Thursday, November 17, 2011

~Hip Hip Hooray.. Let's Hear it for Lola Mae~

"Hip Hip Hooray!! Hip Hip Hooray!!
Let's Hear it for Lola Mae"

My grandmother used to chant really Really loudly this ditty
"Hip Hip Hooray..Hip Hip Hooray..We're Living in the USA"
It was her endearing and yet obnoxious way to getting us awake
and going while on Summer break at her home. I am very happy to
announce that Lola Mae has turned 98 today!! Yes.. I said it..
a total of 98 well lived years. And we are so blessed to still have
her with us.

Theres a cartoon that I for the life of me I can't find at the moment.
But it's of two old women chatting. And the one tells the other
"I've lived so long, I'm afraid my long passed friends are gonna think
I didn't make it" (referring to heaven).. This fits my MawMaw to a T.
My MawMaw IS Maxine.. If anyone ever could have been the inspiration for
the character it is her.

They broke the mold when they made her. They had to. It would have been impossible to contain two Lola Maes. She's had a long and full life. And she is the glue and foundation that connects the many generations of our family. But she has had a very hard life. She lost her mother when she was a young girl and literally had to fend for herself after that. Everything she has ever owned she earned through her blood, sweat and tears. She has always thought that she wasn't very smart since she didn't get past the seventh grade. However, she is one of the smartest and most practical people I have ever run across. Her common sense and people skills are bar none. I can only dream and imagine that had she been born either during a different time or different situation, what her life could have been like. She taught herself to cooks and her cooking is AMAZING. Friends and family still come across country to visit and share a meal with her. Had she been born later.. I can see her as the Paula Deen of her generation.

I can't help but think of food when I think of her. And I have made it my goal to a smidgeon, as she would say, to cook and bake like her. At 98, she's still hard to keep up with in the kitchen. She has since retired from KP duties, but has given me some incredible cooking lessons with the things they don't tell you in any given recipe book.

How do you describe such an incredible person?
She's funny as hell and quick with her wit
She's humble and generous to the nth degree
She's independent, salty and crass at times.
There's no denying where a person stands with her
She speaks her mind and tells it like it is
She's loyal and smart and can throw a party like
no other
I could go on and on, but you get the drift..
She is the total package..

And she's the complete opposite of my wonderful mom.
My mom is refined, prim and proper. She's reserved
and contained. And I can only imagine the household
environment when my mom was young.

MawMaw has always lived in the now.. the today..
the Moment of the only day we have. And she would
work to near exhaustion and then find the reserve to
enjoy friends and family with an incredible meal she
put together or a stiff drink.

Where my mom and put together a Martha Stewartess party.. MawMaw can
throwdown the informal and laid back hoedown seated around her entertaining bar. Our family has the most incredible get togethers because family is the main focus. And having a great time is required. You laugh until you spit your drink form your nose, you fight the urge to pee your pants and your stomach hurts for hours later from laughing so hard and so much. Despite all the incredible hardship she has endured, the greatest gift she has given us all is the ability to laugh and not take life so seriously. And this is one of the greatest gifts a person can receive in my book. She has taught us to look for the blessings and to be greatful in Every circumstance. And my mother has nurtured this gift to the extreme. It takes the sting out of hardship so we can see beyond today and the significance this problem will bring to the conclusion later in life.

I am so blessed that my children who I had late in life still have had the opportunity to love and spend time with this remarkable woman. It's quite amusing since age and time have allowed her to simmer and mellow in demeanor. She's not brash, sassy or salty on most days. But it's a thrill to see that side come out from time to time. My two hoots can't fathom her mad and chasing me with her butt ugly oriental looking wedged house slipper for an infraction that I imposed. I remember that shoe and eveything about it. She was quite a sight when I was a child. She scared the crap out of me. Words were never minced or filtered at that time. But with time, I realized she was the real deal and grew to love and respect her immensely. And now, I can't imagine our lives without her.

I can't even begin to imagine all that her eyes have seen. She's lived an incredibly long time and so much has happened. These are a few of the things of what life what like in the year that she was born. And to think that for many of those years she never had her mother to love, lead or guide her along thoe treacherous times.

On Nov. 17th 1913 The Panama Canal opened
In 1913: Grand Central Station opened in NYC
Rosa Parks, Jesse Owens, Pres. Richard Nixon, and Tyrone Powers
were born. Harriet Tubman died.
The 16th Amendment was ratified to begin collecting a 1%
income tax (damn them!( =D )
Stainless Stell was invented as was the modern zipper

Gasoline was .12 per gallon
Milk .32 per gallon
Eggs .304 per dozen
Car $490

And President Woodrow Wilson our 28th President was elected
That's alot of presidents to live through!!

So here's to you my beautiful and loving MawMaw. May this be the best birthday ever . I drink a toast to you with buttermilk that reminds me of all the wonderful meals we have shared, the late night mystery
radio shows that we used to fall asleep to, the scary Dr. Phibes movies you watched with us, the scrambled eggs that are one of kind and out of this world, the chocolate cream pies you made just for me, the cooking & baking lessons you patiently endured so I can hopefully keep going, the fireflies caught in your backyard, the yearly Thanksgiving pecan roof gathering, the parties and laughter, my precious Mom you raised and all the incredibly wonderful things we have shared. I remeber them all and carry themwith me always. And just know that we will have some boxes of your beloved Moon Pies,and your favorite cookies next week when we see you.The hoots and I plan on baking just for you... We love you dearly!!

Oh yea.. and one last thing..Thanks for not sugar coating life so you could teach us how to handle the disappointments, struggles and pain. In it, you have taught how to live for today and be gracious for all that is good and right.

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