Posted tagged ‘birthday cake’

Cake For Seniors

June 22, 2016

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                            June 22, 2016


They were ready to pounce. The ladies and man (as in solo!) at Dad’s birthday party were ready for the cake. If my dear Aunt Lizzie, who always stared at her wrapped Christmas present like it was a Rembrandt, had been there she would have said “It’s too pretty to cut into!” But Aunt Lizzie arrived in Glory a couple of decades ago so she wasn’t there to hold back the cake lovers.

Dad’s cake, with two eights rising out of it, was a tribute to his University of Kentucky roots. The white icing was outlined in Kentucky blue, which is much easier on the eyes than “Tarheel Blue!” He stood behind it and gave one forced puff to extinguish the small flames on the two eights. Blowing out two candles is not seen as being much of an accomplishment, unless you are surrounded by a crowd of seniors who are all crowding ninety!

There was applause for the disappearance of the candle flames, and Robin, the lady who my dad loves and trusts with a knife, commenced to cutting. I passed out the plates. No one passed on the cake. Tongues were licking the outside of lips even before the cake arrived in front of the partygoers. Seniors like cake. It is seen as a valid. almost mandatory, reason for disregarding their dietary restrictions.

Conversation eased a bit as the mature audience focused on their next bites. There’s a time to talk and there’s a time to be quiet. If white icing is involved hold on to that story that was in the midst of being told. We’ll get back to it… if we remember!

My dad looked out at the people gathered in the dining room and he smiled. These were people who were a part of his journey. One of them he had taught how to give insulin shots to. She was scared to death and he had coached her to the point where she could do it herself. Another lady, Valerie, who works at his senior apartment complex, had come back from her Myrtle Beach vacation a day early to be in attendance…and to show the envious women that her skin tone had undergone a noticeable change. The senior women, who had talked about getting bikinis, now recognized that the cake they were enjoying was not going to help them look “bikinish!” Some of them were thinking that they would just ease off the carrots at dinner to compensate!

Dad appreciated each one of them. He had a stack of cards, some beautifully written and others filled with jokes about being as old as Methuselah! He laughed and thanked and paused to enjoy. The only hurry in the occasion was getting the cake cut. After that, people had nowhere to go but to finish reading the Saturday Herald-Dispatch, check the mail, and sink into afternoon slumber in their recliners.

The rest of the cake was moved to the kitchen, and would be served at dinnertime. The ladies  smiled at the future sweet offering. It would make the dinner spaghetti seem tolerable.

Dad was filled with joy and gratitude. After he had blown out the candles someone had asked him what he wished for, and with his quick wit he had replied, “Eighty-nine!”

The ladies “amen-ed” that. It would mean another cake!

The Disappearance of Happiness

November 1, 2012

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                                         October 31, 2012

Someone once asked me “If being a Christians is such a good thing why do so many Christians look unhappy?”

Great question! Open mouth with no answer coming out.

In fact, I won’t simplify it by saying there is an answer. It is more like having a lot of fragments that gradually accumulate to give some kind of foggy image of an answer. Fragments include the economy, acne, obesity, gas prices, too much homework, realty TV, professional football, professional football ticket prices, texting, aging parents, marijuana dispensaries, air travel, baggage fees, rush hour traffic, and club volleyball…to name a few!

In essence, there are a lot of unhappy people because they seem to have more reasons to be unhappy than reasons to be happy.

A few days ago I was talking to a man who does some service work for me at our house. In the midst of our conversation he made the comment “I don’t know anyone who is happy. Everyone I know is anything but happy!”

I suggested he find some new people to hang around with.

His comment, however, stayed with me. That’s when I started thinking about happiness. Why are so few people happy? Is it connected to our personalities? Is it because life is lived at such a frantic, rushed pace? Do we think happy people are weird?

It is true that happiness is not one of the fruit of the Spirit. Joy is, but happiness…no. Joy seems to be a Spirit-developed element. Happiness, however, seems to come as a result of things happening around someone that affects their life.

Happiness is blowing out the candles on a birthday cake. Joy is knowing that the depth and specialness of the relationships the person has with those who brought the cake and are standing around in a circle singing.

Still…joy-filled people aren’t always happy; and happy people aren’t always joyous. In fact, someone can be happy about someone else having to face adversity.

There’s a song we sing in church and church camp entitled “Happiness is the Lord”. It begins with these words: “Happiness is to know the Savior; living a life within his favor, having a change in my behavior, happiness is the Lord.”

The “change in behavior” is the line I struggle with. It goes back to the question I referenced at the beginning that was asked of me. Why aren’t more followers of Jesus happy? And my last answer is “I don’t know!”