Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Last of the 50 Series

Today marks the last of the birthdays in the 50 series for me.  59 is not so old in this day and time--at least that is what I keep telling myself.  I really don’t feel like I imagine “old” to feel like.  I can still do all the things I have been doing for the past 40 years--clean the commode, dust, run the vacuum, and cook dinner.  I can also still hike, although my feet and knees complain from time to time.  Of course, my feet have been complaining for 30 years and I just ignore them.  Gene never  complains about dinner, but if he did, I’d ignore him too.

My day started out well.  Peanut wanted to get things underway early with his breakfast at 5 AM.  That was kind of a birthday present in a way.  Sometimes he wants his breakfast at 4:30.

Gene even got up early to help me get started with my celebrations.  Between 5 and 6:30 is my morning quiet time for devotion and meditation.  This morning Gene read to me from Backpacker Magazine (on-line) about avoiding problem bears.  Since I have lately been reading from Leviticus, the knowledge that numerous studies show bears to have an aversion to stinky hikers was a bit more interesting that the instructions for offering guilt sacrifices.  I will not even mention the birthday card he gave me with a picture of a run down old hag on the front with sagging boobs and pot belly, wearing a pink nightgown, blue robe and slippers with the heads of mallards on the toes.  The back of the card, which normally gives some glowing credit to the artist, begins with something about sad-eyed, swaybacked horses.  I stopped reading after that first sentence.

Not long after breakfast, my mother called to wish me a happy birthday.   After saying “happy birthday”, she asked several times during the course of our conversation if I was going to the monthly trails meeting tonight.  I kept telling her “no” which was the same answer I gave her yesterday when she started asking this question.  I eventually learned why she was so interested in my attendance at the meeting and her seeming inability to understand the meaning of “no”.  She had planned to have a little surprise celebration with cake complete with 59 candles.  There are always refreshments following the meeting so she thought the cake would be a nice refreshment.  That’s true and it is a thoughtful gesture, but one must be careful when making plans for other people.  Besides, the meeting is held at REI and the fire produced by 59 candles could potentially set off their sprinkler system resulting in ruining their entire inventory.  It’s probably in the best interest of REI and all their members if Gene and I continue with our plan for a romantic dinner out and mother leaves the candles at home.  By the end of our conversation, it was my fault for spoiling the surprise and the meeting (not to mention the fact that she still has to make the cake because she volunteered to provide the refreshments) by refusing to come.  There is no other birthday wish like a mother’s wish.

I am sorry to miss the cake, however.  I generally don’t get cake on my birthday.  We are usually not back in Nashville this early and Gene is not one for baking cakes, for birthdays or any other time.  The closest I have gotten to birthday cake in recent years was the gift I got from very dear friends, Charlie and Jennifer.  Two years ago they gave me a cake mix, a tub of frosting, a box of candles, and instructions for making my own cake.  

So, my birthday has gotten off to a good start.  I’ve spoken with friends and other family members, gotten e-cards and paper cards, and expect the trend to continue throughout the day.  On this rainy day, Gene and I are going to our favorite used book store to stock up on reading material for the long winter days ahead.  Well, that’s not really true since we plan to be in sunny Florida, but we’ll need reading material anyway.  Then it’s dinner out, just he and I, to round out the perfect birthday.

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