“It’s not a cockroach from a yard sale,”

said Sid, with mild surprise.  

He was referring to Rachel’s birthday card —- a very pink and girly birthday card, a card one might find at Hallmark —- a marked departure from the usual Aunt Sandra card, which is usually funky, may or may not relate to the celebratory occasion, and that probably came from a yard sale in a box with a turquoise-and-coral owl charm and a pocketbook made from a mile-long zipper.  Yes, Aunt Sandra seeks the thrifty and unusual.  Thus, MY birthday card had a cockroach on the front.  But he was holding a bouquet of flowers, so at least he was trying to be charming.

The pink, could-have-come-from-Hallmark-but-I-doubt-it card was perfect for my girl with distinctly feminine tastes.

My Rachel Bree turned 6 last Thursday, February 25th.

We started her morning with a gift from brother Lincoln . . . . . .

who hovered, bouncing up and down in excitement.

But she can’t pull it from the bag fast enough.  He  . . . . . . .can’t. . . . . . .wait. . . . . . .can’t wait . . . . . .can’t wait. . . . . . .

“It’s a bowling set!!!!!” he burst out.

“A bowling set!!!!” she exclaims.  “I LOVE bowling sets!”  And Lincoln’s little heart soared.

So they bowled.  I include this blurry picture of Lincoln so that Rachel might one day remember the JOY this brother of hers had in her birthday.  And so we can reminisce about his skinny little knees protruding from his ragged pants.

Later, brother Sidney bestowed his gifts upon her . . . . .

rabbit ears and a homemade tissue-paper tulip.  The girl is flower-crazy.

Since it was a special day, Rachel did school in her rabbit ears with her paper tulip on her desk.

Later Grandpa Louis, Grandma Sandy, Great-Grandma Louise and Aunt Bree came over to celebrate her birthday supper.

Grandpa Louis tries to help blow out those tricky candles.

And my favorite moment of the day . . . . . .

my rugged, unshaven ditch-digger in his torn, stained work clothes taking tea.

The man knows how to properly wield a shovel or a fragile tea cup.

Sid took over the camera to get a picture of me with the birthday child.

But he neglected to mention that I had a trace of chocolate clinging to the left side of my lips.

Ah, well, what can you expect from a family who thinks dinner napkins are synonymous with shirt sleeves?

I was pleasantly surprised to see the picture of my Mom in the background of the photo.  How appropriate since Rachel is named for her.

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