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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Happy Birthday Marilyn

One of the most popular songs in 1948 was Ella Fitzgerald's rendition of "My Happiness."  Marilyn and I remember Connie Francis singing the same song in the late 1950's.  I have to say that Marilyn has brought me a lot of happiness over the years and "whether skies are gray or blue, anyplace on earth will do," just as long as I can talk to Marilyn on the phone every day.  

I don't remember a thing about her original birthday, but I must've been delighted to have a baby sister.  Mom and Dad worked long hours to get the old house remodelled and ready for the new baby.  I guess she slept in the crib in Mom and Dad's bedroom, or maybe in that old black buggy.  I was just 20 months old - where would I sleep?  Too bad we never heard the stories of moving us to bigger beds.  There was no such thing as a toddler bed way back then....

One thing I do know - we loved to play house and play with our dolls....

There were many things we enjoyed doing together over the years, even though our approach was much different.  Marilyn is more social, likes talking to people.  I'm more serious and engaging in conversation with others is difficult for me sometimes.  I learned about our difference early on when I had to go door to door in Cottonwood selling chances or raffle tickets for some school event.  I begged Mom to let Marilyn go with me because she was not afraid to knock on doors and tell people what we were doing.  A real salesperson.

That trait came out in her several years ago when her parish leaders decided to serve the disadvantaged people living at the Delaney House in Spokane.  Marilyn agreed to get up to the microphone at St. Augustine's  and encourage people, especially families to sign up to serve Thanksgiving Dinner, bring food, or help clean up.  She sold it!!  I was there - even Father Bob showed up!  There were as many helpers as guests!  She's encouraged her office co-workers to donate appliances, gifts, and even cash for people just down on their luck.  Her prayer group purchases fleece and makes over 300 blankets every year for the poor families living near Airway Heights.  She definitely has the gift of motivating people to help in all sorts of situations, which brings happiness not only to the poor, but also to those who do the serving.

One year she talked me and her sisters into making 10 Christmas wall hangings.  No problem she said!!  It took us forever to cut out all the pieces, then applique them on the blocks!  Connie's emphatic statement at the end of the project, "we are never letting Marilyn pick the Sister's Weekend projects ever again."  So, for some years after 2002 we found happiness in getting pedicures or perusing yard sales in Genesee instead of working on sewing projects!

Sometime in 2008 Marilyn suggested that we celebrate what would've been Dad's 100th birthday in 2010.  She wanted the whole family to be there - should it be the Oregon Coast?  Should it be Priest Lake?  She searched the Internet until she found Priest Lake Haven.  Talk about Happiness!!!  We played cards, we built fires, we cooked and ate wonderful food, we shared memories of our Dad, we enjoyed the Gaeke kids, we shot off fireworks, we hiked and we took lots of pictures!
Marilyn did talk me into helping her make aprons for everyone!

Marilyn also loves yard sales.  She always knows someone who needs something.  Just tell her once and she never forgets what you are looking for.  She found playhouses, sand boxes, and legos for Colin.  She finds the best books, puzzles, and games for the Gaeke kids.  She's always shopping for the Eddy kids (her surrogate grandkids in Spokane).  If she can't find it at a yard sale, she looks on Craig's List or EBay.  Recently she bought me a hand made plate by my favorite crafter!  Gift giving is truly a love language she understands and practices.  She genuinely finds happiness in the search and the gift giving.

Marilyn has always been able to get more projects finished and in less amount of time than I have.  She's just not as fussy about sewing, knitting, cooking, baking, or cleaning.  I often complain about how long it takes me so she found this great picture for me!  So, tonight, I'm fussing about getting the right pictures in the right place so I can publish this posting and I'm looking at the picture and saying to myself, "it's not perfect, but it's about to be finished."  That makes me happy!

May the real gifts of this birthday be the blessing of a long life and good health and the love I have for you.  "A million years it seems have gone by since we shared our dreams."


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