Tuesday, July 30, 2013

7 or 8 of My Most Memorable Birthdays

In no particular order of importance:

1. Turning 50 in Chicago while in training with Christian Peacemaker Teams, Mom coming out for a visit, taking in the city and being with new friends, having earlier walked some Appalachian Trail both alone and with my son as my own gift to myself.  Earlier, team mates shower me with green cards, wrapping their love in color (in the color scheme that is CPT, I am green and that’s not necessarily a good thing).

2. Turning 47 in Glacier National Park, receiving scads of bouncing balls in the mail from seminary friends (if you’ve never received a bouncing ball in the mail, you are truly missing one of life’s great and fun gifts) and being serenaded by co-workers at the park with their own rendition of Take Me Home, Country Roads (yes, I know all the words and yes, Virginians, it is about West Virginia.)

3. Getting a pinball machine and a party for my 40th birthday, accompanied by lots of laughter and lots of friends.

4. Turning 6 – my first birthday party with kids and cake and a dress with a pinafore that my Grandmother made for me.

5. The many months of Beth, where friends indulged my need, my desire, to celebrate me – the laughing and silly gifts, the shared meals and jokes, the good times.

6. My 16th birthday, when I thought I was getting the keys to the kingdom (translate, access to the family car) and what I got instead was a life insurance policy on my life payable to my Dad (he laughed about that one his whole life long).

7. My 18th birthday, which I do not remember much.  The Alamo, the friends, the ritual rite of passage in America – lots and lots of beer and, to my very savvy mother’s amusement, my first crying jag.

Here I am, 58 today (well, in a few hours, to be technical about it).  I want to not like this birthday – it is far too close to 60 to suit me.  But I awake to sunshine and cool breezes, a happy birthday singing message on the phone from an old friend, apple butter left on the back porch by a new friend, bedecked with those silly clapping hands (I love those things), and the sure and certain knowledge that I am loved.  Later I will pack up my new yellow purse (gift from Mom – the envy of all the gals here, who’ve even checked out the very cool lining) – I get to carry evidence of my Mom’s love and care wherever I go.  It is a good day – and who knows?  Maybe this is the most memorable birthday of all.


  1. I wanted to make sure you would see the apple butter and the only thing I could find within eyesight was the clapping hands! I wanted it to stand out! ;) Guess it worked!!!!

  2. The look on your face - no keys - just paperwork - priceless!!!!!!