Valerie Thomas Hartshorne, my mother, just celebrated turning 90 years old, at her family house in Blawenburg, New Jersey. That same house is where I grew up, my parents bought the place in 1960 and have been there ever since.
Turning 90 is not a piece of cake, since to live that long you have to endure some tough health choices and outcomes. Valerie has Parkinson’s disease which makes getting around very hard.
Yesterday when I was visiting the homestead, just getting her to go from a standing position to sitting required a high degree of effort. Thankfully, she had her aide Lisa who is an expert at these things and we are also thankful to have her in our lives.
To celebrate this milestone, I joined my daughter and son in law and granddaughter on a trip down here to New Jersey. It’s Labor day, one of those holidays that makes me uneasy, unsettled, and that I rarely ever plan for.
It comes up and I’ve usually never made any plans to do anything so I often am bored and unproductive. This year I have a living room to paint, but unfortunately, I didn’t buy the paint so that’s not gonna happen.
For this weekend, I’m lucky to be staying in my sister Jenny’s carriage house apartment above their garage so I have my own space and it’s very comfortable. Tonight for the big party, we will have 28 people there, wishing Vally well and celebrating her 90th year.
I made a playlist just for this occasion and I even include the most popular song of the year she was born–1931, which was Minnie the Moocher by Cab Calloway.