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My Birthday Presentation - Livin' the Good Life

Jan. 11th, 2011

01:28 pm - My Birthday Presentation

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Yesterday I had my family and my moms group over for a birthday celebration/presentation. I began by telling a story to the children about when I was a little girl. Here I am telling the story. (Gabe and my dad are sitting on the rocker to the left. Maggie and Maya are next to them.) I showed pictures from my childhood as I went along.
darlene's 62nd

For those who couldn't be there, I will tell you the story as I told it.
"Once upon a time, a long time ago, there was a little girl named Darlene. That's me! I was born 62 years ago. That must seem like a long, long time ago to you, doesn't it? (The children nodded.) Well, if you think THAT was a long time ago, there is my daddy over there (I point to my dad.) His name is Bob, we call him Grandpa Bob, and he was born 92 years ago! That's a lot longer! (Dad waves.)
Well, the day I was born, my daddy was driving my mommy to the maternity home so she could give birth to me, and snow was drifting down all around the car. My mother was so excited that she was going to have a baby on a snowy day, because snow rarely fell in that part of the country.
After I was born, my daddy and mommy brought me home to a brand new little house that my daddy built himself. (I show this picture)
La Canada front door

My brother Don was waiting to meet me there. So we were now a family of four. Here is my mommy, my daddy, my brother, and me. We were watching a movie together in our new little house. (A strange, staged picture, but it was the only one I could find of all of us.)
Bob & fam

I just loved my big brother Don! He would ride me around on the back of his tricycle
Don & Darlene on Trike

And he taught me all kinds of things, like all about rabbits and not to be afraid of them
Don Darlene w rabbit

My brother often put on plays and puppet shows for the neighborhood kids. Sometimes he let me be in them. Here I am in one of his plays. See the kids watching? Even my doll is watching in her little chair.
Darlene performs

Speaking of my dolls, I loved my dolls! My mother said I went everywhere with a doll under my arm. So you can imagine how excited I was one Christmas when I got a doll house, a baby buggy (The kids didn't know what a baby buggie was and I had to explain) and a high chair for my dolls! Here we are playing with our new toys.
Toys in living room

When I got bigger, we moved to a bigger house. This house was on Adelaide Drive, and it was SO beautiful. In this picture you can see my bike and my wagon and my brother's bike. And if you look closely, you can just see the white corner of my bedroom window above the carport. I spent a lot of time in that room.
La Canada house

And that bedroom was extra special, because my daddy built is especially for me. It had a wall with a door and a little bell to ring when you wanted to visit me. There were two windows on either side of the door and a shingled roof that angled down from the ceiling over the door and windows. It definitely looked like a little house, and it WAS my little house within our big house. (At this point I asked my dad to explain why he built me that little house and he said it was because Don and I had to share a large room with each other, and he wanted me to have my own private space. So he decided to build something he thought a little girl would really like.) Unfortunately, I don't have a picture of the front of the house, but I have this picture of me in my jammies, saying my prayers, inside the house and you can see one of the windows.
Darlene praying

I loved my bedroom! But, I loved playing outside even more. I rode bikes, pulled wagons, climbed trees, ran around in the vacant lots and roller skated. Here I am roller skating on our street. This was before they had special roller skating shoes. We had to clamp the wheels on to our shoes, which ruined a lot of shoes!
Darlene roller skating

But, the thing I liked the most when I little was riding my stick horse. His name was Morning Star, and he was my best friend. He was brave and strong and fast. I rode him all over the neighborhood. Every summer my uncle invited my brother and me to visit my cousins at their ranch, and one year I showed up with my stick horse. My uncle thought it was so funny that I brought that horse. Why would I bring a stick horse when there were real horses to ride? But, my reasoning was that he was my friend and he wanted to come see some "real" horses as well!
Here we are on one of the "real" horses, probably the year that I brought Morning Star. My two cousins, Laurie and Pam, are in front, then me, then my brother.
Cousins on horseback

When I got older, I got to ride a horse named Golden Sally every Saturday.
Darlene riding

When I was a little girl, people would ask me, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" I said, "I want to grow up and marry a farmer and have lots of children." And later I said, "I want to be a teacher." That was believable, because I was well-known for teaching the kids in the neighborhood everything I learned in school. I even had a library in my house that they could check books out of. Well, I didn't marry a farmer, I married a musician, Steve. (I point to Steve, and he waves.) We did have a garden and goats and chickens, so it was almost like being farmers. And we did have a lot of children. We had five babies and they were all boys. (I showed a picture of the five and named them.) And I did become a teacher because I was always teaching the boys things, and I also taught lots of mommies how to give birth to their babies. I even taught some of your mommies!
Now this is a very special birthday for me because this is the year I get a new name! I've been called Darlene, Steve calls me Sweetie, the kids called me Mommie, Mama, and Mom, and now I get a new name because my daughter-in-law, Maya (I point to her... Damian wasn't there) is going to have a baby and so that will make me a grandmother. And my new name will be Nana Honey. This summer all you kids will get to meet the new baby, and the baby will grow up to be your friend. I'm really looking forward to that!"

At that point, we all moved into the kitchen to have a delicious potluck! More later....

Comments:

From:(Anonymous)
Date:January 11th, 2011 09:55 pm (UTC)
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I love love love this! I wanted this story to go on and on. So good you put it on your blog so your grandchildren will have this forever. In that picture of your roller skating you sure look like Nathen!

Jill
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From:(Anonymous)
Date:January 12th, 2011 04:18 pm (UTC)

Nana Honey's Birthday Story

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Thanks for sharing your wonderful life story with those who could not hear it live!!! You are such a special woman and I am forever honored that I know you...and am so glad you take the time to put together such warm experiences which always come straight from your beautiful heart.

Miss you!!!
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From:womantalk
Date:January 14th, 2011 02:24 am (UTC)

SO sweet!

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Darlene,
I loved reading the story of your life. I'm sorry to have missed the celebrations. Let's celebrate next time I'm in town!
Love,
Jeannie
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