Sunday, May 30, 2010

They Say It's Your Birthday ...

by Leann

And it is my birthday. I think this is the first time I've ever blogged right on the very day and I won't be announcing my age--not that it's important. But my birthday used to fall on the "true" Memorial Day, May 30th, before we made all the bank holidays on Mondays.

Where I grew up in western New York, Memorial Day signified the beginning of decent weather. That meant no more snow for a couple months. My parents always had a family picnic at our house and somehow my birthday got lost in the festivities--picnic food and lots of beer drinking. I guess it was sort of like those people who have a birthday on Christmas. One present fits two occasions. Very convenient.

But I did enjoy all the relatives coming over, having the lawn chairs set out, and having the picnic table filled with all kinds of yummy food. And my mother always made a cake. I was grateful for that cake because, well, my grandmother was a baker and my grandfather was a chef, so she learned plenty from them. Yes, my mother made some fine cake. Back then it was always yellow cake with icing rich with chocolate chips and Crisco. These days it's, well, nothing. Chocolate gives me migraines and most cakes have eggs. I'm allergic to eggs. It's hell growing up, isn't it?

Unlike Christmas, which was always a disaster at our house, my birthday was usually pretty okay. My gazillion cousins came over and we played cards and board games and generally avoided the adults. The best time of all was the year that the dog stole the big (and expensive) steak off the grill and ran off with it. Us kids got a real kick out of that. The adults? Not so much. How about you? Do you have good memories of this holiday? Special traditions? Or is a family get together a real nightmare?

31 comments:

Dru said...

Happy Birthday Leann!

I loved going into the city to watch the parade of the veterans and the participants proudly waving their flags. Then it was off to the picnic grounds for picnic food and there was nothing better when the dog grabbed hot dogs from the grill.

Andrea C. said...

Yay! It is my birthday too! I love that I was born on Memorial Day and my hubby was born on Flag Day! If we ever have a baby, it would be cool to have him/her on July 4th! (as if I could plan that!)
Happy Birthday to you Leanne!

Mason Canyon said...

Happy Birthday Leann. Hope you have a wonderful day and a super year to come.

Mason
Thoughts in Progress

jbstanley said...

Happy Birthday, my dear friend.

I can see how your personality matches this weekend, because you and the holiday both remind me of summer, kids running through the sprinklers, and sweet watermelon.

Have a great day and spoil yourself a bit! :)

Vicki said...

Happy Birthday! Growing up, mom usually hosted a bbq at our house for friends. Our family is very small and we are separated by distance, so this year hubby and I are laying low at home. Enjoy your special day!

signlady217 said...

Family holiday gatherings, hmmm. Well, let's just say some are better than others and leave it at that! ;)

signlady217 said...

Forgot to say, "Happy Birthday"! Hope you have a great one!

Leann Sweeney said...

Thanks everyone ... and HAPPY BIRTHDAY ANDREA! Yes, Memorial Day is a good day to celebrate. In NY it was ALMOST summer. In Texas it's ALWAYS summer.

Ingrid King said...

Happy Birthday, Leann! Have a wonderful day!

Leann Sweeney said...

Thanks Ingrid. It's gonna be a good one.

Rural View said...

Nothing like the beginning of summer. When I was a kid, cold fried chicken and potato salad at the lake. As an adult, for years Dave and I and my parents went to Ogunquit, ME to stay at a motel on Perkins Cove to celebrate our anniversary, their anniversary and my birthday - all in May. They were married the 23rd and I was born 2 yrs. later on the 24th, but as a kid I always said they got married the day before I was born. That got a rise out of my mom!

Leann Sweeney said...

OMG, I love cold fried chicken. With potato chips. (Yes, I am a salt-aholic)We went to my aunt's cottage on Lake Erie every summer. Loved it there because while everyone else was swimming and skiing and fishing, I was reading Agatha Christie.

Kate Collins said...

Happy Birthday, Leann and Andrea!

My son was born on Memorial Day Monday, but our family celebrated with a cookout the day before, and because I had started having contractions -- all back labor, ugh! -- the evening was spent with everyone timing the contractions. It's one Memorial Day that is REALLY memorial for my clan.
Have a great day, everyone! (I'll be blogging as usual tomorrow.)

CindyD said...

Happy Birthday! My daughter's birthday is May 27 and she always enjoyed the years it fell on Memorial Day - our joke was the town had a parade for her birthday.

Anonymous said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY
Joye
JWIsley(at)aol(dot)com

Leann Sweeney said...

Thanks for the birthday cheer, Kate, Cindy and Joye. I am soaking it up!

Katie said...

happy birthday!!!

my favorite Memorial Day was when my son#2 was born. he was scheduled to be induced the day before that, but they had no room for me. so we went the next day. His birthday was actually yesterday and he turned 4.

Leann Sweeney said...

ANOTHER Memorial Day Gemini. Amazing!

Judy S. said...

Happy Birthday, Leann! What a fun coincidence that I just started reading The Cat, the Professor, and the Poison. I'm loving it so far!

Leann Sweeney said...

Thank you Judy. What a nice gift for my birthday!

Helen Kiker said...

My memories of this day are of parades,a barbeque and lots of family members joining in the celebration.

Happy Birthday Leann.

Leann Sweeney said...

Same for me--except for the parades. Unless you count red, white and blue crepe paper on the bike!

Laineshots said...

Birthdays always make me think of pink lemonade, little girls in pigtails and smocked dresses, and cake with candles. It's an expectant, happy feeling--and Leeann, I hope your birthday has been full of these "birthday feelings."

Leann Sweeney said...

Lots of birthday feelings, indeed. Including the first time my granddaughter has sung happy birthday to her grandma! (she's 2 1/2)

Lover of Books said...

Happy Birthday! I hope it was a good one. :) No big plans except for moving boxes of packed stuff out to the garage. lol Oh and possibly grilling tonight. :) Aww how sweet that she sang happy birthday to you. :)
Krista

Valerie Consoer said...

Happy, happy, Leann! I know what you mean about your birthday getting lost in the holidays and happenings going on. My wedding anniversary was the 22nd of May, along with my little brother's graduation this past Saturday, open house on Sunday, and my birthday is this Thursday. My parents never really threw parties for me when I was younger and I was alright with that. I didn't have many friends in school and I didn't mind the non-existent parties. But now that I'm older and have money of my own to spend, I like to buy something for myself. This year, I was kind of hoping for a surprise birthday party, but I don't think it'll happen. Oh well.
Personally, I'm not one for big groups of people, so I didn't mind not having big family get togethers. My little brother's graduation open house was basically a family reunion for us and boy, was it a trip! I can only take so much of my dad's side of the family.
I don't know how you got along without eating cake without eggs, Leann, but you have my sympathy. I hope to get a birthday cake this year, at least. Again, happy birthday!

Leann Sweeney said...

Thanks Valerie. I remember one year my parents actually had a birthday for me without all the relatives at a hot dog stand. That was super special! But I am not one for big crowds, either. How I wish I could have big chocolate cake! Maybe one day!

Carol in Indian Springs Village said...

One day belated birthday, Leann! I just finished "The Cat, the Professor, and the Poison" over the weekend and loved it! I'm waiting for delivery of a few more of the latest "Cozy Chicks" books but am reading "The Forgotten Garden" in the meantime. And know that in your honor, I'll eat some left over chocolate/caramel/peanut cheesecake for your birthday celebration. Wish I could send some your way (but I think it has eggs in it).

Jan said...

When I lived in NY, Memorial Day was always about family, BBQ and the beach! I do miss that, but not the humidity!

Leann Sweeney said...

Thanks Carol! Not that the chocolate and peanuts would be a problem ... except for the MIGRAINE that would make me hate chocolate for one day. (who could ever hate chocolate?)

Leann Sweeney said...

Well, Jan, don't come to south Texas if you want to stay away from humidity.

Thanks all for the birthday wishes! It was a good day. :-)