Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sharing Memories: A Genealogy Journal Week #9 Birthday Parties

Lorine Massey at Olive Tree Genealogy has created a year-long Genealogy Journey in Genealogy Journal Writing. Having my grandmother's travel journals and a diary among my family papers and treasures, I can appreciate the different perspective someone will have years from now with a glimpse into my life in the early years of the "new millinieum" as opposed to my view of  "who would be interested"?


On the highlight reel of my life, birthday's rank high on the list of celebrations. During my childhood, the countdown to October 10th began somewhere around July 4th. By the time we were in the single digits, I could barely sleep at night. During this period of my life we called October 10, 11 and 12, Birthday Week. My birthday was the 10th, my father's on the 11th; not only was my maternal grandmother's birthday October 12th, but she and my grandfather were married on October 12th in 1922. My father's mother, Mildred Little Bergeron, was born on October 26, 1899, and his sister, Marian, was born on October 23rd.

The memory that immediately comes to mind when I recall childhood birthday memories is the one captured in the photograph above. Taken at our apartment on First Avenue in Antigo, Langlade, Wisconsin, are the three birthday cakes my mother use to make. On the far left is the birthday cake for my grandmother, Alma Polar Space. On the right, my father's birthday cake with his birthday gift wrapped in what was probably the beginning of the tradition of asking if the gift was 'plaid or plain'. My cake is in the middle ... how I looked forward to those wonderful doll cakes! I don't know if my mother, who is wonderfully creative, thought of this herself or discovered it in a magazine but the decorating is the result of her sense of color and design. As I got older, the dolls 'aged' as well. I recall a birthday party at my grandmother Bergeron's house with friends from Antigo's Sixth Ward School; the cake being a harbinger of the Barbie doll in a decorated cake dress Scarlett O'Hara only dreamed of.

I cannot imagine the time - and expense - of making and decorating three cakes, can you?

In the fifty plus years that have passed since this photo was taken, my life has been blessed with the addition of brother-in-laws, nieces and nephews as well as my being welcomed into the Scherwinski family. The addition of my beautiful daughter-in-law is a blessing that, like the three son's I gave birth to, cannot be measured in words.

Now, Birthday Week has been expanded from October - with the addition of two brother-in-law's sharing their October 11th birthday with my father and other family members who share our opal birth stone - to February Birthday Week's celebrations that includes my sister, Lisa, oldest son, Chris, nephew, Chad and enough other family members to cause a spike in the profits of the Hallmark card company.

This past October my Dad celebrated his 80th birthday. The celebration marked the first time in several years our entire family gathered together and while we blew out candles on a shared birthday cake, we all looked forward to the birthday tradition we've begun since the time of doll birthday cakes - the tradtional birthday pie.


Copyright (c) 2010 Cindy Bergeron Scherwinski

2 comments:

Cher' Shots said...

Oh Cindy, the more I read your blog the closer I feel to you. I enjoy your writing so much. You put me right there alongside you. Being close in age, our pasts coinside often. My oldest daughter was born on my Grandmothers birthday. So Grandma used to give her "special" gifts which are now cherished.

帶我走 said...

nice to know you, and glad to find such a good artical!.........................

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