Grandma Van’s 100th Birthday Party

I promised some photos from our January trip to my hometown of Bethlehem, PA, where my Grandma Vantries (“Van”) turned 100 years old. She’s quite a sharp lady! Despite multiple strokes, she still plays bridge with a long term bridge group, reads multiple romance novels each week, writes letters, collects lots and lots of things, intuitively knows if you’ve understood her or not, and continues to be loved and adored by all animals, including the lovebirds outside her room. When I was a child, I remember that bluejays would land on her hand in her backyard. She used to keep parakeets and canaries until she moved into her higher care facility, but the staff put the community birdcage right outside her room. Her roommate’s cat also loves to keep her company.

David took this photo during a quick visit to Grandma’s room where I gave her a framed copy of the party invitation I designed for the 72 guests who attended the next day’s celebration.

Roundhouse Cakes Birdcage Cake

My cousin Keith’s wife, Susannah, owns a cake making company, called Roundhouse Cakes, and she provided this three tiered cake, complete with a locally acquired wooden stump. David and I only admired the outside of the cake, since the ingredients were way out of our usual fare, but everyone raved about the taste and design. Don’t feel too sorry for us! We brought strawberry cashew cheesecake slices that we picked up along our way there from Karyn’s Raw in Chicago.

I haven’t received the official photographer’s photos yet. These were all taken by David, which explains why he’s not in any of them. 😉

Happy 100th Birthday, Grandma!

Helping My Nephew Write Out His Card

My Mom and Me, Nametags and All

Hamming it up with my brother, Craig

My Sister Erica, Me, Brother Craig and my Nephews

The photographer brought some props, which were a big hit with this particular segment of the extended Derbenwick clan. My nephew Owen turned out to be quite the rockstar. Thanks to David for capturing a whole series of album cover worthy pics!

Our whirlwind visit included a surprisingly thorough amount of visiting with family, including my dad and cousin Erin, both of whom continue to request prayers for their cancer recoveries. Lots of hugs and love were shared, and David and I took my mom out to a favorite local teashop at Donegal Square.

Tea at Donegal Square

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that my other grandmother, my mom’s mom also reached a milestone birthday in January 2012. She turned 90! My mom and sister flew out to Orange County to celebrate the week after David and I returned from our adventure east. I promised to visit later this year as two long trips to opposite coasts in the same month would have been overload with the other things on our plates right now. We did find this great photo from many decades ago, showing both Gramma Irene (strawberry blond hair) and Grandma Van, along with from left to right, me, Craig and Erica. Blast from the past! Happy 90th and Happy 100th, Grandmothers!

3 responses to this post.

  1. […] I truly feel like the Ten of Cups every single day. Yesterday, shortly after I posted photos from Grandma Van’s 100th Birthday Party, the DVD of party photos arrived in the mail. In honor of Valentine’s Day and all the love in […]



  2. […] My 101-year-old grandmother passed this morning within an hour of the New Moon in Aries. I had the chance to connect with her on a soul level for the past two nights and early this morning, helping her to make the transition to the Otherworld. Some of you may remember my posts about Grandma Van’s 100th birthday party that our family celebrated last January. (Photos and tribute here). […]



  3. […] PA and the surrounding Lehigh Valley and Blue Mountain area. The last time I visited PA was for my 101-year-old Grandma Van’s funeral back in April 2013. Given that my aunt, cousin and her children were […]



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