Celebrating her 105th Birthday!
Dr. James J. S. Johnson
Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations. … The days of our years are 70 years, and if by reason of strength they be 80 years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away. … So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. (Psalm 90:1, 10, 12)
Yesterday my mother-in-law celebrated her 105th birthday — WOW! God has blessed her with years well beyond the foreseeable expectancies mentioned within Psalm 90.
Here (with edits to cure typos) is the poem that I wrote and presented for the occasion:
LOOKING BACK ON A LONG JOURNEY
Life was never a bowl of roses, Mom has seen her share of ills;
But life has balanced out for her, with family joys and thrills;
She’s lived a long, long time, and she’s experienced lots;
Eaten squirrel and catfish — at church she taught the tots;
The sick she’s often fed with meals, she knows her pans and pots;
“Never quit” she role-models — she’s from the sturdy Scots.
Mom’s lived through many decades, sometimes tough and sometimes nice;
She raised 2 children years ago, in time she married twice.
Many folks are blessed by her – boys, girls, ladies, men;
Her grandkids number 5, now her great-grands number 10.
A busy-bee, she sold for Stanley, winning many trips,
Traveling by car and airplanes, twice inside cruise ships.*
God has blessed her many times, the Spanish Flu she did survive;
And when she reached the century mark – she was still alive . . . !
Today we celebrate Evelyn’s birth, . . . she’s now 105 ! ! !
[*NOTE: Besides most of the USA’s “Lower 48” states, Alaska and Hawaii, Mom visited Austria, Canada, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Netherlands, Italy, Iceland (!), Ireland, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Mexico, Norway (land of some of her ancestors), Sweden, Scotland (land of many of her ancestors), Switzerland (land of other ancestors), etc.] Some say Mom looks like the Queen of England in the picture below!
As long as I have known her (>40 years), Mom has been proud of being a Baptist and a Texan. Q: “Mom, if you weren’t a Texan, what would you be?” A: “Ashamed.” [Maybe I made that last part up, but she really is patriotic about being a lifelong Texan]. As a lifelong Baptist she has eaten a lot of fried chicken and also has abstained from drinking alcoholic beverages. However, she recalls, sicknesses (when she was young) were often treated with blackberry wine that her mother made — and “it was good wine!” Born one of 12 children, Mom was routinely the sickliest of the surviving children, yet she has outlived all of her siblings. (The Piney Woods of East Texas are a good place for growing timber, farming, ranching, producing steel, and even for growing blackberries.)
For more on Mom’s family history (especially about God’s providence in how the Swiss Glattfelder lineage married into the Scottish Abernethy/Abernathy lineage), see my article “From Germany’s Rhine to the East Texas Pine: How an Immigrating Line of High German-speaking Glattfelders Stretched to East Texas’ Piney Woods”, JOURNAL OF THE GERMAN-TEXAN HERITAGE SOCIETY, 28(3):246-254 (fall 2005).