Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Big 5-0

Wow. I turned 50 today! Never in a million years did I think this would be so easy and so much fun. This past week has been just amazing. Last Saturday, my friends threw a fabulous and fun birthday party for me. I got tons of wonderful gifts and hysterical birthday cards! Lots of old and new friends came to help celebrate. Great weather, food, company! What more...

Well, since I've been searching for my grandmother, Lola, I've discovered much about her immediate family. As I've mentioned before, she had a baby brother, William, that somehow ended up in Iowa as an 8 year old, ultimately being adopted by another family. Lola and William did manage to remain in contact and when he was a young man of 19, he did live with Lola and Red (my grandfather) in Iowa in 1920. Thanks to a handy feature on, I was able to establish contact with someone who was also searching for William. Wendy is the granddaughter of one of the children also adopted by the family in Iowa that adopted William. I guess that makes us second cousins or something. Well, let me tell you that Wendy is quite the detective and extremely savvy with the ancestry research.

Knowing that my sis and I were looking for information on the death of our dad's brother, Wendy reached out to the community my dad was born in via message boards. Almost immediately a stranger replied. This stranger went out and found information on my dad's brother. I was near tears. Based on what she told us, I knew it was him and so did my sister. He was buried on 8 July 1920, in a cemetery in Mason City, Iowa. There is no headstone (leads me to believe my grandparents couldn't afford one) and the section of cemetery he was buried in indicates that he was either an infant or young child. He was four years and eight months old when he died. My grandfather was listed as living relative. The interesting thing is that we were always of the impression that Raymond had drowned. The cemetery records did not indicate that, but rather mentioned something about the heart. I am truly amazed and thankful that a stranger went out to the cemetery and the genealogy library to check records for a stranger.

For my birthday, my sister and our friend Karen treated me to a fun tour of sixties homes in Brentwood, CA. It was so much fun and one home in particular was calling out to me to move in! It was fabulous. I love the ranch style homes and the four on the tour today, were just that! To me, no design can come close to the atomic ranch style home. I live in Southern California and craftsman style is huge, but ranch is still the best in my opinion!

To top off a really great week, a few of my friends bought me a special birthday gift! This is the one thing I begged for year after year as a kid in the 60s, but never got. I did, however, get the accessory kit one year. My dad thought this "toy" was a waste since we had the real thing in the house. This thought was surely typical of someone growing up during the depression. When I opened it, I looked up towards the sky and said, "Dad, I finally got it!". Woo hoo.

What a great birthday! When I was a teenager, I would have never thought this possible, nor did I imagine being 50. Back then, 50 was something ancient, polyester, bouffanted, dull and old. I think 50 must be the new 30! So, to wrap up one hell of a great birthday week, I thought I should share a favorite childhood song. To this day, I can't hear it without jumping up and doing the pony! I guess the title of this song sort of lends itself to the Easy Bake Oven (Sugar Sugar).

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