I was away this past week celebrating my mother's 80th birthday, at the Lakeside Inn in Southwestern Michigan, near New Buffalo. Alla has made it through the purges (her father was arrested in the Red Army purges of 1937), the German invasion, traveling alone to America, getting a degree in cytology, raising some difficult children, and a successful career as a watercolorist. Not that we felt that she had to "earn" her celebration.
The inn had a huge front porch, though you could not actually see the lake from it. Trees. Lots of trees in Michigan. And the beach was many steps below. My mother climbs up and down from her fourth-floor apartment daily, disdaining the elevator, so she made it up and down better than many people half her age.
We all had a great time, and she did too. Here's to many more.