Friday, November 03, 2006

Mom's 91st Birthday Gift

Mom has had a good life. My dad was an engineer and did well and mom was a saver. Needless to say, trying to figure out what to do or get for her birthday is always a problem. She buys whatever she wants and tells everyone..."no gifts". A while back I took her to lunch and she began to talk about the things she missed since my dad passed. She told me how much she liked going to Maine. Marie and I have been going to Maine for several years to complete our semi-annual visit to L L Bean. Sooo, I asked her if she would like to come along. She jumped at the opportunity. Mom has macular degeneration and her vision is failing, she is also a little hard of hearing which sometimes makes for interesting conversation. I said it would be nice to have her come with us, She answered, oh it will be icey. Yup!

Mom is very independent and feels she must pay her way. I explained that I would pay for her meals and that would be her birthday present. I also explained that part of this ritual would be The Steakhouse Restaurant. I have never had a better filet of beef anywhere than here. I made this clear as mom's favorite is KFC and Subway and I did not want any doubt as to where we would eat.

I arranged to pick her up the day before and we were able to leave from my house on the 31st. We did some shopping in Kittery and had a so-so lunch at Noels. We then stopped at the Stonewall Kitchen outlet. Their manufacturing site is in York. They have jars of small crackers and open samples of all their jellies, jams, butters, etc. It was like I turned a kid loose in a candy store. At one point my wife said I can't find your mother. I said I was sure she was somewhere tasting samples. I stood in line to pay and as I was almost finished paying, Marie spotted mom. She proudly proclaimed that she had tried everything. I shuddered to think of the three different salsas after the assorted jellies and butters that she had consumed. She said she had the best time and it was better than any dessert that she could have had anywhere.

The Steakhouse was super. All steaks come with a little tub of herb butter...just wonderful. Mom wanted halibut which is getting harder to find or baby scallops, neither was on the menu. She refused to have a small steak and ended up with baby back ribs.

The Hamton Inn in Wells, Maine opened this past July. It is one of the nicest Hampton Inns that I have stayed in. It has a double sided fireplace in the lobby and a wide screen TV. The morning breakfast was also one of the best. So after our breakfast we went to Freeport for shopping at L L bean, Carters, and an educational toy store. A generally nice day. That night we once again went to The Steakhouse. Mom was cranky, she was not going to order a steak. I would be happy with a sandwich, she proclaimed, you eat too much red meat. Mom, I did not come all the way here to eat dinner at KFC or Subway I replied. She pouted a little and settled for a half order of crab cakes and a baked potato.

The next morning we ate a hearty brakfast and headed home in the pouring rain. Once we got her to my niece's home and settled in, she told me that she had a great time.
I kissed her and wished her a happy birthday.

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