Heading To The Ifbc And Learning More About 93 - Hudson Valley Handymom Blog at Allrecipes.com - 311581

Hudson Valley Handymom

Heading to the IFBC and Learning More about 93 
Sep. 26, 2013 9:01 am 
Updated: Oct. 1, 2013 8:47 pm

Read more blog thoughts by me at www.hudsonvalleyhandymom.com

I'm not one to travel much, but was excited about the opportunity to attend the International Food Blogger Conference in Seattle recently.  My lack of travel experience led me to be unprepared for delays.  When I say delays, I'm talking about over eight hours of airport waiting time - something that no one really wants to deal with in life. When something like this takes place, the greatest thing in the world is to run into a fellow travel companion that can share your bad fortune.

After the first three hours of delays in New York, I was seated next to a woman who was heading to Seattle too.  She had lived in New York most of her life.  We spoke on the plane and discovered we had the same connecting flight.  We also discovered she had lived in a town near mine. During this course of conversation, I had told her that my eldest daughter was 23 years old.  She didn't think I looked old enough to have a daughter that age.  Then, she told me that she is 93 years old.  I was shocked.  If I had to guess her age, I'm positive I would've placed her in her 60's or early 70's, but 93?

I watched how she kept up the pace when she walked among the crowd of irritated travelers.  Her eyes literally glistened when she spoke.  It was so obvious she had a good heart too.  I found myself becoming irritated as I watched people who felt their lives were more important than hers as they pushed past her. The history of her life must be so interesting. I'm positive she must have survived many things. Yet, these people acted as though she didn't matter, and I felt compelled to watch out for the stampede of angry elephants.

We made a mad rush to get to our connecting flight.  We made it just in time - she went by a vehicle.  I went by foot.  However, once we arrived at a gate, we had a gate change.  Then, we had another gate change.  The time started changing on our flight.  Before we knew it, we were in for a five hour delay.

Both of us were weary from our travels.  We had been awake on east coast time.  We had already gone through a three hour delay at the previous airport. Without much else to do, we decided to get some food.  Colette informed me that she had never eaten at McDonald's.  Out of all the places that existed in the airport, she had her eye on the infamous MickyD's.  She told me that her husband wouldn't eat there, so she never had anything from McDonald's.  After finding out he lived to be 94, I thought this might have been a smart move on his part.

She had a gleam in her eye - an act of rebellion.  She stepped up to order and wasn't sure what she wanted to get and went for the McNuggets.  As the employee was handing her a bag, I leaned over and said, "This is her FIRST time at McDonald's, and she's 93!"  The manager rushed in and said, "I have to give her something! What should I give her?"  The crowd unanimously yelled, "Apple pie!"  He quickly wrapped up an apple pie.  "Did she get dipping sauce?" I asked.  He asked her what she wanted, and she went for the honey mustard.

20130919_180302Colette stepping up to order despite not knowing the McDonald's fast food way. She made a crash decision in the heat of the moment.

We sat down to eat our McDonald's meals.  To me, it was something I did with the kids on rare occasion and not necessarily anything wonderful and fabulous.  To Colette, it was like watching a teenager sneak out late at night while on restriction.  The look on her face was priceless.

As we waited for hours, I handed over my New York Times to Colette so she could pass the time.  I went to charge my phone for a bit, came back, and spotted this:
She went back for seconds.

We should all live life appreciating small things.  Most of all, no matter how old we get, we should always be willing to try new things, meet new people, go on adventures, and not live in fear.  Colette didn't just order a couple of meals from McDonald's that day. She ventured out on her own across the country.  She didn't have a cell phone.  She didn't whine about life.  She didn't get upset over plane changes, time changes, or delays.  She went forward with enthusiasm and with the eyes of a child seeking out new experiences.  She tried to keep up with the crowd.  She didn't get irritated with people pushing past her.  She just lived each moment with a good heart, good conversation, and offered to share half of her apple pie and whatever goodwill she could offer.  If I ever live to be 93, I hope I'm like Colette.  Even if I never make it to that age, it wouldn't hurt to live that way now.  Colette, I don't know if you'll ever read this, but you are an inspiration to others in life.  Your children must be so thankful to have you as a mother, and I'm positive you have impacted many lives as you have mine.

Our society is really messed up regarding our views of the elderly.  I look at those older than me as having great life experiences that they can share.  You never know what the person has been through in life or what you can learn from them.  If you're lucky, you might even discover their secrets to living a good life.  If you're extremely fortunate, you may learn something about how to enjoy the little things in life no matter what kind of monkey wrenches are thrown your way.

My grandmother once told me, "Inside, I still feel like I'm sixteen.  Then, I walk by the mirror and wonder who that old woman is looking back at me."  I think there comes a time where we all stop aging in our brain, but have a collection of moments in time that give us wisdom in our aging years.  Watching Colette take things in stride, not get irritated, and look for new opportunities for adventure made me realize that we are never too old to live life to the fullest.  Perhaps, that's her secret to looking so much younger than her years and being 93.  Her vigor for life and kind heart shone through.  Her appreciation for the good in others was also prevalent.  Thank you, Colette, for teaching the rest of us how life should be lived.  You certainly taught me a few lessons in our delayed day to Seattle....and maybe that's why I was blessed with delays - to spend time with a really great person who was the best delay date ever.




Sep. 26, 2013 2:07 pm
Great blog. Thanks for sharing!
Sep. 26, 2013 2:18 pm
excellent blog! she certainly doesn't look 93. what a great way to share some quality time with someone so patient. you have a very large heart!
Sep. 26, 2013 2:25 pm
Donna, I can't believe this lady is 93. She is so full of life. Thought provoking blog-makes you think you really need to enjoy and live each day to the fullest!
Sep. 26, 2013 6:53 pm
She was a good person. I think SHE had a very large heart. What a great lady to aspire to be!
Sep. 27, 2013 7:50 am
Love this blog! Totally agree that we don't notice the treasure of our chronologically gifted people.
Sep. 27, 2013 8:46 am
Great blog.Can't believe she is 93!! Thanks for sharing.
Sep. 27, 2013 9:07 am
What an uplifting blog! I LOVE the pictures and was totally cracking up that she went back for seconds! LOL. Thank you for sharing your brief visit with her! Your message is very thought-provoking and inspirational, as well!
Sep. 27, 2013 11:57 am
There are two things of equal value to take from this. As we age, it is important to remain interested in the world around us and be willing to try new things. That is what makes Colette so appealing. And we need to be more like Donna and take the extra minute to listen or help that older person.
Sep. 27, 2013 11:59 am
Oh, and I want to be just like her!
Sep. 27, 2013 12:35 pm
Maybe if we dont eat McDs we'll look like her. seriously! cute blot!
Sep. 27, 2013 3:39 pm
Thanks so much for the comments. I really appreciate the kind words, and, yes, I think we all need to appreciate things like Colette. She does look pretty darn good, doesn't she? Even better was her attitude.
Sep. 27, 2013 6:07 pm
She is beautiful both inside and out! Thanks for sharing donnam, I really enjoyed reading! It was so inspiring!
Sep. 27, 2013 6:46 pm
Lovely blog. Thanks so much for sharing your experience. I'm sure I will think of Colette often. As for your grandmother's comment, I think that is such a common sentiment as we age. She expressed it perfectly. Aging is a strange trip.
Sep. 28, 2013 4:13 pm
Beautiful story! She certainly is young for her age, and you were a good person to be so caring of her. I'm sure she was as happy to have your company as you were hers. I've always been drawn to the elderly - they ALL have interesting stories and love to have somebody listen. Thanks for reminding all of us of this!
Sep. 28, 2013 4:25 pm
If we all get lucky enough to make it there, I hope we can have the Colette attitude. It certainly does bring the perspective the damage stress can bring into a person's life. I think her secret may be looking at every moment as an opportunity...even when it involves eight hours of delays.
Sep. 28, 2013 7:19 pm
Aren't you glad you stopped to smell the roses? Sometimes it's important NOT to stay on task.
Sep. 29, 2013 7:40 am
HAHA..the roses issue was forced at that point. The powers that be wouldn't have us flying anywhere. I think Colette stopped and smelled the roses more than anyone.
Sep. 29, 2013 11:42 am
What a heart warming blog, donnam! How blessed where you to have someone so inspirational keep you looking at the brighter side?!?!? And it says something about you, too, that you were able to recognize a special person and take the time to get to know her! What an amazing woman!
Sep. 29, 2013 6:45 pm
The best blessed part of it is that we are able to keep in touch now. I wish I had known years ago that she use to only live 7 miles from my house. Now, she's across the country.
Sep. 29, 2013 7:16 pm
"If you are beautiful at 20, it's nature. If you are beautiful at 60 or 70 it's your soul's own doing." A quote from a calender my folks gifted me years ago. I have an envelope in my nighstand to save those essential ideas. Lovely story and joyful experience for you and for us because you shared with us.
Sep. 29, 2013 8:01 pm
I love that quote! That's probably so true!
Mrs J 
Sep. 30, 2013 10:02 am
Wonderful blog! Thanks for writing!
Sep. 30, 2013 6:02 pm
She looks amazing Donna, what a great story to start your trip off with!
Oct. 1, 2013 1:53 pm
What great happenstance to meet Colette. Such a heart warming story. Life has it's ways of bringing us back to earth.
Oct. 1, 2013 2:15 pm
She has a smile that spreads blessings.... Thank you for sharing your story. :)
Oct. 1, 2013 3:02 pm
Great story. Thanks for sharing.
Oct. 1, 2013 3:07 pm
Colette's smile is the kind that I love seeing when I'm out and reminds me to never stop chatting with people. Thanks for giving us the story.
Oct. 1, 2013 3:17 pm
what a great way to spend a delay. I love talking to people with more "wisdom". My favorite day to work is Wednesday, senior day @ Kroger. I get so many hugs and kisses, I feel so blessed by all of them.
Oct. 1, 2013 3:22 pm
Wonderful wonderful story!
Oct. 1, 2013 3:46 pm
What a blessing to have met this wonderful woman! She is an inspiration to us all.
Oct. 1, 2013 3:51 pm
I might add that this was a win, win situation.
Oct. 1, 2013 7:35 pm
What a wonderful story! Thank you for sharing, and you too bd :) I tell my kids all the time, you just wait! One day you will feel just like you do now and some old person will be looking back at you from the mirror. I watched "Political Animals" recently and enjoyed it, but wished that Sigourney Weaver hadn't dyed her hair. When Hollywood truly values the experience of older people, including how we look, maybe society will change their views.
Oct. 1, 2013 8:47 pm
Thank you for a wonderful story of compassion and hope and promise!
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About Me
I am an Allrecipes Allstar Brand Ambassador (a volunteer position), and I am not compensated for my work with Allrecipes.com. Products received from advertisers are only used for experience-based reviews on my personal blog. The reviews, content, and opinions expressed in this blog are all my own. **************** By the age of seven, I would wander into the local library to check out cookbooks to make creations at home. When I became a mother to four daughters, I had a good sized family to feed. I became great with saving money and making wonderful meals without breaking the bank. I started using the original Allrecipes sites when I was in my 20's in 1997. I made the discovery by typing in "cookierecipes.com" to see what would happen. From then on, I became an Allrecipes.com addict. I didn't "officially" join until 2010, but I've been here the entire time. :) Allrecipes saved me many times over for parties, pot lucks, graduations-even my oldest daughter's college senior recital.
My favorite things to cook
I love to bake breads, cookies, cakes, and pies. I have a smoker and love to grill. Whenever I want some company, I fire up the smoker and make my own homemade BBQ sauce for pulled pork. If that doesn't get you company in NY, nothing will. I create my own recipes, but love learning from other people. I love to see ideas, promote them, and share creativity. I can't think of anything I don't enjoy making. I just love trying to make anything. Holidays are some of my favorite times of the year. Allrecipes contains the secret to my success regarding making succulent turkey (yes, I once was a dry turkey person- NOT ANYMORE). I enjoy coming up with new ideas, new ways to use products, and I always like to test out new items that hit the shelves at the stores. I consider my kitchen to be my laboratory. However, I'm not opposed to quick and easy meals when life makes the call for it! After all, life was meant to be enjoyed...and, sometimes, that means quick and easy meals!
My favorite family cooking traditions
Holidays and birthdays are my favorite times of the year. I enjoy making old family favorites and spending time together with my family. For Thanksgiving, I turned to Allrecipes years ago and discovered what putting a turkey in a brine can do. I tried it that year and never turned back. My husband proclaimed that I made the best turkey he ever ate. So, every year, I cut up all the vegetables ahead of time for the Thanksgiving meal. Then, I put the remains into a stockpot and create my own vegetable stock for a turkey brine. After soaking the turkey, I cook the turkey in a bag to make the most succulent turkey around. It's so juicy that it's hard to believe it's Thanksgiving - and there's no need to buy a special brand of turkey to get this result. I also love the old family go-to recipes. However, for stuffing, I found that making a homemade Challah bread creates the most unbelievable stuffing ever. Using a bread machine can make the whole process easier. You won't regret it!
My cooking triumphs
I started creating my own recipes when I had to live out of a pantry with little funds. I enjoy being creative, and this led to me becoming published. Later, I became an Allstars Brand Ambassador. I love the program because it let me be a part of a company that I respect and love so much in a way that I couldn't have imagined. Being a Brand Ambassador has been such a huge honor and great experience. I've met so many wonderful people due to it, and was thrilled to have the opportunity to represent Allrecipes through roasting pumpkin seeds on the Better TV show. I just want to give a big shout out to Better TV for giving me the opportunity to represent Allrecipes - a website I've been visiting for over 15 years. Here are the links to the pumpkin seed roasting: http://better.tv/view/food--amp--recipes2-food--amp--recipes-how-to-roast-pumpkin-seeds http://better.tv/view/food--amp--recipes2-food--amp--recipes-roasting-pumpkin-seeds-part-2
My cooking tragedies
I started cooking at a young age, and most of my mistakes took place during that time period. As a child, company was constant in our home. My mother knew I loved to cook and asked if I could make some of my Blonde Brownies for dessert that night for our company. I was 12 years old, and gladly started to prepare the dish. Unfortunately, my mother was out of vegetable oil. I went to the fridge and took out some reserve oil she had filtered after using it for deep frying. I figured it was still good and added it to the brownies. That night, when dinner was finished, the brownies were brought out. I took a bite of mine, and dropped it on the plate. The company ate the brownies and stated how good they were. My brownie had a horrible taste. It was at that moment that I realized the reserved oil was from my mother frying fish. Never again did I test the waters of used oil.
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