Saturday, March 6, 2010

Day 210 - Nonchalant Observer -Installment #6– Grandma Harriet’s 90th Birthday

March 6th, 2010

Today is my sixth installment of my “Nonchalant Observer” series. On day 22, I observed (judged) what crossed my path as I sat with my coffee on my Brooklyn stoop. On day 38, I took you with me to the happenings of beach life in the surfing town of Hermosa Beach, California. On day 112, we crossed the age gap and hit a retirement community. During happy hour. You came with me to my father and stepmother’s house for brunch in Westchester, New York on day 141 and you joined me as I was being shot in a piece for Current TV on day 205. Today you will be part of my Grandma Harriet’s 90th birthday celebration in Charlotte, North Carolina.

She isn’t your average grandma. She is a powerful, giving and always sings the praises of her family. Even when we don’t behave that well. She is a true matriarch. In every sense of the word. The fact that 35 relatives traveled across the country to celebrate all that is Harriet Kabat speaks volumes about how her impact, kindness and spirit has touched so many lives. There was no “dutiful” obligation to come to this event. We’ve all been looking forward to this because we are well aware that when there are Kabats in bulk...there will be depth, laughter and open hearts.

I made detailed notes of this celebratory gathering on this Saturday March 6th, 2010

The following is presented in “real” time:

8:17 – I wake up and four generations of Kabat women are in the living room cuddling and drinking coffee. This is a ritual that I’ve been accustomed to my entire life. Elaine’s husband Brad is making Challah French toast. Or as Aunt Roberta calls it, “Jew toast.” Brad is such a capable husband and father that no word can justify his awesomeness. So he is just affectionately referred to as “That Brad.”

10:11 – Some of the girls go for a walk. Every house seems to have two dogs of the same breed barking at us. Like Noah’s Ark. With an electric fence. We pass the Sheep dog home and the dachshund house.

11:36 – Aunt Ruthie and I make Grandma a prophet by putting a Snuggie on her, a paper plate halo behind her head and give her a doll to hold. She's looks Divine.

12:47 – We have a family portrait at 2:00 so Aunt Ruthie straightens my hair. I need a strapless bra. Luckily all the Kabat women have boobage so I borrow a bra from cousin Leah.

1:42 – I put on a puppet show musical for the kids (and adults) of “One Day More” from Les Misérables. Well received.

2:37 – The professional photographer, Wayne, comes and takes a paella of family portraits. He eats grass to get the little children’s attention. Wayne is hardcore.

3:38 – Major hanging out. Little girls in princess dresses, people are in the kitchen working on dinner and grandma is sitting on a thrown like ornate chair as people keep circulating to visit. She looks so happy and says, “Grandpa is looking down and watching every move.”

5:00 – This is the time of day that Kabats collectively feel that it’s OK to start drinking without being labeled alcoholics. Tonight we will all be sharing "best of" grandma stories in a "roast" of sorts. More on that tomorrow. Namaste.

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