Friday, February 25, 2011

Quote du jour/My mother and I - 1961

From my mother's diary, February 25, 1961:
Girls came at 4 for Nan's birthday. We had supper at 5:30. ... Girls went to movies. It rained hard all p.m. to 1 a.m. Cellar leaked. They walked home in rain, had cocoa and to bed @ 11. Still talking @ 11:45.

From my diary, February 25, 1961:

I had been counting down the days for a while, and at the top I wrote:
O more days - jackpot
Dear Diary,
Today is my birthday. I am 13. Just think, now I'm a teenager. An honest to goodness teenager. I had a kind of halfway party & company. I had 3 girls over: Anne, Peggy, and Bernice. Mom had 2 cots set up in my room. Anne slept in the guest room & Peg and Bernice slept in the cots. They came at 4:00. We went down cellar and played "Keep Talking" [anyone have any idea what that is?? I don't remember] then we had supper, then we went to the movies 101 Dalmations, then we came home (in the rain) When we got home from movies we went upstairs & goofed around. Then we went downstairs & had some cocoa & crackers. Mom took pictures of us - 1 down cellar, 1 eating supper, 1 eating c & c,
& 1 in bed with our eyes closed. We went to bed at 11:00 but we talked & giggled & laughed until 20 minutes of 12. Then Mom told us to be quiet. I love all three of those kids. When the cake was set before me I wished I could get a horse & I blew out all the candles.

I then listed all my presents, and from these three girls I got a bracelet, a Judy Bolton mystery book, and a 'cap you put over curlers & bobby pins.'

Oh my, how very innocent. And yet it was really fun. I thought so then, and I still remember it as such. I'm not sure a 13 year old in 2011 would be quite so satisfied with such a simple time. I'm still a simple soul. I expect our evening will be much like our others - supper and some tv. The kids are all working, and it is snowing to beat the band today so I don't expect anyone will stop by and we certainly won't be going out.

PS - that's me on the left.


  1. Great memories for you. A moment in time.
    thanks for sharing, made me smile remembering how we enjoyed ourlselves in our younger days before tech took over.


  2. Oh Nan, aren't you happy to have not only your diary but your Mother's.?. What treasures. I doubt that most girls today consider this fun. Maybe they do. I remember my daughter having girlfriends over and they NEVER slept. Ha... Fun times. I wish you the happiest birthday.

  3. Happiest of happy birthday wishes, Nan. May your day be joyous and may the year be one you fondly recollect.

  4. This is such a wonderful and touching post! I love the very factual account your mum wrote compared with the one you wrote!

    Happy Birthday, Nan! I hope you have a wonderful day.

  5. Nan, what a charming story. And Happy Birthday -- even if neither of us is 13 any more, life is still pretty good! Hope you have a great day and a great year.

    Canadian Chickadee

  6. Nan, which one are you in the picture? I love it -- it takes me back to a much more innocent time.

  7. Happy Birthday Nan!

    Somewhere I've read that one of the best gifts of memory is how it allows us a small taste of eternity, as we slip back and forward on the time continuum.

    And how perfect, that even then, you were already keeping a journal -- and had received a mystery novel on your birthday. I hope your enjoying a new one right now!

  8. Happy birthday to you: I too am a 'simple soul' and take pleasure in the quiet (sometimes!) and the little things in life. Today what everyone needs is time and space just to be, don't you think? Hope you had a gentle, relaxed and enjoyable evening.

  9. Donna - Avon Musings....February 25, 2011 at 4:02:00 PM EST

    Happy Birthday Dear Nan: Sometimes, reading your postings, I think we must have been raised in the same house. Looking at the writing in your diary, I was slightly taken aback, as it could have been my hand that wrote those words, the writing is so similar. Reading further, I noticed you say "we went down cellar", and that is exactly how I would say it as well, not "down to the cellar". Just to make things interesting, I also had three friends come to my 13th birthday party, and one of them gave me a Nancy Drew mystery. book. Are you sure you really aren't Canadian? Happy Birthday dear friend.

  10. Nan, thanks for sharing this great memory with us! A very, very happy birthday to you! You were a cute redhead!


    The day the world was changed.... :)

    - Jeff

  12. Oh, my! I'm very close to your age and can completely identify! What a wonderful period of time we lived in. (I think I'll go pull out a few of my old diaries (the kind with a little lock & key built in).
    ♪ Happy birthday to you ♪

  13. Happy birthday to you! I loved the photos..they do bring back memories of simpler times. I'm just a couple of years older but I too have fond memories of giggling with girl friends..thanks for sharing!

  14. P.S. I just knew that was you:) See, you have matured but I recognize that posted a pic of yourself here before:)
    I LOVE what you shared! This birthday year was my birth year...I'll let you do the math:)
    Nan, what treasured memories and what childish fun...oh to have birthday parties like that now. Things have truly changed.
    I want to wish you the happiest of birthdays and if you have time this evening curl up in your chair with some Gladys Taber reading...she would have welcomed an evening in because she loved being home with good music, good books, good food and companionship of one or more, including her pet friends.
    Enjoy your birthday!

  15. What an awesome remembrance! Those were simpler times.

  16. I love that you still have your diary from back then! And what a wonderful picture. I knew it was you on the left. I recognize your smile. :)

    Funny how I feel like we're the same age. But the reality is I didn't exist until the end of that year! Amazing. :)

    Happy Birthday, dear friend. I'm glad it's snowing to beat the band. I know how much you love that. It's snowing here, too. Sigh. :)

  17. Oh, I don't know. My daughter was the same a few years ago, but they talked later. And what was really strange is that they all talked and laughed at once, so it was extremely noisy and how they heard each other is beyond me. I could not believe such a small group of girls could make so much noise. You all look so happy in that picture. When we look back we forget our yearning then to be grown up. Very sweet juxtaposition of your and your mother's diaries. A treasure.

  18. Nan, what a perfect post for your birthday. Innocent times, indeed. I wish we could give a bit of that world to our young family members these days.

    Happy Birthday!

  19. Nan, must delurk and wish you a Happy Birthday! Hope your day was cozy with family, friends, chocolate and a good book! Your blog is one of my daily delights, someone who loves the printed word as much as I do..especially our mysteries. Keep on, Nan!

  20. Nan, what a lovely post! How wonderful to still have your mother's and your own diary - and the pictures to go along with the events described.
    It sounds like a fun time indeed, and actually I do think if a 13-year-old today had the same kind of afternoon/evening, they would still enjoy it, as some things like having your friends with you never lose their appeal.

    Happy birthday to you - even though it comes somewhat belated (put it down to the time zone difference) :-)

  21. Happy Birthday, Nan!

    Wouldn't it be wonderful to celebrate again in this way, though I, for one, would never be able to make it to those wee hours and not need two days to recover? As it is, you are so fortunate to have both yours and your mother's diaries in tact.

    They were such simpler times, indeed, and I would concur that today's 13 year old would likely not be satisfied. Your post was a delight to read and I hope your birthday was just as delightful, even if it was snowbound.

  22. Beautiful memories! Reminds me I kept a diary when I was 12, and it's full of such stories. I love little girls of that age even today--a friend calls it "the grace period." You see them in giggling clusters, before any of the tribulations of adolescence and then adulthood cloud their thoughts. Thanks for taking me back.

  23. Nan, I love this post. It reminds me of my own birthday party at about this same age. Six little girls came to 'tea' dressed in their Sunday best...we lived in a rural area and my mother thought we needed a more genteel introduction to parties. She had cut, and hemmed by hand, seven heart-shaped pieces of white cloth and each little friend signed her name. Mother then embroidered over these signatures and I took them later to gift each girl. I still have my memory handkerchief!
    I'm very sure young girls today would find this borrring, to say the lease.

  24. Happy birthday to you, Nan! What a great post! Precious memories, and I love it that you have both your mother's diary and your own as well as photos. Special.

  25. This takes me back to a much simpler time and so many good memories. Thanks so much for pointing me in this direction- I'm really enjoying being able to jump into your life here and poke around :)Happy Birthday, dear friend xxx marty

  26. what a very sweet post! A very happy B-day to you albeit one day late!

    I kept a diary at age 13 too - you've inspired me to go check it :)

  27. Hope you had a lovely celebration, however simple it may have been. Love the party photo--I picked you out of the crowd!

  28. What a wonderful post - I love diary entries. I like the fact that you and your friends were not interested in the leaking cellar!

  29. I hope you had a very happy birthday. Warmest good wishes to you and thank you for your entertaining and charming blog.

  30. Happy birthday! I hope you had a wonderful day. How lovely to compare your two diary entries:) And I love the photo...what a cool kitchen. I wonder the same thing about how simple fun should be. When I was a kid it was enough to hang out and have a sleepover...didn't need a DJ or loud music or big party. We are planning a slumber party for my oldest who is turning 15 in two weeks, and blessedly this is still their idea of a fun celebration.

  31. This is just so cool, Nan! How wonderful to have both your mom's diary and your own and to compare what you both wrote about that special day. Wow!

  32. Dizzy, that's an interesting point. Now if there were four girls together like that, there would be texts and facebook to intrude on their personal time together.

    Lisa, yes, I am very happy. Her words and her handwriting are what keep her close to me. I can 'hear' her voice in her words.

    Sprite, that's a wonderful wish. I, too, hope it comes true!

    Rachel, that's a good observation. It is fun to compare our different takes on a day - especially when I'd been at school all day - a day filled with emotion while she was home cleaning or out buying groceries. And then there are situations she writes about that I was utterly oblivious to.

    Canadian Chickadee, I love what you wrote.

    Jill, after I read your comment, I went back and added a PS to say which one was me. I forget that everyone doesn't know what I look like. :<)

    An everyday life, that is fantastic about memory. Wow. And what you said reinforces what I mostly think - we are who we are, and rarely basically change that much from children to adults.

    Adele, I do think that, and I think it is very hard to achieve. We are 'supposed' to be attached to our cells so we can be reached anytime.

    Donna, how I love your note. It is uncanny, isn't it. My father was born in Quebec. Maybe somewhere we have a relative in common. :<) Funny the old expressions. No one I know says 'down cellar' anymore. Even my daughter who grew up hearing it all the time, calls her cellar a 'basement' - a word I never use.

    Kay, thanks but I sure never thought so. There were hardly any other kids with red hair, and I was teased quite a bit. Being a tender soul, I took it too much to heart. Now, I'd love that red hair back!

    Jeff, I laughed right out loud. Yeah, right! ;<)

    Rebecca, mine had those little locks and keys, too. The keys are mostly long gone. I didn't have brothers or sisters so I don't think I locked them much.

    Dorothy, I think most of us who grew up in those days had many of the same experiences. We were all pretty isolated in our own towns, lives, etc. with not much to show us the outside world at that age.

    Joanne, grown up maybe but not so sure about the 'matured.' :<) Yes, Gladys truly was happy at home.

  33. Diane, they truly were. Tom's junior high students are way more worldly than I was. And as I wrote to Dizzy, now I fear that the friends outside the little group would have infringed on the time with texting and facebook.

    Les, I know just what you mean. Age doesn't mean much between friends. I could have babysat you!!

    Linda, I know. I sure didn't count down the days to 63! :<)

    Clair, I think they have it but at a much younger age than we did. My father gave me a 'chatty Kathy' doll that year. Can you imagine! 13! And I was thrilled.

    Pamela, I do so treasure both my mother's and my diaries.

    Boyznonna, I'm so pleased you delurked! And I am touched by your words 'daily delights.' Thank you.

    Librarian, I do think girls still have fun together but as I commented to others, I think the tech world breaks in and changes the dynamic.

    Life on the cut off, I think we used to sleep pretty late the next day! I was thinking about the movie we went to - it seems kind of young for 13 year olds, but maybe not. I think my kids saw it when they were much younger than that.

    Mary Lois, from what Tom tells me about the 13 and 14 year olds in his classes, they are all too involved in older stuff. They also see more family troubles than any of my friends or I ever did.

  34. Jill, oh my gosh isn't that wonderful, wonderful! I so love it. And that you've held onto the handkerchief. I wonder if the other girls did. My own daughter had a sort of tea party for two girls based on an idea in American Girl magazine. It was a Valentine's party with everything pink. She did most of it her all by herself. The girls were probably 11. It was so awesome.

    Nan, I was really tickled to come upon all three that melded together so well. I don't have a lot of 'things' but these diaries and the old photos are very special to me.

    Marty, I am beyond thrilled that you left a note. Someday maybe I'll put up a picture of you. haha!

    Kathie, maybe you can include some extracts on your blog! It is such fun to read about these older days.

    Margaret, I'm amazed you knew! I don't think I've changed much until I look in the mirror. :<) What I really love are the table and the refrigerator. I would sure like to have them now!

    Vintage Reading, that is so funny. I'm sure our conversations were much more important - probably about 12 and 13 year old boys. :<)

    Sue, I so love the word 'charming' - how it pleases me that you think this of my letters. Thanks.

    Stacy, I just commented on that kitchen!! Oh, the lines of that fridge! So happy your girl can enjoy such pleasures.

    Kay, that pleases me, too -beyond words really.

  35. You make me smile - Thank you for sharing. My Friends of Gladys Taber arrived :) thank you...

  36. What really struck me was that both you and your mother kept a written account of that day!! I love that photo...Happy Birthday!

    Did you ever get that horse? I always wished for one on my birthday and Christmas! Never appeared!!

  37. Happy belated birthday dear Nan, I love your beautiful smile in that picture. You're so fortunate to have your girlhood diaries, we moved so many times, mine disappeared...


  38. Ernestine, I'm so pleased you got it!

    Staci, when I was 40!! And I had to buy him. :<) Sadly he is gone now, but he was so wonderful.

    Niki, sorry your diaries are gone. Mine just made one move - from my childhood home to here.

  39. This is brilliant! And I recall that you got that horse, at least eventually.

  40. KSV, yes I did! He was a gentle quarterhorse named Bandit.

  41. Belated good birthday wishes, Nan. I loved your post. I wish I had such treasures. Hope is was a great one!

  42. Thanks so much, Yvette! I'm so pleased I still have these diaries.

  43. Oh my goodness happy very belated birthday Nan! This post made me smile -- esp. the part about the cap over the 'bobby pins and curlers." Oh what memories!

    I agree with everybody else, you are so lucky to still have these diaries.

  44. Sallie, it was one of my great moments when I let my hair be natural. No more stupid, painful curlers. :<)


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