You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘birthday’ tag.

forty one

I bought sheets today, they are white.  At forty one I trust that they will be washed and bleached enough to not be a humiliation.  Besides, I’ve wanted a white bed for awhile now.

At the foot of the bed is a footlocker my dad made.  He is clever and it opens from the back, so that robbers can’t steal my socks without being equally clever.  I assume you know it held other things awhile ago.

I’m not sure what grabs the most attention when someone first sees it.  Maybe the drapes, my mother-in-law made those for us, but I chose the fabric.  I take full responsibility for that – she tried to make me see the light, honest.  Or maybe it is Chuck – a Halloween 2001 clearance item that I bought so that he could stand next to Frosty & the Soldier at Christmastime in the all-too-brief house in Gurnee.

The more subtle stuff, the clock a grandfather I never met built, the two stained glass pieces (one by my first husband, the other by my mother’s best friend), the statue I was given because I officiated a marriage that made my family bigger, a card from my husband, pictures, Civil War memorabilia from my favorite battle (of course I have one).  Ashes of a dead man.

I shuffled it all around today.

Chuck guards it for me.

Chuck guards me while I sleep.

I have new sheets and deep memories – because I am forty one.


When I am really present in a moment, I almost never really remember it. It is why I don’t aspire to be a Writer when talking about my life. If I remember it, I wasn’t living it. In my family that makes for a lot of story telling right after the event – mainly so we can cobble together a version of it that will go with us into the future.

I have gotten a lot better about parties in recent years, I realize it is about hanging with people who already like me instead of hoping that people will like me because of a party. It took me a long time to learn that. I also learned that when I throw a party I should not purchase anything I didn’t want to eat for a week if nobody else likes it.

When I was in high school I was a band geek. As such, in my town, your senior year you dreamed of being the drum major whose skirt basically sort-of fit (there were two of us and somebody was going to march parade routes on a safety pin and a prayer). I had a cute white skirt and a talent for walking backwards down the highway. I also could take a breath and be heard hollering out “Rockin’ Robin” in the middle of a basketball game full of screaming high school girls. I loved that time in my life.

So today. Jeff & I celebrated him turning 5 and me turning 40. There were a LOT of people there, happy and celebrating and playing games. I don’t remember much except a core relief and joy. But some of the blips I remember.

Taking a big breath before I started shouting “Parents find your kids and kids find your parents”.
Dancing while a LOT of people sang Happy Birthday (up tempo) to me.
Sadie said good-bye and her sister was a dream every step of the way.
Dave introducing my turn to be sung to (sort of).
That the ice cream sundaes were a hit.
That the party was a hit.
That Jane busted it helping me with the cheese tray (and we’re going to Branded Butcher!!!!!)
My mom and dad were there.
My friends were there
My MIL & FIL were there.
My neighbors were there.
That the neighbor kids let the visiting kids get sundaes first.
The parent faces when I hollered “kids only” to go outside.
The heartbroken kids faces when the piñata wasn’t just the first round of Fight Club – but how I still think that works better.
That I got a Doctor Who mug and Pandemic and a wall hanging that says I am a Lion Tamer … and I am grateful to be known so well.
That is was just … lovely.

I’m exhausted and happy and I want to write more down my soul is full and tired.