Happy Birthday, Grandma Nell!

Captain Cavedweller and I drove many hours this weekend to be able to attend his grandmother’s 95th birthday party.

Grandma Nell balloonsThere were balloons, presents, cake, and much good cheer as we gathered to celebrate Grandma Nell’s special day.

It was an honor to be able to join with family to mark this milestone event. CC had the opportunity to visit with his two cousins, as well as a cousin from Texas enough times removed I can’t keep it straight, but she is a real hoot regardless of where the branches sprout in the family tree. I also finally got to meet CC’s uncle and his wife, which was fun (especially after waiting twenty years to do so!).

Grandma Nell 1lrI can only hope I’ll be half as “with-it” as she is if I should live to be her age. Other than needing the assistance of a walker, Grandma does really well, her mind is still sharp, and she is as feisty as ever.

It was just after her birthday twenty years ago that I first remember meeting her.

For many, many years, CC’s grandparents spent the summer months on a ranch in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where Grandma worked as the ranch cook during the busy guest season. CC and I had been seeing each other several months and it was the first time his grandparents had been home since we’d started dating seriously.

Grandma was so friendly and welcoming, she made me feel right at home. One thing that stuck with me, all these years, was how excited she was to show us a photograph taken on her birthday of her riding a horse. She was so proud that, at the tender age of 75, she’d still been able to get on one and ride. Even then, I recall thinking, “Wow, I want to be like her when I grow old!”

After meeting her that first time, she and I quickly discovered we both loved cookbooks and recipes. Over the years, Grandma has shared many of her favorites (both books and handwritten specialties) with me. The best chocolate bundt cake you’ll ever eat comes from Grandma Nell’s recipe.

There were many times I was convinced Grandma could run circles around both CC and me. She is a go-getter, determined, and full of sass. She’s also sweet and thoughtful, and very loving.

Thanks to CC’s cousin Robb, Grandma even has her own website where she shares her recipes and has her very own cookbooks available for purchase.

Every time I see her, I’m just amazed by Grandma Nell and her ability to live life so fully and so intently. She is truly an inspiration.

Happy, Happy Birthday, Grandma!

We love you!

CC and His Sidekick

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