Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Happy 98th Birthday To Aunt Della ~ A Sweet Celebration For A Grand Lady ~

Yesterday my precious Aunt Della turned 98 years old. My other Aunt Alene, age 90 and her husband Keith came up from Richfield, Utah (my home town) to celebrate this day with her sister. Presently, my Aunt Della is living in a retirement center. She has her own little apartment and enjoys partaking of her meals each day in the dinning room. Yesterday they gave us a special table to sit at for a birthday lunch with her. She had a number of the residents come by and wish her a Happy Birthday. Once you get to know my Aunt Della you would find her delightful and sharp as a tack; (an old saying) meaning that she has a phenomenal memory. One younger elderly gentleman, age 85 came by and talked with us for a few moment. He apparently sings for everyone at the center. He pointed out that the beautiful music being played in the other room was being played by a blind man. Wow, he was awesome at the piano. It was an enjoyable afternoon. They always tell good stories and there is lots of laughter and fun when we are together. When I left I felt a little melancholy because I  know that I won't have either of these sweet aunts in my life for two many more years.
I value their wisdom and love to listen to them talk together.

Aunt Alene and Aunt Della

98th Birthday Cake
 I have fond memories of my mother and her two sisters. They loved each other so much. They grew up when times were hard.  

Aunt Alene, my mother Leone, Aunt Della and my Grandmother Dora
Aunt Alene, Mother and Aunt Della
Aunt Alene, my mother, Leone, Aunt Della and My Grandmother
My Mother's 90th Birthday - Aunt Della, My Mother, and Aunt Alene

Their father passed a way during the great flu epidemic in 1922. At the time the three sisters were ages 8, 5 and 14 months old. My Aunt Della and Mother remembered that day. After he died; my grandmother had to sell their farm. She took the two oldest children, my Aunt Della and my mother to stay with a couple of relatives. She then took my Aunt Alene with her to Murray, Utah to live with an Uncle while she studied to become a nurse. When she came back she practised nursing for many years and walked from one end of the town of Richfield to the other end taking care of patients. Meanwhile, these three sisters helped hold the home together. My Aunt Della started to make bread when she was 11 years old. They all learned to cook, wash clothes, iron and keep a house.They helped tend a garden which provided a lot of their food. They walked every place and didn't have cars.
Here are some of the things that they did in that era.They loved to roller skate and play lots of fun games.They liked to make up plays and there was a trap door in their home so they would have a character come out of the trapped door and scare everyone. They had a small wagon and would make up signs to advertise their plays and take the wagon around the neighborhood. They charged 1 cent for the play. Their friends would come to their house and gather in the kitchen together before school. They would often go to the movies each week which cost  5 cents. They played outside various games with all the children in the neighborhood.
I asked them what their favorite memory was. My Aunt Alene said her favorite memory was when her husband, my Uncle Kirtley came home after serving in the army in Europe for 3 years during World War II. This is the first time that my Uncle Kirtley had seen his son Ronney.
I was born on that day and she was so excited about that, also. I had two older brothers so everyone was thrilled that I was a girl.
Her favorite job was Media Coordinator in Monroe Elementary school.
One of my Aunt Della's memories was that she cleaned house for a Lottie Andresen and she would do the washing. She didn't have a clothes line so she would hang it out on the bushes.
I remember the clothes lines; and feel so blessed to have washers and dryer in our day.
They named a few of the inventions that occurred during their life time. Their family had one of the few telephones in the town; due to my Grandmother being a nurse. In that day they had telephone operators and party lines. I remember the party lines. You would go to dial a call and there would be a neighbor on the phone. You would have to wait until they were through with their call. Of course, there was always the possibility that your neighbors would listen to your call.
They both think the technology of today is awesome. Aunt Alene told about the time that she worked with the Kindergarten and 1st grade children. She said it was so fun when the first TV and videos were used in the school. She said that the children would put on headsets and you could see their little bright eyes light up and how excited they were to see these things.
They also told stories of listening to the radio. I remember that they used to have radio mysteries that were fun to listen too.  Having 16 mm movie camera  was a  wonderful invention.  I remember my Uncle Kirtley taking movies of family events. He even filmed my wedding reception with the 16mm movie camera.
Through the years they would all visit each other in the various states they lived in . All three couples really enjoyed being together. They all loved to go to Fish Lake. I have so many fond memories of fishing on that lake when I was little and through the years with them all. They loved going out on the boats and trolling for fish. They stayed in trailers during the summer months.
Aunt Alene's advise for longevity is always keep busy and never get bored.
Being with them is never boring. I really miss having my mom as part of their threesome.
I didn't have any sisters so I have been so grateful that my Heavenly Father blessed me with three choice daughters to fill my life with so much joy. Of course, I have three awesome son's and I love my daughter in laws as though they were my own and always enjoy my moments with them. I would have loved having a sister; but I loved being with these sweet Aunts today. I did enjoy every moment.


Jocelyn Christensen said...

Oh wow, that is so great!

Hey you won one of the pdf patterns for the temple softie from Saturday's post! Congrats. Please email me so I can get your pdf sent to you!

Thanks for all of your great comments! - Jocelyn

Anonymous said...

Sweet post...I loved reading about the old days. Wow movies were 5 cents. Happy Birthday Aunt Della love you!

Anonymous said...

Happy birthday to Great Aunt Della...sweet post mom! Love the history!

Patty Ann said...

OH, It sounds like a wonderful day, and beautiful memories. Happy Birthday to Aunt Della!!

Mom of 12 said...

Thanks for your kinds words when my grandma passed away this week. She was more than ready. My FIL also lost his dad in the flu epidemic. I'm so glad we don't have that now.

Marie said...

Hapy Birthday to your sweet Auntie. What a lovely post Leanne! I loved everyword of it. I do so love to read about your family. All the pictures are lovely as well. What great, strong and wonderful women you have had in your family. What powerful examples to follow. How very blessed you are. xxoo

Cheryl @ The Farmer's Daughter said...

Happy Birthday to your sweet aunt!

Kim-A Creative Spirit said...

98 years WOW... that is an amazing life and amazing accomplishment. I love the old pictures... such a fun way to wander thru the past.

Just Ramblin' said...

How blessed to be able to share your Aunt's 98th birthday. I love the pictures and memories you shared. You are fortunate to still have them with you. Nola

Grumpy Grateful Mom said...

Your post really warmed my heart tonight. What amazing lives they have lived. How fun that they put on plays. Sounds like something my girls would do. And those pictures are wonderful.

Barb said...

Hi LeAnn!

I'm so glad that you could be there with your sweet Aunt Della for her birthday - I'm sure it will remain a special moment in time for you and for her! What a beautiful post!

Hugs and Love,

Darlene said...

What wonderful Aunts you have. I know you must love listening to all their stories. It sounds as if you come from a line of "long livers" so you will probably live a long long life too. I hope so. I did enjoy hearing about them too.


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