible for Kroger's senior citizen discount, and the second year I've been on Medicare. It's been years since I celebrated a birthday (What's to celebrate?) and that's fine with me. Birthday celebrations are for the young.
To celebrate my birthday when I was a kid, Mama always baked me a birthday cake. Most years she took my picture. Here I am celebrating my first birthday at my grandparents' house on what used to be Watts Avenue. My parents and I lived with my grandparents until I was two.
Guests at this auspicious occasion were my cousins, Marty and Tommy Ruble. we're sitting in a chair that their father—my Uncle Raymond—made. He made a bunch of these chairs. I guess the main entertainment for my birthday was Marty pushing me in the swing.
Here I am at two. Same location—notice that the swing is still hanging from the same tree. Why Do I have a tag on me that says "2"?
I still have that chair that Uncle Raymond made for me. Now, it's painted burgundy and makes a sturdy step-stool. I'm wearing a pink dress that was crocheted for me by Mrs. Sharp, who also lived in the Rugby area. She was the mother of Irving Sharp, a playmate of my mother and uncles and who later became a local radio and TV personality. Mrs. Sharp also crocheted a matching doll coat. I still have the dress and doll coat, too.
I couldn't find a picture of birthday #3, but here's birthday #4. Location has changed to our new house on Floraland Drive in Roanoke's Williamson Road area. Ours was the last street before farmland began. Way the other side of fields and farms was the airport.
Notice the chairs behind me. You can guess who made them, can't you? My dress, which Mama would have made, is a bit revealing for 1949, don't you think?
Here's #5. Same chairs. Better hairdo. Less revealing dress. Hated those hard shoes—same style as the previous year. Mary Janes, I think they were called.
Here's #6. I'm back in party mode, with both cousins and neighbors attending the festivities.
Billy Meador, Johnny Campbell, Marty, Tommy, me, Carolyn Ferguson, and Judy. Billy and Johnny lived up the hill; Carolyn lived next door. Behind us you can see the new houses in the new Dorchester Court neighborhood where farmland used to be. Those chairs are holding up pretty good, huh?
Here's a solo picture of me in my first car, which I'd gotten a few Christmases earlier. At six, I'm way too big for the car.
Yet another picture of me and the cake, with Dorchester Court in the background. I still have the table (made by Uncle Raymond). It matched the chairs, but Mama used it on the porch for years to hold her plants; now it holds plants on my patio.
I don't remember the dress, but I know Mama made it. I do remember the sandals which I loved because they were wonderfully comfortable. I remember being delighted that I could wiggle my toes.
. . .and here's another closer picture of the cake, even though you can't see all six candles:
In the background at right, you can see a tiny bit of the lot (the tree) that my husband and I still own. Next to what would eventually become our lot is where the Via house was built the following year.
Here's birthday #7. The socks with multi-colored sandals were an unfortunate fashion choice. Notice Mama was making me more elaborate dresses, too.
I think the photo below is #8, but it's hard to count the candles. Notice I'm wearing a cowgirl outfit and there's a cat at the bottom step of our house on Floraland.
See the little table on the porch? I still have that, but it isn't in very good shape now. I think Grandaddy Ruble made it.
In the picture below, I think it's birthday #9. (I know I was still wearing braids at age nine. A fourth grade picture of me is here
.) Notice I get to wear shorts instead of those sissy dresses with sashes.
Below is #10, I think. Again, I can't see all the candles to count them. I'm sitting on the front porch and wearing a genuine store-bought dress. (I wore the same dress for school pictures, too.) I didn't wear braids anymore, but mama often subjected me to curlers. Hated having my hair rolled up!
You see the chair I'm sitting in? Mama had three yellow metal chairs on the front porch. Now they're in my yard.
Birthday #11 (or it might be 12). Note the chair is still looking good. I'm starting to grow up.
After that year, the cake pictures ceased. Maybe I thought I was too old for birthday pictures. I still had a cake for the next few years, though.
Now, there's no more cake. Too many carbs for this diabetic.
Labels: childhood, memoir