Wednesday, January 29, 2014

If You Were Having Your 100th Birthday Party...

If you were having your 100th birthday party, what would you dream you'd do?
You see, in a couple of months, my Great Grandpa will be turning 100.
Of course, our family plans to throw him a party!  
Being not even a quarter of a century old yet, it is hard for me to imagine what it would be like to be going to my 100th birthday.  
In the case of my Great Grandpa, he actually now has 4 great great grandchildren, 5 great grandchildren, and 3 grandchildren.  Its hard for me to think about what our lives will one day be like with kids, but how interesting it must be to see your lineage carried out three more generations!  
My grandpa as a child with his dog.
Not sure who had a camera, but we have quite a few really neat old photos that could definitely be useful for the party!
 Living since 1914 and into the 21st century, my great grandpa knows first hand what it was like to live in the United States through many changes such as wars, the great depression, the civil rights movement, space exploration, the age of technology.  Not that my grandpa has really caught on to how the technology works and what all it does.  And as a farmer, he also would have seen many hardships as far as growing goes, as well as the plentiful times.  
In the realm of technology, a couple years ago he got to video chat with me half-way across the world while I was in China - not something many past-90-year-old grandpas do.
Okay, so my screen shot (aka pictures from my family Christmas while I was abroad) aren't so great quality, but Great Grandpa Drake is wearing the red shirt and blue jacket in the middle of the screen!  Not too many Great Grandpa's in their 90s get to skype their great grandchild living halfway across the world!
He was being quite inquisitive about my iPhone this Thanksgiving, so we took a selfie together. He's always curious about how computers and cell phones work, and although he always asks, he never quite gets it.  Its a pretty hard concept when you grew up before technology was as widespread and easily available as it is now.
But then, there is the downside of old age.  The side where my great grandpa has lost his wife of  many years.  The side where he still attends his high school reunions, but most of his classmates are no longer around.  The side where the world has changed so much that it makes it a bit hard to get around in today's society without some help.  I'm sure that celebrating 100 years of life is a bit bittersweet when you also realize that so many people you care about are no longer around.
My Great Grandpa and Grandma.  I just love this photo!
With all this in mind, I am actually getting really excited about this birthday party.  I'm sure my grandma (his daughter, remember this is GREAT grandpa) will have most of the plans under control, but - seriously.  How many chances does a person get to contribute or even attend a 100th birthday party?!  
I'm envisioning some crafts with old photos, and maybe as a gift making a timeline photo book.  
What wonderful 100th Birthday ideas have you seen, thought of, or would like when you turn 100?!  
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  1. Wow, surreal! My grandmother would've turned 102 this year, but she died before I was born - I would LOVE to have gotten the chance to speak to her. What a privilege to reach 100 years old, but as you say, it must be quite bitter-sweet too. And I agree, that photo of him and your great-grandmother is so beautiful!

    1. It is interesting that my older cousin will talk about things he does with our great grandpa, and the peers his age just cannot believe that he talks about his great grandfather in present tense. I guess we are a really lucky family to have known both our great grandpa and great grandma for the larger portion of our lives!

      The picture is so classy, and my grandma was really a beautiful lady just like her heart when I knew her. :)

  2. Wow, what an amazing celebratory opportunity. I think you're on the right track with a timeline book - that would be wonderful to look back at through the years. What about making some form of slideshow/video for him? It sounds like he's intrigued by technology, so he may enjoy watching a photo or video show :) No matter what, I hope it's an amazing celebration!

    1. That's a great idea, Caitlin! Thanks for the tip! I'll have to get with my grandma to see where the party will be and if they have a projector of some sort!

      My husband's grandma has a timeline photo book that was given to her by someone in her family. It was so neat to look at, and I love photobooks because they are so organized and pictures don't fall out the way they do in albums.

      Thanks for the ideas!

  3. Oh wow--that is quite a milestone, and not one that is often reached, either! 3 of my great-grandparents lived into their 90s, but not all the way to 100. What a special time to get the family together!

    1. It sure is quite a milestone! I'm looking forward to it for sure!


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