Birthday celebrations and pooped-out cars


By Vicki Scott

My grandmother’s baby sister recently had her 95th birthday, and my husband Alan and I traveled to Opp to join the celebration. When sharing my intentions, one of my friends thought I said that we were going to my grandmother’s “babysitter’s birthday party.” Either one is hard to imagine but both are a huge blessing!

Our children had other plans that day with their children involved in softball. One had practice and the other had an all-day tournament. We had time to watch one game before we made our trip to Opp. I wish both our children and their families could have witnessed the special birthday event.

We found the place where the birthday festivities took place, and from the parked cars I saw that some of the people inside the building were relatives of mine. I noticed bird poop on some vehicles, and it occurred to me that birds do not have to be in the immediate vicinity to poop on my car. The season does not matter. At any rate, we pulled up in our pooped-on car with pride.

When we walked in the building, I saw that my great aunt Evelyn was sitting next to her best friend, Mary, from childhood. These women have been friends for more than 90 years! Mary was my grandmother’s neighbor I remembered from my childhood. She remembered me and recalled things about me that sparked so many memories. Her mind was like a steel trap.

My grandmother had five sisters and four brothers, and I met many of these siblings’ grandchildren at the birthday party. Jill introduced herself as Marjorie’s (one of the sisters) daughter. After thanking her for inviting me, I stared at her for a minute. We had met once before two years ago at a family reunion.

Most likely because I was staring at her, Jill explained who she was and that she was not the one who invited me. I was not staring at her because I could not remember her; I was staring at her because she reminded me of how my grandmother used to look. It was almost like I saw my grandmother again, which felt nice. Jill did not remind me of her mother.

I then met Stephanie, Muriel’s (another sister) granddaughter. Stephanie had brought her daughter Alexa, who was probably in her twenties. Alexa was glamorous and reminded me of Marjorie, who was blonde and dressed glamorous and reminded me of a 1920’s Rockette. Both Alexa and Marjorie were tall, as all the sisters were between 5’9 and 6’0. I did not get that gene, just bird poop.

Evelyn’s son Bruce reminded me of my father in that Bruce made sure the family get-togethers were a success. His wife Luanne was a teacher like my mother was, and they made a good team at pulling everything together. Luanne was the one who invited me to the party, for which I thanked her several times for doing so. Much of the time was spent connecting the family dots with questions about our family history.

It might sound vain, but one of the best things that took place at the party was when Jill commented on our Hummingbird Exercise Group at the Dadeville Senior Center. Jill said that she and her friend wanted to join us. The only problem is that both of them live in Clearwater, Florida. I shared how the group started and invited Jill and her friend to stay the night so I could show off our area. To God be the glory!

During all this, my thoughts kept going back to Mary, who had not moved since we arrived. I told Luanne that I wished to talk to Mary about my mother. We lived across the street from Mary when my mother was involved in an accident that caused her dementia. Luanne gave me her Mary’s phone number and said that she would love to hear from me. Stay tuned.

It broke my heart that my children and grandchildren missed this get-together of kinfolk. So much family history was discussed, so many shared stories were shared and so much birthday cake was eaten.

I look forward to many more family events with my people. In fact, Aunt Evelyn told me she would be at my 95th birthday party (I love that woman). I soon shared my great aunt’s plans, only to find out that several others plan to join me on that special occasion. I hope I am there, pooped-out car and all!

Vicki Scott may be contacted at

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