It Was a Very Good Year – 2003-2012 – The Finale

On July 13, 2012, my two daughters surprised me with a big box of wrapped gifts, informing me it was exactly 80 days until my 80th birthday and I would be able to unwrap one gift a day.  The gift items would commemorate a year in my life in some way.  This is what I received this week to wind up 80 days of special, unique, commemorative, handmade and nostalgic gifts.

2003 – 2003 was the year my youngest granddaughter was born.  The gift is a wonderful fold-out picture book with photos of my granddaughter along with her handwritten notes of greetings and love.  Precious.

2004 – My youngest daughter knitted a pair of socks for me from a 2004 pattern in the most beautiful fall colors.

2005 – A 2005 CD of Andy Griffith singing all of my favorite hymns.  In addition to the music, there are personal notes and comments by Andy.  This is perfect for me since I’ve been a fan of Andy Griffith since his early monologue days.

2006 – A 2006 edition of Keith Olbermann’s book, The Worst Person in the World.

2007 – A packet of 2007 5-inch Lynette Jensen’s Thimbleberries squares – Warm and Cozy

2008 – Three Topps’ trading cards to commemorate the election of Barack Obama.

2009 – A 2009 Philadelphia Mint collection commemorating the 200th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s birth and the 100th anniversary of the Lincoln Penny.

2010 – A pin commemorating the USA medals won in the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

2011 – My youngest daughter knitted a Drachenschwanze (dragon’s tail) scarf from a 2011 pattern.

2012 – Two pins popular in 2012 – “Keep calm and quilt on”, a take on the WWII British slogan and a pin for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

All 80 years have been covered and it all ended with a Grand Finale gift.  My oldest daughter made up a charm necklace for me that I call a “Meme Necklace” because it tells so much about my interests and in a way is a summary of the 80 gifts.

There are charms for Cincinnati, Ohio, and my Libra astrology sign; a small dog running with a paper in its mouth for all of the pets I’ve had; charms for some of my favorite things – a unicorn, forget-me-nots, vintage jewelry, a scotty, a Dutch shoe, a harness horse, the Cincinnati Reds, Abraham Lincoln; charms to commemorate cooking – a mixer, a slice of pie, a 1st place ribbon; needle and thread (quilting and sewing); charms for favorite vacation spots – St. Louis Arch (my youngest son’s home), an Amish buggy (Holmes County OH Amish country); a covered bridge (Vermont); Cincinnati’s Coney Island and river boat; a Hershey’s Kiss to represent chocolate and my mother’s homemade fudge; and a typewriter symbolizing a long secretarial career.

It has been an amazing 80 days with every day a reminder of 80 amazing years.

All of my posts on this wonderful celebration are listed in Family – My 80th Birthday in my index on the right hand side of the page.

My youngest daughter has links to all of her knitted projects here:

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Lillian Applegate Westfelt was a mother of 4, grandmother of 6, and great-grandmother of 3. She was an 86-year-old widow living in a nice little bungalow with her oldest daughter and a beagle-dachsund named Addie. She passed away in November, 2018.

20 thoughts on “It Was a Very Good Year – 2003-2012 – The Finale”

  1. HAPPY BIRTHDAY! The thought and care your children put into this very thoughtful gift is to be commended. Congratulations on being a wonderful Mom!!! This brings tears to my eyes…

    1. Thank you for your nice comments and for introducing me to your blog. You have some great projects there. Lillian

  2. I’m going to miss these posts every week! I was always looking forward to seeing what amazing things your daughters came up with!

    That scarf is amazing. I’m definitely going to have to find a pattern and learn to make them. I’m just learning how to knit and can only make a straight scarf. I’ll get there!

    That necklace is beautiful, and so thoughtful. Your family is amazing!

    Happy Birthday!

    1. Thank you for the nice comments and the birthday greeting. Note that there’s a link at the bottom of this post to my daughter’s blog which has links to the dragon’s tail scarf and some other easier projects. Lillian

  3. Good Afternoon, Lillian. Now, don’t you look pretty posing with your granddaughter and your grand finale charm necklace. Each personal charm is delightful, indeed, like badges of honor. 🙂 I’ve loved learning about all your interests in your sharing of your gifts received in your posts, honoring your 80th birthday. I’m beyond happy to have learned we share many of those interests such as Keith Olberman, politics, and baking…just to name a few. Once again, happy belated Birthday!

    1. I usually try to avoid politics on my blog, but these were the gifts I received and the things I love.


  4. Just another quick thought…your granddaughter so very much resembles you in that particular photograph. Do many people comment about that in person?
    Just wondering. 🙂

    1. When she was younger, people used to say she looked like my pictures when I was 4 or 5. She looks out for me and always stays behind to walk with me when we’re going somewhere. A real character at 9 who calls me “Gram”. Lillian

  5. I totally don’t talk politics on my blog either. I remember the old wise rule, “never talk politics in mixed company.” Blogging is definitely considered mixed company.
    I think your granddaughter is so very wise. I was extemely close with my grandmother, and so I consider every grandmother/granddaughter relationship a gift from Heaven. Thanks for your reply.

  6. What a great finale that week was, and I love that dragon tail scarf. I don’t think I’ve ever seen one before. The charm necklace is such a lovely topper. Now, was there icing on the cake, too? =)

    1. Ah – the cake. It’s my youngest daughter’s prize-winning White Velvet Cake with Caramel frosting – definitely the icing on the cake. Lillian

  7. Happy Birthday! I am very sorry to be a little late in my greeting but I hope you had a wonderful day. Your daughters did you proud with your final presents – such lovely knitting again. The scarf will be great to drape around you during the Winter. That necklace is amazing with so much meaning behind it and it looks wonderful on. I love the pictures of your grandaughter – she looks like a lively little girl with a gorgeous smile. Thank you for sharing this journey with us.
    Abigail x

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