CLOSE YOUR EYES. TAKE A DEEP BREATH. OPEN YOUR HEART.

SHADY DEL KNIGHT, ADMINISTRATOR

SHADY DEL KNIGHT, ADMINISTRATOR
High School Yearbook Photo

"More than a place, the Shady Dell was and will forever remain a state of mind." - Shady Del Knight

"More than a place, the Shady Dell was and will forever remain a state of mind." - Shady Del Knight
HELLO STRANGER ... IT SEEMS LIKE A MIGHTY LONG TIME!

Monday, April 24, 2017

105 Candles: Picture Yourself at Margaret's 105th Birthday Party!


Tom Anderson back with you today on this very happy occasion. They're here!
Hours ago, I received the pictures taken last week as our dear friend, Margaret Elizabeth Brown Schneider, affectionately known as
The Oldest Living Dell Rat, celebrated her 105th birthday. Here to bring you the story is Margaret's daughter, my good friend and guest blogger, Kathleen Mae Schneider.




105 

Candles

by 
Kathleen Mae 
Schneider






The Big Day

Tuesday, April 18, 2017, dawned with rapidly
warming temperatures and bright sunlight,
with flowering trees, shrubs and flowers
in full bloom. The glorious riot of color
felt for all the world like Mother Nature
was celebrating my Mother's 105th
birthday along with us!


The front of Mother's house greeted
everyone with flowers everywhere...


...and a new decoration for her door.


While Mother slept peacefully, I put
the finishing touches on the decorations
in her living and dining room.


I made sure there were lots of balloons
and, of course, more flowers.


Gifts and birthday cards arrived days before
and all were displayed, some on a century-old
original shutter from the Shady Dell!

Mother was surprised by all the decorations,
but she was even more surprised by the
deliveries that began to arrive.


She and I laughed along with the UPS man
as he struggled to get a huge box
through her front door.


Of course, we had to open it immediately,
and found two giant plush rabbits from my
niece in California, one of which is
actually bigger than Mother!


Neighbors dropped by with flowers and gifts,
wanting photo ops with our sweet celebrity!


Most special of all gifts was the post on SDM&M
paying tribute to Mother. She basked in the love
that reached out to her from my iPad. Hearing
the post and comments, she couldn't believe
how complimentary Tom and his readers are
to her. "How did he get my baby picture on
that skinny little thing?" she marveled.

Early in the evening, we had our small family
party, with a marble chocolate mousse cake
specially decorated for both Mother and the Dell,
since they were both "born" the same week.


The icing picture on top is Mother's last
school picture, taken in the fifth grade.


All in all, Mother's 105th birthday was good.
It must be said though, that we not only
celebrated her many years on earth, but
also her gifts to us of gentleness of
spirit, love for everyone and
her incredible resilience.


Although we can't quite make you believe it,
Mother, you are a very special lady.

We love you always and forever!


LEARN MORE ABOUT MARGARET AND HER FAMILY: 
Margaret's Birthday, Age 104
103 Candles: Margaret's 103rd Birthday Party
Margaret's Birthday, Age 103
Margaret's Birthday, Age 102
Chapter 8: Curious (about) George
Chapter 7: The Demise of the Dell, Pt. 2 Fighting City Hall
Chapter 7: The Demise of the Dell, Pt. 1 Harvest of Tears
Chapter 6: The Dream Becomes a Nightmare
Winter Count: Margaret's 2013 Birthday
Happy Birthday, Margaret! Oldest Living Dell Rat Turns 101
Chapter 5: Home Sweet Dell
Chapter 4: Allie's Rats, Pt 2: Margaret's Pig Tale
Chapter 4: Allie's Rats, Pt 1: Hill and Dell
Chapter 3: The House on the Hill 
Chapter 2: Margaret is Born...and So Is the Dell 
Chapter 1: The Beauty and the Butcher
Introduction: My Shady Dell "Roots"
Margaret's Birthday

53 comments:

  1. Oh happy day! It is wonderful to see these pictures taken on Margaret’s big day. The flowers are lovely— the house decorated from stem to stern— and Margaret looked very pretty that day. I can imagine the look on Margaret’s face when those two giant rabbits jumped out of the box— lol. The picture cake is spectacular— a delightful touch that I am sure helped make Margaret’s 105th birthday even more special.

    Happy birthday, Margaret. I hope you enjoy a year of health and happiness basking in the love of family and your many friends.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Thank you very much, Kathryn!

      Yessum, every year Kathleen manages to collect a great set of pictures snapped during mother Margaret's birthday celebration. This 2017 party is no exception. Kathleen also did a fine job with the decorations again this year and I am happy to learn that Mother Nature cooperated and gave Margaret bright sunshine and warm temperatures on her big day.

      I agree that those picture cakes are a wonderful idea to serve at birthday parties, especially those honoring older members of the family. It's delightful to see that 5th grade picture of Margaret on her cake. Looks like those huge plush stuffed Easter bunnies are already making themselves at home in Margaret's living room. They will surely be conversation starters whenever guests drop by.

      When I look at the link list at the end of the post, I realize how many times Margaret has been the guest of honor on SDMM and how many of her stories and special moments Kathleen has generously shared with us. I am deeply grateful that Kathleen came forward and contacted me just in time for us to join Margaret on this amazing journey through her centenarian years.

      Thanks again for starting us off, Kathryn, and have a wonderful week!

      Delete
    2. Kathleen Mae SchneiderApril 25, 2017 at 4:06 AM

      Hi there, Kathryn!
      I'm glad you liked seeing our photos of Mother's birthday. I'm glad we could make the day special for Mother.

      The giant rabbits were a bit hit. Mother has low vision and she often says it looks like visitors are waiting across the room when she sees the rabbits.

      The cake I ordered was supposed to have two pictures on top - the school photograph of Mother and a second one of the Shady Dell house. I gave both to the bakery, but the decorator failed to include the house. Mother still liked seeing herself on the cake.

      Thank you for your kind comment and birthday wishes for Mother!


      Delete
  2. Tom,

    Thank you for sharing Kathleen's report on Margaret's 105th bday bash. First off let me say, WOW, Margaret you look fabulous! Are you sure you're 105? I mean you can easily pass for 85 or younger. I've been a long believer that one's inner peace and happiness is a reflection in how someone looks. This is precisely what I'm seeing in Margaret. The goodness within show by the glow in her face and twinkle in her eyes. If I'm fortunate to live as long as Margaret then I hope I can look as good as she does, as well as have one of my children lovingly tend to me as Kathleen does her mother. That's so very sweet. What a wonderful celebration!

    Have a good day, my friend and thanks for dropping by!

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    1. Hi, dear Cathy!

      ... and thank YOU for dropping by SDMM, my good friend! Mrs. Shady and I are getting ready to hit the road soon, and I'm glad I found your sweet comment before I needed to shut off the computer.

      You are right about Margaret. "Pretty in Pink," I would call her. The other day I remarked to Kathleen that 105 is the new 35 and, in Margaret's case, I'm not far off. She does look wonderful and it warms my heart to see the joy written all over her face. Margaret does possess an inner glow, something that too many people lose along the way. I believe Margaret's inner peace and kind spirit keep her going.

      You are also right about Kathleen's devotion to her mother as a daughter and one of her primary caregivers. For years Kathleen has made great sacrifices to make sure Margaret stays in the familiar, comfortable surroundings of her home with a loving family member by her side. My hat goes off to her.

      Thank you again for taking a look at the festivities at Margaret's house as she, family and friends celebrated her 105th birthday.

      Have a wonderful week, dear friend Cathy!

      Delete
    2. Tom,

      It's always a delight to read the good news that Margaret celebrates another year. I hope she has many, many more and may the Lord keep her in good health until He sees fit to take her home. Have a good week and be safe in your travels, dear friend!

      Delete
    3. Hi, Cathy!

      Thank you very much for your return visit and sincere wishes for Margaret. Margaret and Kathleen greatly appreciate your interest and your kind words.

      Have a great day, dear friend!

      Delete
    4. Kathleen Mae SchneiderApril 25, 2017 at 11:50 AM

      It's good to read your warm and kind comment, Cathy.

      You know, to be around Mother so much is a gift in so many ways. Even as she gets older, her eyesight gets worse, and her hearing is diminished, there is an acceptance of all of life and her failing body as just another part of that.

      Caregiving, my sister and I have learned, is definitely not for the faint of heart, but our tending to her needs is a labor of love. In return, it's teaching us courage and patience, the true meaning of love, and the limits of our endurance as well.

      When she asks why God doesn't take her home, I tell her that He still has important work for her to do - she's to teach us how to grow old!

      Thank you for your caring comment, Cathy. Mother and I really appreciate it!

      Delete
    5. Kathleen, my husband's dad is 94 and lives in our home state. He now has a full-time caregiver. The distances that separates us is painful knowing we can't give to him what we want but thankful we found someone who does a grand job. Plus he still lives in the home that he and my late MIL built. I know this makes him happy.

      We love chit-chatting with him. He has so many good stories to share and has always been our role model.

      No doubt your mother is not only teaching you and your sister but others how to grow old with grace and zeal.

      God bless!

      Delete
    6. Kathleen Mae SchneiderApril 29, 2017 at 9:21 PM

      I'm glad you are able to allow your father-in-law to stay in his home, and you are fortunate to have found an excellent caregiver. There is no doubt in my mind, either with your husband's father, or with our mother, that living out their last days in their own home is the best place for them to be. They are in familiar surroundings that hold comforting memories instead of an institutional setting that can be confusing to someone as old as they are.

      My father took 6 years (after work each night, weekends and holidays) to build our house and Mother thinks it is the most beautiful home in the world. She begs us to let her stay there, and we are committed to helping her do that as long as possible.

      Thank you for returning with another comment, and we wish you all the best with your FIL's care in the days ahead.

      Delete
  3. You've paid your elder such an amazing tribute. What she's seen since that 5th grade photo was taken! She's a treasure and so glad you've shared a bit of the wealth with others here.

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    1. Hi, Cheryl!

      Thank you very much for coming over for the second post saluting birthday girl Margaret Schneider, a woman I have grown to love as much as I would my own mother.

      Isn't that fifth grade picture fantastic? I think it was a great idea to display it atop our special centenarian's birthday cake. Margaret is indeed a treasure, a fountain of wisdom.

      Thank you again for coming, dear friend C-Lee. Again this week, daughter Kathleen will be replying to your kind and generous comment when time permits, and she will also be reading it to Margaret. Surely it will brighten her day. :)

      Delete
    2. Kathleen Mae SchneiderApril 25, 2017 at 3:41 PM

      Hello Cheryl,
      In addition to that school picture of Mother sitting at her desk, I have some of her report cards. As a former teacher, I recognize a good student when I see one - and she was definitely a good student. I think that can be seen in her expression on the cake photo.

      Although she only finished fifth grade while at the Dell property in York PA, she attended some of 6th grade in Baltimore before her family had to pick up and move again. I often try to imagine my mother with a high school or college education. She learned so much from experience and was good at mathematics and art according to the report cards.

      As it turned out, Mother learned what she needed to know through experience and was an excellent seamstress, wife, mother and homemaker.

      Thanks for your comment and compliment!

      Delete
  4. What a lovely, lovely guest post! It's obvious that Margaret is a much treasured and loved lady and I'm glad she had such a special day of celebration! Thanks for sharing it with us.

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    1. Hi, Kelly!

      I am very happy to see you again, dear friend! Thank you for joining us for part two of Margaret Schneider's 105th birthday celebration.

      Margaret is indeed treasured and loved - by her family, by her long time friends and by the new crop of friends she has made over the last few years through her appearances here on SDMM and the stories of her life written by daughter Kathleen. Margaret can't fathom people in Canada and other countries around the world knowing and loving her as they do. She can't believe they enjoy reading tales of her childhood adventures as a resident of the Shady Dell in the early 20th century.

      Thank you for being part of the Shady Dell family, Kelly. I very much appreciate your friendship and support!

      Delete
    2. Kathleen Mae SchneiderApril 25, 2017 at 5:20 PM

      Thanks for commenting, Kelly!
      I consider myself blessed to have my Mother with us this long, so I just had to add some extra color to her birthday, and read the blog and comments to her from all over the world.

      Her authenticity and humility do not fit very well in her book with pride, but I can tell she is indeed proud to have reached 105. When Tom sent us a link to a post about a woman who lived to be 114, I showed it to her and asked her if SHE wanted to live to be that old. She replied thoughtfully, "I don't know.....that's pretty old."

      Delete
  5. https://www.youtube.com/embed/m9Et7UQh1tg?rel=0&controls=0&showinfo=0

    ... smiles ... Love, cat.

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    1. Hi, cat!

      Smiles indeed, dear feline friend! I loved that stop motion video tracing a person's life from boyhood through courtship and marriage to fatherhood and finally to his status as a senior member of the clan. I know that Kathleen will enjoy watching the video and will want to show it to mother Margaret as well.

      The song is filled with wisdom. Two of the key takeaways are the fact that "Everything will change" and the sage advice, "Just keep movin'."

      Thank you again for coming by, dear friend cat!

      Delete
    2. ... ya ... nothing is for sure in life, friend Shady, only change is for sure ... Love, cat ... PS: I know this is a "don't cross that border question" ... but is that you with your mum ? If so ... double smiles ...

      Delete
    3. Hi again, dear cat!

      Thanks for the return visit. The only picture of me in this post is the first one which I used to toss to Kathleen. The man posing with Margaret is her neighbor. Margaret is Kathleen's mother, not mine, but Margaret is very much like a mother to me and Kathleen is like the sister I never had. I'm glad you asked your question, because it gives me the opportunity to plug a post that I have coming up eleven months from now which will honor my own mother on what would have been her 100th birthday. It will contain pictures of her and of young Shady, so please stick around! :)

      Delete
    4. Kathleen Mae SchneiderApril 25, 2017 at 5:58 PM

      Hey there, Cat!

      That is a great video! Mother and I watched it together and we both enjoyed it. At my age, it seems time speeds up and that I am getting older about as fast as the guy in the video does.

      I commented to Mother that it would be great if we could see our entire lives run before us in a few minutes in pictures like that. She agreed, saying it would be much better than having her memories "all mixed up" in her head! She also like the "cheery" song accompanying the video.

      Thanks for stopping by and including the link to the very apropos video!

      Delete
  6. This was a wonderful celebration. From beautiful flowers, to happy pastel balloons and decor, and, the adorable plush bunnies! The Birthday cake looks so pretty and delicious!

    It had to be an exciting day for Margaret and her family. Great job, Kathleen! And, the photos will be everlasting memories for all family and friends. Thank you so much for sharing these precious moments with Tom to share with us! Happy Birthday again to Margaret! ♥

    Thank you Tom (where's Shady?) for sharing Margaret's wonderfully special day. I love these pictures. Have a great evening! ♫

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    1. Hi, Suzanne!

      I'm delighted to see you, dear friend! Thank you very much for dropping back in for another visit as our dear birthday girl, Margaret, begins her second week of celebration.

      Yessum, while Margaret slept, daughter Kathleen was as busy as one of Santa's elves or one of the Easter Bunny's helpers. She put up decorations all over the house, arranged flowers, balloons and gifts, and displayed greeting cards in a century old window shutter salvaged from Margaret's first home, the Shady Dell. The shutter is visible on the right side of that first wide shot. Kathleen did a marvelous job of making the big day special for her mother and she snapped another batch of priceless pictures for the family to treasure for years to come. Kathleen's pictures along with her eloquent story telling made this year's tribute post another great one.

      I don't know about you (or Margaret), but I'd be spooked if I awoke in the middle of the night and saw a giant rabbit sitting in one of my living room chairs. :)

      Shady's out of town for a few days and asked me to fill in for him. His first choice as a sub was Arsenio Hall, but then he remembered he could get me for free. :)

      Thank you again for returning to brighten Margaret's day with your sweet comments, dear friend Suzanne. Kathleen will be reading your words to Margaret and I'm sure they will put a smile on her face. That's what it's all about, isn't it? Enjoy the rest of your week!

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    2. Kathleen Mae SchneiderApril 25, 2017 at 9:53 PM

      It's good hearing from you, Suzanne, and I'm glad you like the pictures of Mother's party. I have many more, but I had to pick just a few that were representative of the day and would give everyone an idea of the high points.

      I could have filled a post just with Mother's gifts - everything from hanging baskets of flowers, to several types of chocolate, a pillow shaped like a cat and her favorite perfume. (She just reminded me the day before her birthday that she needed more perfume "....because everyone wants to hug me for my birthday".)

      Mother and I thank you for your wonderful comment!

      Delete
  7. Margaret looks wonderful! And her birthday looks magnificent! Thank you for keeping her memories alive, dear friend!

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    1. Hi, Jessica Marie!

      Thanks for joining us again as Margaret Schneider's birthday celebration continues into its second week.

      Yessum, it looks like it was a day of fun and big surprises for Margaret and it was my pleasure to honor her again this year.

      Thanks again for your visit and comment, dear friend JM, and enjoy your week!

      Delete
    2. Kathleen Mae SchneiderApril 28, 2017 at 12:08 PM

      Hi Jessica Marie!

      Mother still has a lot of pride and puts her makeup on every day, no matter how she feels! I am honored to record memories of her early life at the Shady Dell while I still have her and she is in relatively good mind, so I'm doubly honored and also thankful that Tom generously gives me a platform on this blog to share her stories and to celebrate her birthdays with so many others.

      Thanks for the compliments, both about Mother and her party. We both are glad you stopped by!

      Delete
  8. 105 wow, and in a 105 years one would have seen so many changes and too many wars as well

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    1. Hi, Jo-Anne!

      Thanks for boomeranging back to Margaret's party, dear Aussie friend!

      Yessum, think of all the changes in the world since the spring of 1912 - the wars, the U.S. presidents and world leaders that have come and gone, technology, space travel, and the vast changes in the status and roles of women in society. It boggles the mind to think of all Margaret has seen in her lifetime.

      Thanks again for visiting, dear friend Jo-Anne!

      Delete
    2. Kathleen Mae SchneiderApril 28, 2017 at 12:09 PM

      You are correct in recognizing the sheer amount of changes that occurred during my mother's long life. She often says, "The world is a different place now!"

      As for the wars seemingly always happening somewhere on our planet: I saw a sign that I liked in front of a church recently that said, "Don't make me come down there!" - God

      Thanks for your comment, Jo-Anne.

      Delete
  9. What a fun celebration!!! Love all the flowers and those huge stuffed rabbits are too cute. She is absolutely precious and what a dear treasure. I wish i could just turn on a tape recorder and capture some of her thoughts on our world and its events. Shady, you are an amazing man to share with us and to celebrate her each year.

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    1. Hi, Holli!

      Thank you very much for dropping in for week #2 of Margaret's celebration as she turns 105 years of age.

      Yessum, Kathleen went all out again this year, transforming mother Margaret's house into party central. I have seen huge plush stuffed teddy bears and dogs but this is the first time I ever saw rabbits that size. The old Jimmy Stewart move Harvey comes to mind. :)

      Fortunately for all of us, Kathleen has been "interviewing" her mother for years now, collecting valuable information and anecdotes dating back to the early 20th century. She has been posting that material on SDMM in her series In-Dell-ible Memories with more chapters still to come.

      You are very sweet, dear friend Holli. Thank you for your visit and lovely words. They mean a lot to Margaret, to Kathleen and to me. :)

      Delete
    2. Kathleen Mae SchneiderApril 28, 2017 at 1:29 PM

      I grew up surrounded by Mother's vast flower and vegetable gardens, learning from her as I helped her. I'm sure that's why I so love flowers and growing things today. There's a real connection between us through flowers.

      At first, when Mother was largely housebound from her advancing age and healing from two broken hips, I made it my mission to plant brightly colored flowers outside of every window that she could visit to see them.

      Now that she is even older and nearly blind, and her property is mostly shaded, I'm potting up containers of her favorites and moving them closer to her.

      The ones she planted years ago that bloom every year on their own of course cannot be moved. I always tear up when she asks me, "What's blooming outside now?" So I've recently started taking pictures of them on my iPad and bringing it indoors so I can enlarge the flowers and she can see them, albeit fuzzily.

      Everyone she knows associates Mother with flowers, so for her birthday she received two cut-flower bouquets. (including pink roses, her favorite!), four hanging baskets, three miniature orchids, a corsage, three garden packs, four pots of flower seedlings to plant and some packets of seeds. (I have my work cut out for me!)

      Mother's been recorded in the past for some things, but I will try again soon to get her to retell her stories and reminisce on video. She remembers her childhood vividly, and often launches right into one narrative after another. Sometimes I cannot write fast enough!

      Thanks for reminding me to get her on 'tape', and for your kind comment, Holli!

      P.S. Amazing - you remember tape recorders!! The last time I mentioned that device in a store, the guy behind the counter looked at me as though I had two heads!

      Delete
  10. Happy belated birthday to Margaret! And many more in the future!

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    1. Thank you very much, Ashton! Margaret and Kathleen will appreciate your kind visit and birthday greetings and so do I.

      Enjoy the rest of your week, dear friend!

      Delete
    2. Kathleen Mae SchneiderApril 28, 2017 at 1:34 PM

      It's not a belated greeting for Mother, Ashton! She does better with good wishes in small doses. Thank you so much!

      Delete
  11. Wow, what a beautiful bday bash! Happy Birthday to Margaret and I just love all the decorations and her sweet smiling face! It brought tears to my eyes! I think that it's wonderful to have a piece of your beloved Dell...the shutter...to place her cards on. Great idea! I can tell it was a special day for her and I wish her many more to spend with friends and family.

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    1. Hi, YaYa!

      Thank you very much for making it over for Margaret's 105th b-day part 2. Margaret does indeed have a sweet, smiling face, and I always get choked up when I see pictures of her.

      Yessum, I agree that it was a splendid touch to display the old Dell window shutter on Margaret's big day and to use it as a card holder.

      Thank you again for sharing birthday greetings with our beloved Margaret again this year, dear friend YaYa!

      Delete
    2. Kathleen Mae SchneiderApril 28, 2017 at 2:13 PM

      Oh my, YaYa - it's just like old times when we used to "talk" on this blog! It's so good to do it again!

      I just recently was dismayed to be told that most of the original Dell shutters were burned. I was fortunate to be given six of them during a traumatic visit as I witnessed a few hours of the demolition of the barn and the dance hall. I plan on someday restoring the shutters to their former glory and helping my husband turn them into a room divider for our house.

      In the meantime, I thought one of them would provide a perfect "overflow" display space for birthday cards. It kind of worked, at least on the top half, but the bottom slats were painted shut in a downward direction, so no cards could be held in place there. Birthday cards are still arriving, so I may have to retrieve another shutter...

      I'm very familiar with teary eyes - it happens on a daily basis as I care for Mother in this chapter of her life. Thankfully she is good at changing the subject and getting me to laugh at something she says or does, like asking a Hospice chaplain who just prayed with her to "help" her pop bubble wrap - a favorite activity! Just Mother's way of getting priorities straight! :)

      I'm so grateful to have others appreciate the special-ness of my mother, and to help us celebrate her life. One day when we were talking, Mother commented that she knows more people who are dead than alive. We laughed then, when I said it was good that Tom helped us make some new ones here on the blog to replace the ones who are no longer with us!

      I hope to see you again here real soon! Bye now.

      Delete
  12. What a splendid birthday party! I love all the decorations! And the stuffed animals are so cute!

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    1. Hi, Sherry!

      Thanks for coming over to see the party pics, dear friend!

      Yessum, Kathleen knocked herself out with the decorating again this year, and those giant bunnies from California were a wonderful surprise for Margaret.

      Thanks again, Sherry, and enjoy your weekend!

      Delete
    2. Kathleen Mae SchneiderApril 28, 2017 at 2:20 PM

      Hello, Sherry!
      Mother never had a birthday party as a little girl, so I attempt to make up for that by making her house as festive as I can whenever April 18th rolls around. I'm glad you approve!

      Delete
  13. Kathleen Mae SchneiderApril 29, 2017 at 8:28 PM

    Thank you again, Tom, for these last two posts, as well as all those on that long list devoted to Mother. We are honored and delighted to have her stories featured on a site inspired by her first home. Her time there only lasted ten years but as she recounts her century-old childhood memories from that place, it is clear it was one of the happiest decades in her life.

    It's remarkable now, that at this stage of her journey, she has the chance to see her home given a place of honor. She may not understand the technology used to do it, but she certainly appreciates its ability to connect with many people around the world, and to come full circle with her long life that began at the Shady Dell.

    As her daughter, I want to thank your readers for responding with such kind words and well wishes, and you for your diligence bringing them here for her benefit. Your long hours of work publishing the posts and your continued friendship and affection for a very grateful and very old lady will never be forgotten!

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    1. Thank you very much, Kathleen.

      It gives me great pleasure to work with you to present these posts honoring Mother each year when her birthday rolls around and to collaborate with you on your series In-Dell-ible Memories in which you share Mother's stories about her childhood at the Shady Dell in the early years of the 20th century. To me and to all the other old timers who cherish our memories of the Dell, Margaret is the last surviving member of the royal First Family, the pioneers who began writing the estate's rich and colorful history all those years ago.

      I'm sure Mother wonders how we manage to fit the entire Shady Dell inside your "skinny little thing." :) Margaret is not alone in being amazed by modern technology. It is a mystery to me as well, but I intend to make use of it to preserve Mother's Dell memories and my own.

      As I recall, you came forward and introduced yourself and Mother to me the year before she turned 100. Our first collaborative post, the one that inspired your IDM series, was published more than five years ago. Just now I took a look at that first post of ours and read the 19 comments on it. Believe it or not, out of all those readers, only four of them are still with us today and left comments on the 2017 birthday posts. My point is this. Blog readers come and go but, as you can tell from the response to this year's posts, there will always be an audience for your series. There will always be people who care about Mother and are interested in learning about her and reading stories about her early years as a Dell rat. Please consider this a mandate to continue on with IDM in the future.

      I feel blessed to have you and Mother in my life and to be given this opportunity to honor Margaret along with the Ettlines.

      Thank you again for your very kind comment, dear friend Kathleen!

      Delete
  14. Margaret is #lifegoals!

    Amazing. I can't imagine living that long but it would be awesome to still be strong and healthy and be surrounded with love and affection.

    You're lucky to have her as part of your life. Please extend my regards and greetings to her.

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    1. Hi, Lux!

      Thank you, dear Philippine phriend, for returning to see part 2 of Margaret's 105th birthday celebration.

      I believe that having love in your life and a reason to get up in the morning, a purpose, a passion, keeps you going no matter what your age.

      Margaret is my inspiration and I do indeed consider myself lucky to have her as a very dear friend.

      Thank you again for blessing Margaret with your birthday greetings, dear friend Lux!

      Delete
    2. Kathleen Mae SchneiderMay 2, 2017 at 7:32 PM

      Hi Lux!
      Many people tell me they would really like to live to be 100 or more years old, but I always tell them to spend some time with my mother before settling on that wish.

      Although Mother has no active disease going on, she does have limitations imposed by her age. If we could feel as we did in our earlier years and still live as long as Mother it would be great. However, that's not the case, and we become more frail and dependent on others.

      That being said, Mother retains her sense of humor, makes the best of her situation and still tries to be productive in small ways. Those of us who are privileged to care for her do show her much love and support, and we try to make her days meaningful. She is a true blessing to our lives.

      Thanks you for your comment and kind wishes, Lux. They made Mother smile when I read them to her!

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  15. I am so late here Shady...my apologies. It looks like this beautiful lady had a wonderful day. It really shows how much she is loved by all who know her. I love the cake and the sweet little girl in the picture on that cake. She must be amazed at all the technology now and it is nice to know she can read everything on your blog...very sweet indeed

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    1. Hi, Birgit!

      Yessum, I am finally wising up. I skipped back three posts to locate the start of your binge commenting spree. :) Thank you for reassuring me that you are still supporting SDMM. I especially wouldn't have wanted you to miss this post which takes you to Margaret Schneider's 105th birthday party.

      Yessum, it looks like Margaret had a wonderful day on the 18th and, from what I hear, additional guests kept dropping in to see the birthday girl for days afterward.

      Those cakes with family pictures on them amaze me, and that image of Margaret as a 5th grade student way back when is indeed the sweetest.

      Thank you again for being here for Margaret, for Kathleen and for me, dear friend BB!

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  16. Kathleen Mae SchneiderMay 9, 2017 at 6:49 AM

    I'm chronically late in many things (Just ask Tom when I write anything for SDM&M...), so I'm glad I'm not the only one! Mother and I thank you for your comment, and certainly no apologies are needed.
    The birthday well-wishes, cards, flowers and visits are still happening, and each one is very much appreciated by Mother and me. Such happiness couldn't all fit into one day anyway, and Mother absorbs most things these days in small 'doses'.

    You are right that she has seen so much since that picture was taken of her sitting with her textbook open at her desk in the one-room schoolhouse.
    Technology eludes me, so I can only guess how it must appear to her. That being said, she gets great delight in seeing and hearing about herself on this blog, and knowing so many people are kind and find her life inspirational.

    That sweet little girl pictured on the top of the cake is in very many ways still the same. She remains compliant with all life hands to her, both pleasant and not-so-pleasant, and is always eager to please. I count it a blessing to be able to care for her and return in some small part the love and affection she showed to others all her life.

    When she tells me she feels like she is a burden to me now that she has grown so old, I tell her that she took such good care of me all my 70 years, that it's time for her to let ME take care of her.

    Thank you again for your comment and for helping to make this birthday season so special for Mother!

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