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Happy Birthday to you!

Happy Birthday to you!

Happy 96th Birthday Dear Grammy!

Happy Birthday to you!

Grammy and Grandaddy Seegar while “courting.”

Today is my Grammy Seegar’s 96th Birthday! Truth be told she still has the spirit of an 66-year-old. I still vividly recall waking up in their home outside Baltimore to the smell of scrapple, eggs and toast with fresh raspberry jam made from my Granddaddy’s prized raspberry bushes. I could spend HOURS playing with Grammy’s doll house with porcelain dolls and fancy hats that would make Mad Men jealous. Her home was always full of noises – rustling newspapers from my Granddaddy’s study, clanking from the copper pots in the kitchen, clinking ice cubes for cocktails, lively conversations from the living room, pitter-patter of feet from all the grandkids running around and laughter – lots of it!

Laughing at my cousins.

Big barrel laughs from my Granddaddy and Uncle Howard.

Laughter with a platter of cookies. Clearly I learned how to be a hostess-with-the-mostess from an expert.

And all the joy that comes with a loving family. Seegar Family 4th of July circa late 80s.

My Grammy, even to this day, is always dressed effortlessly. Whether she was in her kitchen, garden, church, or DAR dinner, she always looked like she was having the best time! As my life becomes hectic, busy, and messy, it’s good to look back and remember such fond memories. Her food wasn’t the only thing to feed me. Her lessons and life has fed my soul.

She’s probably the strongest woman I know. For years my Granddaddy was  the louder than life man of the house – but we all knew who had his heart and therefore ran the show. She was a nurse who finally put the doctor, calmly and respectfully, in his place. In the midst of WWII, they married and parted ways while he was in the Pacific learning to traverse a long-distance relationship that makes ours look like a walk in the park. Afterwards they raised three – um – overly adventurous boys (who frequently brought home wild animals – including raising falcons. And yes, I did think that was normal as a child. Now I’m sad if kids only bring home frogs.) – and one gracious little lady (My Mom, obvi! Who is probably the second strongest woman I know). She has dealt with each new challenge throughout her life in her own unique way teaching me what grace under pressure looks like.

Grammy, I know Mom reads you my posts and this one is just for you. Thanks so much for all the love you mixed into your cookie dough. And for the recipes you’ve shared with us all over the years. One part love, a pinch of steel, and a splash of Gardenia.

Happy Birthday! Love you.