Two Sidecars for Mom

My mom has always loved a 1950’s drink called a Sidecar.  A simple cocktail…cognac, orange liqueur and lemon…with sugar around the rim of the glass.  In all my 71 years of knowing my mom…I have never seen her drunk…but I have seen her with a big smile on her face after a couple of Sidecars. More about that in a moment.

These days, mom lives in a beautiful assisted living place near our family home in Palos Verdes, California.  She is closing in on 98 years old.  She is happy, healthy, a bit frail and has some memory issues…short term memory is not good at all, but she still remembers much of the past and recognizes and interacts with family by name…and we are thankful for that gift.

Since Linda and I live in Hawaii, we can not see her as much as we would like.  Happy to say, both of my kids (now adults) and our grandkids all live near her.  Her younger sister Jeannie, who lived with and cared for her after my dad passed away, often travels in from Colorado to see my mom.  So, my mom sees family often.

This year at Thanksgiving, our daughter Stephanie, her husband Joe and two of our grand kids stopped by to see mom.  They brought along two Sidecars for her (Joe’s idea).  Mom was delighted and said it was the best birthday ever (ok…she missed on that part a bit…Thanksgiving not birthday…but, I repeat, she is nearly 98 years old and had consumed two Sidecars).  She also mentioned that it was a great way to start the day, which amused the grand kids to no end given that it was 6pm at night.

Why do I even bring up this small little bit of family business…I do it just to say that I am really thankful to still have my wonderful mom around.  I am also thankful for both of my kids and their families that have supported, loved and often cared for my parents…and now just my mom…for many many years…and not because I have asked them to do so…they have always done it because they love our family.  In case Jim or Stephanie or their spouses or kids ever read this blog…please know that I noticed their loving care and kindness and I will always appreciate it.  And, yes, I expected nothing less.

As for my aunt Jeannie…she literally gave up years of her life to care for my dad, mom and my sister…moving from Colorado to California to do so…enduring some very difficult times and her own physical problems…all because she loves my mom and our family.  So Jeannie…I love my mom too…and I sure love you.  Thank you.

And how about this…my best friend, Mike Fayles, sends my mom new clothing several times a year…so she always looks great.  Mom has always been a good looking woman and Mike makes sure she keeps the old guys at her assisted living place chasing after her.  You know why Mike does this?  Because he loves my mom and our family and he is one thoughtful son of a gun. Thanks Mike.

Thanksgiving has come and gone for another year…but we all have so much to be thankful for everyday.  I understand how screwed up the world is right now…but I hope we can all take a moment everyday and focus on the things in our lives that are not screwed up…that bring us joy…that fill our hearts….and then go out and knock back a couple of Sidecars to get the day going.






  1. Mary Fall on November 27, 2018 at 3:03 pm

    Beautiful! I’m proud to call you my friend! Your mom could not have a better son!

    • Don Hurzeler on November 27, 2018 at 3:27 pm

      And I am proud to have you as my friend. Would be even more proud if you found a way to take a trip over here to the Big Island…hint hint. Aloha.

  2. mike fayles on November 27, 2018 at 6:12 pm

    Don, you really turned out to be one great guy. Now full disclosure, there were many years Coleen and Jim would not have chimed in on this heap of praise from a very prejudiced friend!

    • Don Hurzeler on November 28, 2018 at 12:40 am

      Mike…as you well know, my folks never had any idea of how to control me or contain me in any way. They figured I was either going to end up in jail or as President and either one would have been fine with them. I think the greatest gifts they gave me were the freedom to explore the things that interested me, the freedom to just not participate in the things that bored me (like most of the classes in school) and the best gift of all…building a house on a hill that had you as my neighbor just one lot away. We are the lucky ones. Love you Mike.

  3. Diane on November 28, 2018 at 1:07 am

    Your posts- your writing – always creates an emotion in me – (and isn’t that what all writers strive for – to evoke – to make someone feel … something !) More often than not, I find myself nodding as I read… at the turn of a phrase, or a visual you create… nodding in familiarity…
    and smiling…
    You bring smiles my man…. you bring smiles… Sending one your way

    • Don Hurzeler on November 28, 2018 at 3:30 am

      Big thanks…and I will really be smiling Thursday evening. Two years of dental hell coming to a quite happy end. Old guy with good looking teeth…it is a start. Love to write and happy when it gets a reaction. Aloha.

  4. Elisabeth Bostrom on November 28, 2018 at 7:43 am

    Thank you for your blogs. Initially I thought I was just blessed by your photos. You give me such wonderful memories. But your blogs are wonderful too. I am so glad you still have your Mon to enjoy. We sure had the bestchildhood growing up in PV. Besides our rural land and the incredible ocean, we had a very superior education in PVUSD. We had all that and lived on the edge of one of the most sophisticated cities in the world. I guess only now can we appreciate it. We sure were blessed. ❤️

  5. Anita Bourke on November 30, 2018 at 7:26 am

    Don – I always enjoy your writing and the very thoughtful, humorous and touching things you have to say. Your Thanksgiving blog brings a big smile to my face. You have a wonderful family and many friends. Good to remember all we are thankful for. I have had some wonderful adventures with you and Linda through the years and great support through a number of life’s difficulties. I hope we have many more fun times together – I am thankful to have you as my friend!

    • Don Hurzeler on November 30, 2018 at 11:50 am

      Lifes difficulties…yup…we have had those for sure. And yet, we are still standing. Thankful to have you as my friend as well. I will email or message you to tell you the sad tale of the almost end to my dental saga yesterday. Aloha.