Tuesday, April 21, 2015

...on April 21st

I  don't believe I have ever lived through an April 21st when there hasn't been at least a speck of blue in the sky. This year, I thought I'd lose that golden streak -- the weather was slated to be cold and gray, but as Ed and I sat down in the kitchen for our breakfast...


... we looked up to see gentle light painting our porch outside. Sunshine!


You might ask how it is that I remember the weather patterns on this day so clearly. Well, it's something that stands out for me because I was born on this day. My mom used to say the sunshine on April 21st matched my disposition (this was when I was a child), but realistically, the sunshine on this day and my luck to have it there has more to do with the fact that I've always lived in the northern hemisphere (and northern portions of it), where April weather can change with a snap of a finger. Clouds can quickly disperse, or accumulate. Today, they give me at least that glimmer of hope.

This year's advanced spring means that I will be seeing plenty of daffodils in my flower beds. Their beauty is so rewarding that I have planted them among other perennials. They overwhelm my beds with golden color even in this young time of the year, where not much is blooming.


Once they're done, I have to put up with months of spent stalks (they wont rebloom next year if you cut them back). So enjoy them now! This is their moment -- a few weeks of utter beauty.


From early in the morning, we watch carefully the movements of the cheeper pack. Initially, they're cautious, as if calibrating things afresh: are we the same as before? Does the reappearance of Oreo put us in the same positions again?

The answer is yes. Within an hour, they're moving as a group. There is no fighting among the girls. Scotch isn't shunned, the white girls appear almost docile.


I pick up the loaded water pistol again, but I also tell myself that if I'm to live with Oreo, I must not shy away from him. I've grown so used to side stepping around him that it's almost impossible for me to head out without carving my path in ways that avoid coming close to his sharp beak. But this wont do. I have to not care. And so I teach myself to regain control of my space. Not easy. At 62, you tend to be more cautious, less brazen.

What else happens at 62? Well, in America, I become eligible for social security. In other words, I am officially a senior. (In Europe, in most places, I entered senior status at 60.) I suppose I can glare at the young people who occupy spots on public transportation that are reserved for seniors. (In Poland, young people automatically get up when they see someone older standing. There's no hesitation. It happens instantly.) Now if only there was public transportation for me to use!

Alright, back to this day -- a special one for me and made so much grander because it comes at such a beautiful time of the year!

I have a "girls only" lunch: my daughter and her daughter take me out to lunch!

let's go!


(And I eagerly await a second celebratory meal, to include my other daughter, later in the month.)

And then Snowdrop comes over to the farmhouse for her weekly Tuesday visit.

mommy's hands: total trust

You must be patient with Snowdrop photos today! Call it a birthday privilege!

grandma, I'm not so good at standing yet...

but I'm getting better at sitting!

and I'm great at lying down!


book time!

big hands, little hands

After, Ed and I head out to our favorite local chocolate store (Candinas) where Ed lets me select a box of truffles for the weeks ahead. (We share a truffle or two after dinner every night.)


Finally, he and I go out to dinner. We're in search of mussels and fries. Our go-to place, Brasserie V, is out of mussels, so we amble over to the back up plan -- Jac's. It is a completely satisfying meal, eaten as always (when we have the chance) at the bar.

The day ends quietly. Ed writes a birthday note, I talk to family, I read your wonderful, kind, happy words. Perhaps the best part about birthdays is to hear those wonderful, kind, happy words.


  1. Happy Birthday! I can see your day was filled with love and making good memories. I love the photo of the peepers but the ones of Snow Flower are absolutely wonderful. She seems more observant now. Filled with curiosity. She is so dang cute! You just beam when you hold her. Such happiness!

  2. Happy birthday, dear Nina! My favorite photos: the chickens w/daffodils in background (Oreo is one gorgeous rooster, isn't he?) and the two of Snowdrop, from yesterday & today, sitting up on the couch -- she looks so pleased with herself! Wow, is she growing up quickly. Oh, and the mother/daughter/granddaughter pic is lovely. Many happy returns!

  3. Hope your being brazen with Oreo will help.

    I love your and Ed's idea of very special truffles to be shared over an extended time. Sounds like you had a lovely birthday!

  4. Your day is pretty much over by now (I'm sure you're already sleeping!) but accept my wishes for many happy returns of the day! A day with Snowdrop is a gift in itself -- thank you for sharing her with us so generously!

    1. I share that last thought entirely!

      "Happy Birthday, Grandma Nina" is what we just know she's thinking... and next year she'll probably even say it! (She's adorable in a dress.)

  5. The selfie is so adorable and the truffles look divine. Happy birthday my friend!!

  6. Happy birthday, Nina! Hasn't this been a WONDERFUL year for you! Here's to another good one ahead.

  7. Happy Birthday Nina, and Happy Homecoming Oreo! I wonder what he's told the girls as to where he went and what he did? Hmmm, the mussels reminded me that when my birthday rolls around soon, it's fried clams time! I'd almost forgotten!!! Glad you had blue skies for your special day. xox

  8. Thank you, all! If you're in the neighborhood, stop by for a chocolate!


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