I now have the recipe of the most unusual cake I ever heard of, say nothing about eating. The Helen Ostyre family has even sent me a picture of the 100-year-old celebrity with the cake. Actually the 200 people who attended the party had two unusual treats. Besides the birthday cake made by granddaughter Cheryl Pokoj and great-granddaughter Aimee Metzger who designed the cake, there was a continual video picturing hundreds of images from Helen's life and family. This was created by granddaughter Amber Rhinehart.
Now here's how Cheryl described designing the cake: "What kind of cake do you make for someone who is turning 100 years old? That was the thought we had for months before the big day. Just as we're getting ready to bake and begin this project of honor and love, the idea changed once again. Now, we were sure this as the design that was most befitting for such an occasion. My daughter Aimee and I chose to create a cake to look like a stack of film reels and cans. We were able to incorporate many different events in Grandma Helen's life. Some of the many pictures that had been taken of her since she was born were used as edible photos in the film strips. We started with her youngest photo of her as a baby at the bottom of the cake and began to make our way around each opened film reel until we reached the top creating an interesting spin on a timeline. The top of the cake featured the most recent picture of Grandma in a frame surrounded by flowers that was taken just the day before the party. There were pictures of her as a teen, from her years of raising her seven children, riding a go cart at age 90, road trips to Virginia and Florida in her mid 90s and the blue mohawk she had done at the beauty shop right before her birthday. One of the film cans was labeled with 'Helen's 100 yrs.' Additional edible photos were placed around the bottom of the cake along with an edible piece of paper with the scripture Matt 5:9 'Blessed are the peacemakers...' This was added to honor the importance she has always placed on God, love and being at peace in all things and with everyone. Toward the end of the party we surprised Grandma with some homemade switchel also known as haymaker's punch. When we had quizzed Grandma earlier in the week, she said her favorite drink growing up was switchel and her favorite food was potatoes because that's what she was used to. Haymaker's punch was served during haying time and is made with water, apple cider vinegar, molasses, honey and ginger. We also added a little bit of lemon and strawberries. Grandma said it was a little different than she remembered, mostly because we put our switchel on ice and she said they didn't. It was a pleasant surprise and didn't taste too bad either!"
I'll give you an example of how to be open to new experiences. I was carrying plastic gallons and fruit containers out to the dumpster. Everything was under control when this young lady came up and asked if she could help. I said yes and thanked her. Then I added, "I can see that you like to help people, and I didn't want to deny you the pleasure of helping me."
Helen Ostrye and her birthday cake.
She said, "You know, you're right. I never thought of it that way before."
Then I went on to say, "The problem is that helpful people seldom allow other people to help them. They think they are self-sufficient and take care of themselves. This is good and yet it's not good. We're closing the door to new relationships or strengthening old relationships. It's really pride that keeps us from accepting help. I think it's pride that was the first sin in the garden and we have to fight it."
All of this conversation was taking place on my porch. I told her the house was built for Isabelle White and showed her my apartment. After that we sat on the porch and talked like the best of friends. It seems her husband is a high school teacher and is having an affair with an 18-year-old student. They are getting a divorce. She cannot tell about the affair or he would probably lose his job, and she needs the support. Smart lady. She isn't letting her friend get in her way!
She has a healthy attitude. She's going to make a new life for herself. She's deciding which of her talents she's going to develop and get back a good self-image. That's a good start.
Here are some thoughts that might comfort you. 1) Accept the things you can't change. Have the courage to change the things you can change and develop the ability to know the difference. 2) You are only responsible for your actions, not other people's reactions. 3) If you ask yourself, "Should I or shouldn't I?," you already have your answer. If an action is right, you don't have any uncertainty. 4) Learn to accept criticism and grow by it. It's pride that is your enemy. 5) You don't have to be perfect to be perfectly happy. Thank God. 6) Choose the lines on your face. Will they be happy lines or ugly expressions? It's up to you. Thank God for choice! 7) I like this one: Dare to be different and you can make a difference. Man, that's power to do good things. 8) Let's make better families, schools and churches instead of bigger prisons. (Let's * that one!) 9) Think first and then do the unthinkable. This applies for doing good things only.
Do you know what's so amazing about all these things? We have the power to make all these positive changes that will change our lives and the lives of others. Believe it. It's true.