Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Happy Birthday Marlys

This is me. I look like my mom. I have for a long time.... As long as I can remember. I know I still look like her because when I go home and encounter women my mom's age who I do not recognize or know, they STILL come up to me and tell me I look like my mom. My mom always wore glasses. I only wear glasses to drive. I recently got new glasses. I think they look like the ones my mom was wearing in her H.S. graduation picture.
My mom liked a good fire - A LOT. It was even mentioned in the eulogy at her funeral. Once, a long, long time ago, when I was little she was burning garbage in our "hole" on the farm. The fire got out of hand. We were on the verge of needing the fire department, and the huge machine shed was in danger of going up in flames. Before she HAD to call my dad for help, I think she might have told us kids, "Don't tell your father!" (As if he wouldn't have noticed the charred grass.)
I like a good fire too, but I live in the suburbs. You aren't suppose to have rip roaring fires in Suburbia. Last week, our neighbor kindly helped us cut down two large, overgrown arborvitaes in front of our house. This "ignited" my mom in me. FIRE was a must for clean up.
My mom liked a little gas to "fuel" the fire. Last week, when I started my fire, we were out of lighter fluid, but we did have GAS. My mom had access to an entire barrel of gas on the farm. Our lawn mower jug was plenty to meet my needs. I tucked the gas can behind the yard waste bin, so Mark wouldn't notice it (not so unlike my mom urging us NOT to tell Dad about her huge fires).
I channelled Marlys, and made a fine fire to kick start the branch consumption. The kids loved it! They were channeling a little Marlys too. The fire was yet another grand opportunity (teaching moment) to share about their Grandma Marlys.
Then last night my Aunt Toots's Facebook post reminded me August 19th was my mom's birthday. I had completely forgotten. I read the status update on my I-Phone as I was leaving an evening work event. I knew I wanted a glass of Boone's Farm to commemorate her 60 something-est birthday when I got home. My mom drank Boone's Farm from time to time. It was served at Toren family holiday's. Growing up, I thought Boone's Farm was actually wine. I thought all wine had a screw top.

I typically have TWO bottles of Boone's Farm in my home at basically ALL times. I rarely drink ANY Boone's Farm.
  • One bottle is about 14 years old. The bottle was in our house when my mom died. I think it was open when she died, or Brett and I may have opened it later. When my Dad sold our house in the country year's later, I moved the bottle to my town home in Blaine. When we moved from the town home, the bottle came to Riverview Lane. Today the "Marlys Melberg Commemorative Boone's Farm Bottle" lives on the bottom shelf of my fridge door. It is NOT for consumption. We might die of formaldehyde poisoning or something. 

  • I keep one additional/un-opened bottle of Strawberry Hill on hand in case the mood strikes me (like last night for my mom's birthday). When I bought this more recent/drinkable bottle, it cost me $3.29.

"Drinkable" is a questionable term. I cracked open my "just in case" Boone's Farm bottle last night. It has been a LOONNNNNNGGGG time since I sipped Boone's. It is not so good.....Really.....It is pretty bad!

Then I "channelled" Marlys. I let Marly have a sip. Heck, I might have encouraged her a bit. My mom always let me have "sips" of her wine when I was little. This was acceptable in the 70's and 80's. (Don't judge. Smoking when you were pregnant was also acceptable.)

Marly didn't like it. She took another tiny sip anyway, swallowed, spit, then asked for a drink of water. I think I liked it as a kid.  Okay...I know I liked it when I was little. I remember "pass the bottle" at Margene's at Christmas.

Next I called my brother Brett. But first I texted him to remind him it was mom's birthday. In the text, I suggested he mix himself a gin and tonic (my mom's occasional mixed drink of choice) to commemorate her birthday at his house. When we spoke, his cocktail was in hand. He suggested I have a gin and tonic too, and THEN drink the Boone's Farm. It might taste better!

Happy Birthday Mom.
You were the best.

I will forever hope that I "channel" your kindness; your generosity; your giving nature to neighbors, friends and family; your fun-ness; your desire to help others without judging; your strong love and devotion to family; your unassuming affection for your children's (Brett and my) friends at all ages; and your good-natured, go-with-the flow, joyful and easy zest for life.

I will forgo giving haircuts in the kitchen (except for my nephew's first cuts, and the occasional trim for my own kids.)

Your Daughter, Andrea

1 comment:

JennyF said...

What a wonderful way to celebrate your mom's birthday. She sounds like she was quite a firecracker in her youth, with familiar country roots!


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