Thursday, March 17, 2011

Newer Every Day

"We turn not older with years, but newer every day." ~ Emily Dickinson

phone call afterglow
This beautiful face belongs to my sons' Great Aunt Lois. She's their father's late mother's sister. The faraway look in her eye reflects the bewildered pleasure she felt at having received a special phone call just moments earlier.

This past Sunday was a special occasion - Aunt Lois' 95th birthday. Go on, you can say it. She looks much younger than that. She's young at heart, mind and spirit too.

In earlier years, Lois was a public health nurse right here in Mississauga, and among her duties were postnatal visits to mothers and their babies in the home. One such visit was to a woman just five years her junior, a new mother named Hazel McCallion who has since held the title of Mayor of Mississauga for the last 32 years.

talking to Hazel
Well, I'm sure you've guessed by now that it was Mayor Hazel on the other end of that phone, calling to congratulate her on her birthday. As it turned out, it was supposed to be an in-person visit, arranged by Lois' granddaughter Amanda and grandson-in-law Colin who were hosting the party. Hazel was planning to attend but was detained at an earlier commitment and opted to call and arrange an afternoon tea at Lois' retirement home sometime this week instead.

Aunt Lois was delightfully stunned by the incident. I'm not sure if the mayor actually remembers Lois - it's not like they've ever been in touch since they met over 50 years ago, but Hazel was touched by Amanda and Colin's desire to do something memorable for Aunt Lois and excitedly agreed to meet with her. It's unfortunate that she wasn't able to make it to the party as it would have been a wonderful surprise, but it's nice to know that she cared to make the phone call and plan an an afternoon tea with her.

When the brief phone call was over, Aunt Lois was so pleased, and she expressed how much she was looking forward to meeting with the mayor. What I found to be particularly touching was how Aunt Lois immediately thought about her late husband. "Reg would have just loved this."

The party was a fine celebration as most birthdays are.

There were gifts.

Beautiful flowers.

Delicious cake.

icing roses
And flowers on the cake.

Lois 95 Maeve 3 months
And there was lots of love. This is Aunt Lois with her youngest great granddaughter, Maeve. Aren't they a beautiful pair?

Thanks for joining the party.

The mystery image in yesterday's post was of Venetian blinds seen at a restaurant. All comments have now been posted so you can see how everyone did. The full image appears below. All of you who guessed had clever answers but the correct ones were give by Glo, Zuzana, June, Sandra, Daryl, Fragrant Liar, Steve (Out on the Prairie), Kat, Reb and Cricket.



Dawn said...

What a wonderful party!
And yes...they make a wonderful pair.
Happy Birthday....that's a wonderful number:)

I cannot believe I didn't see they were venetian blinds!
It's so obvious. now.

Frank Baron said...

What a nice surprise for Aunt Lois! Actually, I think if I got anywhere near her age, every day I awoke would be a wonderful surprise. ;)

Zuzana said...

What a beuatiful lady! This post touched me to tears my dear friend... I hope one day to be bale to be surrounded by so much love and so much family. And to be in such good years and such good health. Suddenly I feel young again as I have still many yeas in front of me with so much that can come yet to pass...
My very best and my congratulations to this vivacious lady.
And I can not believe I actually for once guessed the mystery image.;) Blinds was what did strike me right away and the rope (string) only confirmed it.;)
Have a lovely day my dear Hilary,

Sueann said...

Happy Birthday to you dear lady!! 95?? Wowzers! She looks fabulous!!
And that pic with the great is priceless!!

June said...

Aunt Lois has the face of a person who has lived a good life, and Maeve is beautiful, and that's a wonderful memory you created with that photo.

Cricket said...

Happy Birthday Aunt Lois. I miss my Nana (snif). That's beautiful, I love this. Someday I will write about my Nana's last birthday party. I'll tell you this right now, we did it right.

What is it with you Canucks living forever? My wife's grandmother was one of 5 who all lived well into their 90s. Must be the water. The same has been true of the Swedes I've known. Durable folk.

Would the Beatles' Birthday be too obvious?

Anvilcloud said...

I didn't post but I thought of venetian blinds except the angle threw me off. The corners seemed to be cut on angles, and I didn't know what to make of that.

Unknown said...

I only hope to look that young when I'm 95! And yes, they make a beautiful couple.

Anonymous said...

What a fabulous party with such a great mix of generations too!

And of course it was a Venetian blind... I can see that now. ;-)

Tabor said...

It is getting harder and harder for me to keep up with all my favorite blogs...spring outside keeps very glad I did not miss this post...lovely.

Hilary said...

I love the picture of Aunt Lois and the baby, and the shot of the little one about to gobble the cake down.

Brian Miller said...

nice...did not get the blinds at all...glad she had such a good party and the meeting with the mayor is a very cool touch...

Leah J. Utas said...

How wonderful for Lois.

DJan said...

Well, venetian blinds are NOT what I thought of, but of course I should have realized it was something mundane that looked exotic, because that's what you do so well.

The birthday party, the beautiful and elegant Lois, oh my! You have captured it perfectly. And a Happy St. Patty's Day to you, Hilary, my special friend.

Elizabeth Grimes said...

I loved reading that, got a little lump in my throat. How special.
Yes, of course! Venetian blinds, duh!!! I had no clue. Lol. :)

Bonnie Zieman, M.Ed. said...

Happy Birthday to Lois. Love that picture of her with Maeve.

Pat - Arkansas said...

That was a very special occasion; a wonderful party for a wonderful lady. Thanks for sharing the day with us.

Teri said...

What a wonderful treasure that photo will be someday for sweet little Maeve!!!

Indrani said...

I couldn't have guessed it, very cleverly taken. :)

Generation gap? Never! Great shots, it was a pleasure to see them. My wishes!!!

Dianne said...

Aunt Lois is beautiful!
Happy Birthday

I love the photo of her and Maeve - the eyes of generations locked in love

wonderful photos of the party Hil

Suldog said...

Well, I'm glad I didn't show up here yesterday because I never would have made the correct guess. I would have been humiliated.

Happy Birthday to Aunt Lois!

Linda at To Behold The Beauty said...

My goodness, Hilary. These images are! The first one of Aunt Lois is such a beautiful portrait of her. I would think her family would treasure that one forever, along with the one of her and the baby. But the other shots just document the birthday celebration so well. The gift bags...gorgeous. And the flowers. And the cake. And the child stuffing the cake into its mouth. A wonderful post.

Scott Law said...

What a beautiful tribute to a lovely lady. I love the expression on the babies face at the end. It brought a chuckle.

CiCi said...

Aunt Lois deserves a great party.
You honor her with these lovely pictures of her.

Daryl said...

Lovely photos all but my favorite is the little hand feeding the chubby face cake!

Ruth Hiebert said...

95 ! That is a milestone well worth celebrating.She is a beautiful lady and deserving of honour.

Bob Bushell said...

95 YEARS YOUNG. Lovely photos. Damn it, I thought a zip was the winner, LOL.

Betsy Banks Adams said...

What a beautiful lady, Hilary... 95, huh??? My hubby's parents are both still living and are almost 91 (his Mom -in May) and almost 99 (his Dad --in August)... They are an amazing little couple!!!! God Bless the elderly---of which I am becoming one of sooner than I like!!!!! ha ha

Looks like a great party.

Unknown said...

Oh my gosh: now I am totally craving birthday cake!!!

Liz Mays said...

I so enjoyed hearing about Aunt Lois and her lovely birthday party. She seems like a wonderful lady. :)

Reb said...

Looks like it was a wonderful party. Love the photo with the great granddaughter.

Kristina P. said...

I love that the mayor called. Happy birthday to Aunt Lois!

ethelmaepotter! said...

The photo of Aunt Lois and little Maeve is precious! I wonder if the baby was seeing her reflection in Lois' glasses?

Great puzzler - I was miles off-base, but still loved it!

She Who Carries Camera said...

I've heard about that Hazel...I just didn't realize it was the same city you live in!

What a delightful surprise that must have been! I hope the tea works out.

abb said...

Such a beautiful face.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for letting us slip into the party and mingle around a bit. I could even imagine how delicious that cake tasted! Happy birthday to Aunt Lois!

Mage said...

Gosh she is beautiful. That photo of the two looking at each other is precious. All the pictures are wonderful. You have such a good eye. Thank you.

Bossy Betty said...

Lovely!!! The picture of her with the baby is just wonderful.

messymimi said...

Thank you for sharing, any time is birthday party time!

Birdie said...

A precious photo of baby and great Grandmother. Thanks for sharing.

Wendy said...

It might actually work out better to have a private tea party with Hazel. The two of them can visit without worrying about anybody else needing attention (that didn't come out right, but you know what I mean).

Yes, Aunt Lois looks wonderful! Hard to believe she's 95. Must be that young spirit.

Love that sweet pic of Lois and baby Maeve.
Thanks for inviting all of us to the party. Yummm - those icing flowers are delicious!!

Kelly H-Y said...

Loved, loved, loved this sweet post. What a lady! And, what gorgeous pics (that one of the flowers is perfection!). The look on the baby's face is priceless ... that picture is a treasure!

Yolanda said...

Such lovely photos and such a lovely lady.

Karen (formerly kcinnova) said...

What a lovely party for a beautiful lady. :)

Now, of course, they are clearly window blinds... but I still think they cropped & zoomed photo looks like bleachers. :)

Glo said...

How wonderful that Aunt Lois looks so lovely and elegant as she celebrates her 95th birthday! It looks and sounds like she had a perfect party. Your photos say it all :)

Glo said...

PS Glad to know the Venetian blinds was a correct guess :)

lime said...

it sounds like it was a lovely day and wonderful celebration for a special lady. so glad to know it. and such a treat for you to share the portraits. it's always fun to see you turn your lens toward people.

Hilary said...

• Thanks, Dawn. I'm glad you could join the party. :)

• Frank, you continue to surprise all of us daily. ;) Keep at it. :)

• Zuzana, so sweet you are. Aunt Lois makes 95 seem very young, doesn't she? That means the many years leading up hold much promise. Thanks for such a lovely comment, my dear friend. You never fail to make me smile. :)

• I'm glad you enjoyed the photos, SueAnn. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• June, you're right about Aunt Lois. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Cricket, I'd love to read about your Nana's last birthday celebration. I'll bet it's one beautiful story. I don't know about Canadian longevity but my oldest aunt passed away in January just a few weeks after her 99th birthday. The Beatles' Birthday works for me. :)

• AC, that'll teach you to keep your thoughts to yourself. ;)

• Jane, we can all hope for that. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Lady Fi, thanks for joining the celebration. :)

• Tabor, I sure do get the difficulty with keeping up with blogs and I'm so glad you did drop by today. :)

• Hilary, thanks for coming to the party. :)

• Brian, it was indeed a wonderful day. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thanks for the visit, Leah. :)

• DJan, nice to know that I do mundane well. ;) Thank you so much for joining the party. And a happy shamrock day to you too, dear friend. :)

• Thanks for joining us, Elizabeth. :)

• Thanks, Bonnie. I'm glad you stopped by. :)

• Pat, I'm glad you could join us. Thanks. :)

• Teri, very true. I hope they'll have many years to get to know one another. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Indrani, thank you kindly. I'm glad that you dropped in. :)

• Dianne, such a sweet way to describe that photo.. and so right. Thank you, my friend. :)

• Suldog, I would have loved to have heard your guess and I'll bet it was clever. And I suspect you don't humiliate easily anyway. ;)

• Linda, thank you so much. Your always-kind comments never fail to make me feel terrific. You're such a sweet friend. Thanks for your visit. :)

• Thanks, Scott. She's a little sweetie, isn't she? As is Aunt Lois. Thanks for stopping by. :)

Hilary said...

• TechnoBabe, thank you so kindly. :)

• Thanks, Daryl. You would just adore that little sweetie. I'm glad you like the pics. :)

• Thanks, Ruth. I couldn't agree with you more. :)

• Bob, thanks kindly. It was a good guess! ;)

• Betsy, you're in-laws are doing well! And you have a very long way to go before you hit elderly status. :)

• Susan, it was GOOD cake! :)

• Blueviolet, indeed she is. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Reb, thanks kindly. It was a great party. :)

• Thanks for the good wishes, Kristina. :)

• Ethel, I don't know what Maeve was seeing but she was smiling most of the day. She's such a happy little sweetie. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Jillsy, now you know that Hazel and I share the same haunts. ;) I hope the tea works out too.. and that I hear about it. ;)

• TSannie, isn't she? :)

• Barbara, thank you for joining us. The more the merrier. And you're right - the cake was really yummy! :)

• Maggie, thank you kindly. I'm glad you enjoyed the photos. My subjects were lovely. :)

• Thanks, Betty. I'm glad you like it. :)

• MessyMimi, thanks for joining the party. :)

• Welcome, Birdie. Always nice to see a new visitor. Thanks for joining us. :)

• Wendy, you're probably right about the private tea. They'll have a nice chance to chat. I'm glad you joined the party. I saved one of those icing flowers just for you. :)

• Kelly, thank you so much for the kind words. I'm so glad you enjoyed the post. Thanks for joining the party. :)

• Thanks for joining us, Yolanda. :)

• KC, thanks for stopping by the party. And you're quite right about the blinds photo. As soon as bleachers/benches were mentioned, I could see it. Thanks for playing along. :)

• Glo, thanks for joining the party. I'm glad you enjoyed it. And you did will with your guess. :)

• Lime, thanks kindly. You're right - I don't often showcase people. I'm glad you enjoyed the party. Thanks for stopping by. :)

steviewren said...

Love the photo of your son's aunt and her great grand. I think they look alike....that beautiful hair.

Joanna Jenkins said...

Happy 95th Birthday Great Aunt Lois! It looks like an absolutely fabulous birthday. I smiled through this while post. Thanks, xo jj

Dave said...

Happy birthday to Great Aunt Lois. She looks like a lovely lady. Great granddaughter Maeve had a sort-of startled look on her face though! Don'y you love kiddies? - Dave

Pauline said...

What a great tale - Maeve looks like she's saying, "95? Are you kidding? No way!"

ADRIAN said...

An absolutely brilliant post. What story telling. The wee baby looks totally out of it. Lovely photography.
Wish her a belated happy birthday.

Lori said...

What a beautiful tribute to a beautiful soul. I love the one of her holding her great granddaughter. How I have missed visiting you here Hilary...your words and photo's but mostly your heart. XX

Shammickite said...

Happy Birthday Auntie Lois!!! What a fine lady! And what a marvellous party you all had for her.
I met Hazel McCallion a few years ago, what teeny tiny little bundle of energy she is. It's amazing to think she has been Mayor for so long. I remember her most during the Mississauga Train derailmant.... crikey! how many years ago was that???? I must be almost as old as Hazel!!!

Cloudia said...

party time! The last shot may be the remembered "first sight" of a baby....ending your post from the child's (future's) view../.

Warm Aloha to you
from Honolulu!

Comfort Spiral


Karen said...

Oh, she does look younger than her age. I love that last picture. Love through the ages!

I enjoyed your party. :)

photowannabe said...

Oh, she's beautiful Hilary. I like the idea of the milestone making her newer.
Some people age so gracefully. She's proof.

Pearl said...

Ah. :-) Aunt Lois reminds me of my grandmother. What a treasure to have in your life.


mrs mediocrity said...

What a wonderful occasion! I love the photos, and love thee wonderful story surrounding that party.

SandyCarlson said...

Happy birthday to a wonderful lady! What a beautiful post.

VM Sehy Photography said...

Happy birthday to Aunt Lois. Wow! I hope I look that good at that age.

Marion Williams-Bennett said...


Look at all the beauty she carries in her hand, her face, her eyes! Why do we even try to look younger when age is so beautiful!

What a great celebration - thank you for bringing it to us!

PS The image of the blinds was incredible! Nice eye!

sage said...

A wonderful party! I'll be seeing my grandma in two weeks when I head south--she's in her 90s and lives in a nursing home now, but is still sharp and it's always good to see her (but she no longer has persimmon pudding waiting for me--she's the only person I know who made it. I have her recipe, but no sources of wild persimmons that she harvested every fall down south).

christopher said...

How fortunate to be looking so well at 95...wonderful!

Sandra said...

What a great party for Aunt Lois -- and I love your photos of the event.

Along These Lines ... said...

Which begs the question: How do you make a Venetian blind?

Poke him in the eye ....

Anonymous said...

I love the photo of Aunt Lois and the baby :-)

I have a lot of respect for the elderly...I guess that's partly because I is one :-)

Take care and have a great weekend :-)


Hilary said...

• Steviewren, you're observant. There's a strong family resemblance shared by most of the females in that clan. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Joanna, I'm glad that you could share in the joy. :)

• Dave, she is indeed a lovely lady. I'll share some more photos of Maeve, eventually. She does "startled" very well. ;)

• Pauline, that's exactly what she was saying. That and "When do I get to have some cake?" ;)

• Adrian, thank you so kindly. She might look out of it in the photo but she is very sociable and cheerful. She grinned through most of the party. Thank you so much for your kind words. :)

• Lori, so good to see you. I've missed you too, my friend. I hope you are feeling better. I think of you often. :)

• Shammie, Hazel is certainly best remembered for that evacuation. I was still living in Montreal at the time. She sure made a name for herself. And you described her well. She's a major bundle of energy and she shows up everywhere. I've seen her at so many events over the years that I've lost count. She loves her city. Thanks for stopping by the party. :)

• Cloudia, thanks so much for stopping by. :)

• Thanks very much, Karen. :)

• Sue, you've got that right about Lois. She does indeed. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Pearl, she truly is a treasure. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Mrs. M, thank you so kindly. I appreciate your visit. :)

• Thanks very much, Sandy. :)

• VM, I'd be happy to look that good at this age. ;)

• Welcome, Marion and thanks very much for the kind words. I totally agree with you. Lois is a very beautiful lady through and through. Thanks for the visit and I hope you'll return again soon. :)

• Sage, I'll hope you have a wonderful visit with your grandma - I'm sure you will. I can't say that I've ever had persimmon pudding.. or even heard of it. I've only tasted a persimmon once, and didn't like it. I've since heard that there are two kinds and I probably had the wrong one. So I suppose I should try again, eh? Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Christopher, I agree. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Sandra, thanks very much. :)

• Nick, I knew the answer to that.. you should have given me a chance! ;) So how do you make an egg roll? Give it a little shove. :)

• Ron, you don't look so elderly to me, you young puppy. ;) Thanks for the kind words. I hope your weekend is good too. :)

Unknown said...

oh, how very wonderful.
And thank you for the Emily Dickinson quote as well, I've never heard that one and it's brilliant.

The photo of Aunt Lois with the baby is just fabulous.

Hilary said...

Thanks so much, Deb. I'm glad you enjoyed the post.. photos and quotes. :)

Kerri Farley said...

This is a blog post to treasure!

Hilary said...

Thanks, Kerri. Lois is the true treasure, though. :)

Cheryl Kohan said...

Isn't that great? I love stuff like that and you're right...she doesn't look anywhere near her age. All the photos are wonderful but especially that darling shot of Aunt Lois and the baby.

I just recently heard from an aunt who is going to be 94. We lost track of each other over the years and it's fun to be in touch, again.

Hilary said...

Thanks kindly, Cheryl. I'm glad you enjoyed the post. How lovely that you were able to connect with your aunt again. That must make both of you very happy. I'm so glad for you. :)