Drumroll, please! Steven’s mother, Jean Marie Saden, recently joined an elite and rapidly growing group, nonagenarians. It looks as though that word could mean ageless – and in spirit it certainly does — but it actually refers to those people in their nineties whom we are so lucky to have in our lives. Jean lives in her hometown of Baltimore, Maryland with her multi-generational family of women, Joan, Jenny and Callie — affectionately dubbed the Golden Girls –and her great grandson, Ryan. We took a trip back East for the 90th birthday bash, but it’s time to take the celebration viral with a tribute post. Since Snoopy is one of Jean’s favorite cartoon characters, let’s get the party started with a video of Snoopy and the Peanuts gang’s “Happy Birthday.”
We’d like to throw a tea party for members of the 90+ club, just to listen in on the conversation Queen Elizabeth might share with Jean Saden about the last 90 years. They would have a lot to commiserate about: living through world-changing events and headline news that have rocked the world since 1926; experiencing the joy and heartbreak of family life; and, keeping up with technological advances that often mean the world just isn’t what it used to be. Queen Elizabeth has a passel of Corgies at the palace, while Jean wrangles a pack of 6 dogs in her home. They may come from different worlds, but we’re sure they’d find common ground in surviving and celebrating the crazy hand life has dealt each of them. And besides, after a lifetime of working and raising three children, Jean deserves to hang with and be treated like royalty.
‘Tis a gift to be simple. And since Jean doesn’t like a fuss, the family gathered around the dining room table to celebrate her 90th with great food and wine, jokes, laughter, love, conversation, silliness, memories, and a few hands of poker. There was no mention of politics and not one argument. Everyone gathered around for a full-throated rendition of “Happy Birthday,” the blowing out of the big 90 candles to make her lifetime of wishes come true, and the slicing of the cake to inaugurate a new year, a next decade. There was no need for fireworks, speeches or grand gestures. The memory was made by simply being together.
“You don’t stop laughing when you grow old, you grow old when you stop laughing.” George Bernard Shaw
Choosing a 90th birthday present is a challenge. We kept running through our minds, “What does Mom really want?” until we landed on a great gift idea for a nonagenarian wine lover. We bought some of Jean’s favorite wines, then designed and created our own personalized labels using vintage family photographs. The original front labels were removed with a spritz of Oxyclean, but we left the back labels intact so that Jean would know what she was drinking. Chin chin!
There’s always something new on Zippertravel’s Pinterest. This week we’ll take you back to the 1990’s with 90 new images on our board “90 Reasons.”
And while you’re on our Pinterest page, browse through some of the other 197 terrific boards dedicated to travel, architecture, fashion, politics, and design, along with some original photography by Elizabeth and Steven. You don’t have to be a Pinterest member to view Zippertravel’s boards, but if you enjoy pinning you can do so by clicking on the button in the upper left hand corner of this page or selecting the Pinterest icon below. It’s just that easy.
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