Yes, it’s was always and is still the double dipping of February family events- February 5 would have been my parents’ 64th Anniversary… and today would have been my Mom’s 85th Birthday. I am pretty sure she would be baking cookies this weekend, as she did here in 2010 during our regular Thanksgiving time here in Arizona

Cookie Lady At Work

It’s hard not too remember the tremendous outpouring of Cookielove when she passed away unexpectedly in 2011, her last batch of cookies on the table at her house, hidden under a puzzle box.

Her system was simple, so simple, and made such a difference to people she interacted with

Mom’s Cookie Method

My nieces and my sister do a great job of carrying on Mom’s tradition; her a photo my sister just texted me

2014020895223647

I miss the fun we had, such as when she did this shut of Thumbs Down for the Wired Boob issue

cc licensed ( BY SA ) flickr photo shared by Alan Levine

She was born in 1929 in Baltimore, and lived (for some reason this stays with me) at 710 Aisquith Street; the houses there now gone, but close to where Johns Hopkins Hospital is now.

Mom at 7 months old.
Mom at 7 months old.

That’s looking back quite a ways through the lens of history. Look at the ornate baby carriage, and the old car up the street (someone did not lock the focus button on the camera… and they did not put it on Facebook).

Mom at 10
Mom at 10

At ten years old, 1939… she lived through the Great Depression, though she talks about it in a way that shows it was around her, but maybe was not depressing, for how her Dad (a shoemaker) and Mom must have made do.

cc licensed ( BY SA ) flickr photo shared by Alan Levine

A teen-ager! Can your Mom really have been an actual teen? Here she is at 16, Forest Park High School.

Mom at 19
Mom at 19

Look at the 19 year old bathing beauty, with her best friend “Zenia” likely at Garrison Park? The swim club was the place to be, this being the place she met my Dad.

Mom and Dad in Florida, 1951
Mom and Dad in Florida, 1951

Just a year into marriage, my Dad could not find work in Baltimore as a bricklayer. They did a road trip, driving their Nash to my Dad’s Aunt Florence in Fort Lauderdale. Mom is 21 there, Dad 23. He could not find work there either — a whole different life would have been for me or not had they stayed. They returned to Baltimore.

Ok, fast forward.

I’m not too sure where or even when this was, but it had to be late 1980s given how punk young I look.

Me and Mom, late 1990s?
Me and Mom, late 1990s?

Mom was visiting the year we bought the house I am in now; this one was on a visit a few years later (2004)

Me, Mickey, and Mom
Me, Mickey, and Mom

We did a lot more of these visits after Dad passed away in 2001.

On one of those visits, she befriended (with cookies) a woman on the plan who turned out to be a manager for country singer Trisha Yearwood

cc licensed ( BY SA ) flickr photo shared by Alan Levine

No surprise that when Trisha Yearwood came to Fort Myers for a conference, Mom’s friend made sure she got tickets, and a chance to meet Trisha (and hand her a bag of cookies).

Or there was the time on a visit here when Mom blurted out “What is this ‘twitter’ thing?” — I gave her a live lesson and people ended up tweeting back to Mom

cc licensed ( BY SA ) flickr photo shared by Alan Levine

She was thrilled. How often to you get to explain Twitter in Mom English?

Mom carried in her purse a pack of her hand written recipes, always glad to share her famous Kugel

cc licensed ( BY SA ) flickr photo shared by Alan Levine

More. There was a memorable time in 2010 when I was in New York City for a conference, and Gardner Camobell was teasing me because I was never consistent pronouncing my names as “la-VEEN” or “le-VINE” — I always said it dod not matter. That was not good enough for Gardner, so while we waited in line for some Brooklyn Pizza, I had him call my Mom in Florida.

cc licensed ( BY SA ) flickr photo shared by Alan Levine

And Mom gave him the same answer I did!

I have so many of these memories. Sufficient.

I last saw her when I visited in February 2011, belated celebration of her 82nd Birthday, last time I spent time with her.

Mom, Feb 2011
Mom, Feb 2011

Left with pictures, trying to hold her in this world

cc licensed ( BY SA ) flickr photo shared by Alan Levine

But she is in another

cc licensed ( BY SA ) flickr photo shared by Alan Levine

Happy Birthday Mom, this blog post is for you (she was a regular reader, never commented, but always reading).

I love you always.

The post "85 Candles" was originally cracked open and scrambled from a rotten egg at CogDogBlog (http://cogdogblog.com/2014/02/85-candles/) on February 9, 2014.

5 Comments

  • Viv Rolfe vivrolfe.com

    What a beautiful blog. I can smell the cookies!!

  • I’ve enjoyed this beautiful piece of history :)

  • Harriet

    I love hearing your view of the same memories and how you can weave the stories in with the pictures.
    (That photo with the red background was at grandma’s 80th birthday party- I can still sense the drama when I look at mom’s expression)

  • Ben Harwood

    All those cookies look fabulous!

  • Judy Levine Griffith

    Thanks, Alan for always sharing our special memories with the pictures of mom! I love reading the wonderful way you share our family memories. I agree with Harriet about the drama of that day! I know that mom would love knowing that we are “here for each other,” as she always wished! Thanks for posting my cookies! They are delicious and are being shared in mom’s memory.

Leave a Comment

All fields are required. Your email address will not be published.