Monday, February 22, 2010

Happy Birthday Mom

Today is my Mom's birthday. As anyone would know that has lost a loved one, you never forget these special days. It's especially memorable to me in that my birthday is only 4 days from now. Typically our relatives would visit our home when I was little to celebrate both of our birthdays together. We got to share photos with cakes that were made for both of us. I think my Aunt Penny would even decorate the cakes with that cake candy that said "Happy birthday Mary Ann and Sandy!".
So in honor of Mom and for me too, I made an Angel Food cake yesterday. I will frost it with a sweet frosting that is just like eating marshmallow cream right from the jar! Thanks to Beverly for giving me the recipe! It's so delectable.
Another memory during this time of year as a youngster was the fact that snowmobiling was a huge part of our upbringing. We had two machines for the longest time and eventually got a third. We also had what was called a Cat Cutter sleigh or sled. (Artic Cat was the brand of machines we rode, thus the name Cat Cutter.) It was pulled behind a snowmobile and my siblings and I would ride in it. (it has no motor) We rode all the time. Never mind the fact that the weather was usually 10-20* below zero. We belonged to a club called the Battleview Trailblazers. Many neighbors gathered together every Sunday during the winter in the central location of Battleview, a little tiny town in ND only a couple miles from my Dad's farm. We all brought food to contribute to a pot luck meal that would be eaten later in the evening. Then we would go out riding all our snowmobiles on a 2-3 hour ride on no particular route. Sometimes there were as many as 15 machines. (was there ever more than that Dad?) One of the men would lead the pack and we would ride in coulee's and meadows, across creeks and bridges and eventually make a huge circle out in the country and end up back in Battleview. The meal was usually ready to eat along with plenty of hot chocolate and coffee. Some of the ladies of the club that didn't ride would always be waiting for us and had it piping hot! Then after the meal, many of the adults would sit and play cards while the kids went back outside to play and maybe ride the snowmobiles again. Soon it was time to ride the machines back home and get to bed as we had school the next day. These were the best days.
This is another reason I remember birthday time so much. When relatives would visit to celebrate with us, the snowmobiles never sat still. The kids rode for hours. Sleds were even pulled behind on occasion to change things up a bit. It was fun to be riding on the sled and make jumps over the drifts, big and small. But it was even more fun to be the driver and see the sled rider go through some of the fluffy drifts and get all covered with snow! Remember that Cathy and Kevin? It didn't matter how cold it was, we enjoyed the outdoor toys!
So, on that note, happy birthday Mom. As always, we think of you often and miss you. I do especially during our birthday time. I know you won't mind if I eat your share of the cake!


Cathy said...

Boy, I remember every bit of what you described here. Even though the birthdays were yours, they are stilllllll some of MY favorite memories, as well!! I will never forget that and will never stop missing those days.
Happy Birthday to Mom from me too! We miss you more than we could ever explain!
Sandy, I'm glad you got to share the birthdays and cakes with her and that you felt that was a special thing. Happy birthday to YOU in just a few days!! Love to you, Li'l Sis!

Kevin Moberg said...

(I still don't know how you rate, getting Cathy to comment on your blog but not mine.)

This was a fun trip down memory lane! I was thinking of the homemade hot chocolate mix as soon as you started writing about the potlucks. Remember playing in the old schoolhouse in Battleview? We'd slide around on the huge, slippery floor in our thick snowmobiling socks. Good times.

A particularly fun time to ride snowmobile was after school but before supper when it was getting pretty dark but not yet wintertime-pitch-black. I remember going through the drifts that would form on either side of the tree row running alongside the road to Grandpa and Grandma's house and enjoying the cold, the whistling of the snowmobile engine in the otherwise utter silence, the shadows of the trees, the pillowy goodness of the drifts, and the way that the surrounding darkness made it feel as though just off in the distance "the known world" ended. Awesome.

I also remember not being able to remember which day was your birthday and which was Mom's. Loved, loved, loved the visits from relatives, the late-night spread of food, and playing with cousins while the adults visited and drank coffee until late at night.

Happy belated birthday, Mom! And thanks for the memories, sisters!