Monday, January 16, 2017

Happy Birthday, Evelyn Laufer Taylor!

Today is Martin Luther King Day! One of my favorite quotes from him:

"We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.”

Later this week, we in the cousins blog family celebrate a milestone: Evelyn Laufer Taylor (wife of Bryant Taylor, son of Floyd, twin of Lloyd) turns 95 years young on Wednesday, January 18th.

Happy Happy Birthday!

Evelyn has been one of the writers who keeps this blog going. She often gives me ideas, or sends along a memory or two. Here is one she wrote on the subject of, you guessed it, Birthdays!

BIRTHDAYS By Evelyn Laufer Taylor

 Bryant and Evelyn Taylor

There are birthdays to remember and some to forget.  I recall two that were memorable for me—one as a little girl and one as a teenager.  My birthday comes in January, quite close to Christmas, so present-wise, it never was a big day.  This particular year my parents had been taking care of a litter of Boston Bulldogs for my aunt.  Naturally, we had all picked out our favorites.  Since we were a cat family, the puppies were a real novelty to me.  I do not recall asking to have one, but it would not be normal for a little girl not to at least mention it.  One by one the puppies went to their new homes and two were left.  When I came downstairs on the morning of my birthday, there was Patsy with a big red bow on her neck.  I did not need a tag to know she was mine!  She wiggled her way into all of our hearts that day.

I had a party for girls when I was a teen.  I was so thrilled because Mom set a beautiful table, using a pink Depression glass dessert set I had given her for Christmas.  JELL-O had just introduced a new dessert mixing ice cream with Jello which made a creamy dessert.  She chose strawberry, so this pink confection was served in the pink dessert dishes, accompanied by a two layer, pink, frosted cake (In later years I would have described it as a “Better Homes and Garden” table where everything matches).

Later that evening, we were playing games in the living room when we noticed a peculiar odor and saw a swirl of smoke coming from behind one of the chairs.  My little 3-year-old cousin had hidden behind the chair to see the action, but had had an accident and shorted the lamp cord. They weren’t rubber cords then.

As an adult my birthdays have come and gone, swallowed up by the never ending special parties of my children.  I only remember that the big “O” birthdays were bothersome to me - 30 seemed so old, leaving my 20’s; 40 was “middle-escence” with its restlessness that sent us off to Australia; 50 meant I had lived a half century.  Was it going to be downhill from now on?

Finally, 60 and 70 brought a feeling of accomplishment that I had made it this far.  Do I dare believe as Robert Browning said: “Grow old along with me! / The best is yet to be,” ?

Evelyn and her family just before leaving for Australia in 1968

Evelyn wrote this in 1999. Today she is 95 years old!
 Evelyn, if we could, we would be with you this Wednesday, sitting around your kitchen table as we shared a pot of tea and talked over memories and solved all of the world's problems. We would certainly like to share a piece of birthday cake, so here is hoping that your birthday is a special as you are. Thank you for ALL that you do!

And, in another email, Evelyn writes 'nothing can top the cake Bryant made for me once.  He decided to make my Crazy Chocolate Cake which is mixed and baked right in the same pan.  My recipe had two columns, the second one Bryant did not read until the cake was in the oven for a while.  When he discovered his error, he added the baking powder, salt, and vanilla which resulted in a real bumpy, lumpy cake!  It was the thought that counted!  Bless his heart!'

Pat adds--that does sound like one CRAZY Chocolate Cake!