Ninety-five years and counting

It’s been way too long since I paid some attention to my blog!  I guess it’s the busyness of summertime.  For a wonderful change, we’ve had some real summer weather here this year… it was warm enough last week for me to seriously wish we had air conditioning!  Happily, those “too hot” days are past, and we have temps only in the 70’s forecast for our future — I must be a true “westsider” now because 72 feels like heaven to me, compared to last week’s 100.  For those who may not be familiar, Washington State is divided by the Cascade Mountain Range…  the mountains separate our state into two distinct climates.  Eastern Washington – where I was raised – is warm and very dry.  Western WA is quite the opposite most of the year, cool and damp.  At any rate, last week we made the trek to Eastern WA to help my dear Dad celebrate 95 years of living!

Obviously, it’s not everyday that someone manages to reach the age of ninety-five.  That said, in my family (on both sides) we have a great history of hanging around into our ninetys and sometimes into the hundreds!  Guess you’d call it “good genes” — but whatever it is, we are SO thankful that we had Mom till the age of 91, and that we still have Dad – at the ripe old age of 95.   Certainly a celebration of sorts was in order!  It wasn’t a big affair, just a small gathering of family and friends at Dad’s home.  We decided to do a simple barbecue on a warm summer day, have a nice cake, and make some homemade ice cream.   After a lot of thought….. “what kind of cake would Dad think is ‘cool’?” … I came up with the idea of a crossword cake!  Every morning for the last umpteen years, Dad sits down with his newspaper, a cup of coffee, and his crossword to start the day.  My dear husband found a website where you could pick some words that were applicable for the situation and the program would automatically put them into crossword form.  In this way, we created a small crossword puzzle with words that we thought described Dad.  Then I gave the crossword and the clues to my friend and neighbor KarenKaren (also the world’s best cat sitter!) who is the head cake designer for a large grocery chain in our area.  She is ULTRA-talented!  I knew my idea was in good hands, and that she would come up with a really cute cake to help make Dad’s big day even more special.   Yup, that’s Karen—>

She worked very hard on the cake and here’s how it all turned out in the end

95th birthday cakeSome of the words we chose were:  Worlds Greatest Dad; Gramps, Happy Birthday; ninety five; sportsfan; reader; tireshop (the business he used to own); and Hob – Dad’s nickname.   This picture shows the crossword all filled in… but when we opened the cake box, the crossword was empty, with the clues printed on rice paper on top the cake….  Dad had to fill it in, using edible ink pens!  We were all eager to help!

Brian, Gramps, MattThis shot shows my brother on the left and my son on the right, helping Gramps with the crossword 🙂

Gramps, Matt and SuzAnother picture of us, cheering Gramps on as he gets another clue right!!

Starting the crosswordHe worked hard to figure out all the clues and get the words filled in.  In fact, the rule was NO cake till the crossword was complete!  It was good fun!

Matt, John, Brian bbqI love this pic!  It shows three of the great men in my life!  My precious son, my dear husband, and my fabulous brother.   Oh, and don’t forget the RETRO barbecue…. we used that thing when I was a kid – and heaven knows that was a LONG time ago.  It was fun to dust it off and fire it up again.

Yes, there were some family members who couldn’t make it for the big event – my oldest son, my oldest brother, my dear daughter in law – we sure missed them all, and I know Gramps missed them too.  Still, a good time was had by all, despite the very HOT weather and the fact that the bbq food had to be brought back inside due to the heat.   Here’s a final shot of  the Birthday Boy.  Dad's 95thWe are so thankful to still have him, and with God’s grace, we’ll do it all again when the old guy hits the century mark!!!

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