With family at her side on a sunny day, Mary Hatfield welcomed a stream of guests and waved from her front porch as passing vehicles honked to wish her a happy 90th birthday.
“90 years. Can you believe it? “I never thought I’d make it this long,” she said, looking up from a stack of cards and old photos in her lap.
Hatfield received at least 125 birthday cards, along with numerous bouquets and flower arrangements, a handmade poster and a big bologna sandwich “with mustard and onions” – presented by Robin Cline Rice, who fondly recalled eating such sandwiches with Hatfield.
By midafternoon, Hatfield’s reaction to honking cars was almost automatic. Family members explained the large “yard card” sign encouraging people to honk as they passed by on Cannonsburg Road was put in place late the night before, and they worried the activity would awaken her.
“I wasn’t asleep,” she said with a grin.
Masked visitors, many who attend a nearby church with Hatfield, sometimes simply handed off their gifts and kept their distance. “That is one special lady there,” said John Smith, who stopped by with his wife, Donna, and a hand-crafted poster to celebrate Hatfield’s special day.
Some guests accepted the invitation to sit on the porch and enjoy a piece of birthday cake and a cup of coffee, joining in the friendly waving as the honking continued. Hatfield said the front-porch fellowship reminded her of old friends and good memories – and church family in particular.
“Oh, how I miss going to church. I can’t wait to go again when things get back to normal,” Hatfield said, waving and smiling at yet another honking motorist.
Story and Photos by TIM PRESTON
Carter County Post