I turned 61 this week. It was a birthday I'd intended to skip. I didn't circle it on any calendars or leave notes to remind people. But, we live in a social networking age and all of my friends on Facebook found out it was my birthday when they signed in on Wednesday. Dozens of them festooned my wall with birthday greetings and well wishes. I have to admit, it was really very nice. Having so many people acknowledge that the day is special for me made me feel special and loved. I savored the attention.
Bill always had a hard time remembering my birthday; and I found if I wanted it acknowledged, I had to bring it to his attention. The year I was pregnant with Emily (1986), he forgot it altogether until Josh came bouncing out to breakfast wishing me a "Happy Birthday, Mom!" Bill looked like he'd been slapped upside the head with a cod. He tried, mightily, to remember it in the years after that, but it was a losing battle. I took to buying myself the gift of a season subscription to the Arena Stage every year and planning a dinner out together at Nova Europa in Silver Spring. Last year, the subscription was to Arvada Center, and dinner was at Armando's. Bill even made note of that dinner on his Facebook page.
This year, Josh and I shared Armando's takeout and a bottle of Chianti at home in front of the TV. He and Emily gave me the gift of music: Florence and the Machine and Adele, as well as a memory card for my Blackberry so I can use it as an mp3 player. I also got beautiful irises from one girlfriend and a wonderful book of daily meditations from another. There was a phone message that another gift from another girlfriend is on its way. I am well-gifted this year, showered with gifts, including the gift I bought myself -- a new stereo receiver for the Big Bad Blue Bronco that can play the music from my phone using Bluetooth.
Josh and I are getting the Big Bad Blue Bronco ready to go on the road later this month, with the camper behind it, as I embark on a tender journey (along with Jack and Gidget) from Parker to San Antonio, Texas and back. At times, we will be following the same route that Bill and I took last year in May and June as we took our final road trip together. (And at times, we won't be following that route. I never want to drive through much less camp at Dalhart TX again as long as I live!) We'll visit friends in San Angelo, San Antonio, Rusk, and Midlothian; but mostly we're going down to San Antonio to take my oldest daughter Berinda for a week of camping on the Texas Gulf Coast.
It will be a great adventure, and a great way to begin my 62nd year on the planet! Happy birthday to me!