Idora Tucker, the original member of the Hale Street Gang, is 89 years old today. Happy birthday, Mom! She says that from now on, when people ask her how old she is, she's going to say, "I'm in my ninetieth year." She's always been about ten steps ahead of average (she went to college at sixteen) and is the first one in our gang to have completed and published a memoir; her second will be available at Cover to Cover later this spring. So now she's rather sneakily infiltrating the ranks of the nonagenarians, figuring that if people are properly impressed, they'll give her a break when she wants to skip "Lift for Life" at the Senior Center and catch up on her reading instead. That's a joke—she reads more than anybody else I know except possibly Aunt Ruth. She also cooks at least one full meal a day, on average, which my husband and I consume; she keeps in touch with friends and family via telephone and email; she goes to the Farmstand (aka Chef's Market), Cover to Cover, Kimball Library, the Senior Center, and a few other places of her choosing. Tonight, she's going to celebrate her birthday by going to Bethany Church to hear her old friend Roger Bourassa talk about his peace-promoting trip to Palestine (Roger was Randolph's high-school principal back when Mom was in the teaching biz—a career that is the subject of a memoir in progress). On Sunday, we're having a big family gathering to kick off Mom's ninetieth year. She has a few birthday cards lined up on the dining room table, but to be honest, she has been rather quiet about this birthday, not wanting to advertise it. So I'm taking a risk here, but what the heck: Today, March 23, 2010, Idora Tucker enters her ninetieth year. Happy birthday, Mom!
PS to Jack Rowell: Thanks, buddy.