2022 Answers to Weekly Questions
This question makes me smile: my most memorable birthdays are not my own, but my sister's parties! There are three which stand out: the exciting one, the sad one and the one on Halloween!
The Exciting One
We lived in Tulsa, Oklahoma when I was quite little, at lease until second grade. So the party must have been for her 4th birthday. Our neighborhood was filled with children and most of the Mothers did not work, so there was lots of visiting and playing in each others' yards. It seems like all of the children were roughly the same ages because going to school and birthdays - the big milestones - were celebrated by the whole block.
There was one neighbor child who was not on my Mother's favored list: Dennis. Dennis lived right next door and played BIG - and he taught us how to play rough, to dig under the fence between our yards, to run loudly - all sorts of things which were a bit too much for my Mom. As an adult I can see that Dennis was simply a very active, imaginative child. But as a child, I knew Dennis was best in small doses.
Anyway, for my Sister's 4th birthday Mom planned a really big party. The weather in Tulsa is usually pretty clear and warm on the 1st of November, so playing outside was the normal activity for get togethers. Unfortunately, it rained on this particular party so everyone moved inside - children everywhere including Dennis on the loose. I remember my Sister blowing out the candles on her cake and sitting in the living room eating cake when there was a big commotion in the dining room: the drapes were on fire! Dennis had grabbed the big Birthday Milestone Candle off the table and dropped it since it was lit and the wax was hot. The Moms put the fire out, but the curtains were goners.
The Sad One
By my Sister's next birthday we had moved to Lawton, Oklahoma. Mom had started working for Sears and we moved so that she could take a job at a new store. We must have moved in late summer - hmm, it would have been the summer I broke my arm.
Anyway, Sis started kindergarten in Lawton which was only half-days. And we lived on a main city street rather than in a neighborhood. By the time of her birthday, we really had not made any friends and nobody showed up for her party. Not one child. I can remember being so sad - all the decorations and cake, but no friends.
The One on Halloween
A few years later we were living in Portland and Mom threw a really big Halloween party for my Sister. HUGE. We lived in a neighborhood with many children and had been going to Sunnyside Elementary for a couple of years, so there were lots of kids at the party. More than I can remember. Mom and Dad had put together a haunted house and scary party activities including using cooked spaghetti, peeled grapes and other foods to mimic body parts in the dark. Melinda love it! Lots of little shrieks and laughing and joy. It was a great party.