Thursday, April 21, 2016

April 21

Some people wake up on their birthday and think -- I wish no one would remind me it's my birthday. Some (Ed, for example) wake up and don't really remember that it is their day of birth. Some think a party is a cool way to get loud and happy. I know one person who invites a dozen of her best women friends to lunch on her birthday (one year I was included, other years I was not). And if you're the Queen of England (she and I share this date for a birthday), you can let the populace cheer and you can keep the bars open past their normal closing hour.

What I think is grand is that everyone is pretty much free to interpret this day as they wish. Ignore it, revel in it, talk about it, stay silent -- it's yours and the wonderfully democratic thing about it is that everyone's got one (and thus we all have to share -- as I do with the Queen).

Me, I shamelessly admit to loving my birthday, though I can't quite figure out why. Neither can Ed, but he surprised me last night by coming home from his evening bike ride with a bag full of chocolate bars and a birthday card. Knowing how much he likes to avoid engaging in the traditional and emotive, I was touched.

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This morning, before breakfast, I watch the rabbit family cavort around the big wood pile. The groundhog made a dash for her hiding place under the writer's shed. Birds chirp, hens cluck. It's all so lovely. And yes, there will be sunshine. I can tell.

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From the garden, let me highlight my favorite narcissus from the current bloomers. It's sometimes called the Chinese Sacred Lily:

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And boom! Here comes sunshine! The farmette, as viewed from the porch:

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Yes, we eat breakfast on the porch. It's warm enough!

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... and today you're stuck with a photo of me as well (straight out of the shower). To demonstrate I made it to 63.

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We talk about a number of things pertaining to our work outside. A recurrent topic has been that of acquiring ducks. Ed things it's a grand idea, as they eat slugs, bugs and other such nonsense. I'm hesitant. Ducks also eat flowers and trample over gardens. I already have to repair damage to the flower fields every single day as the cheepers claw at them regularly with their dinosaur feet in search of bugs. I don't want to wake up to shredded daylilies, gratis a pair of ducks.

But we talk about it anyway.
We could use an old tin tub for their water play. Or Snowdrop's wagon...
Alright, a tub.
With fencing around their area of play.
Some people say if they have enough space, they wont damage the yard...
Other people say they eat literally everything. Like goats, only with webbed feet...

And so on.

The rest of the day is so much like any other that Ed can rightly say -- you see, every day is like your birthday! And yet... There are the thoughtful and lovely gifts from my daughters. And there is that wonderful cheerfulness to this day. I'll love any day that oozes good cheer!

A few Snowdrop moments, for she, of course, is very much part of this day:

After her bath, as we study yesterday's photos.

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Then, upon hearing the magic words (want to go outside?) she looks at me instantly and asks in her way -- you mean we can go out, out, out, over there, now?

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Shoes, socks, sweater.
Ready? Go get your penguin!

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Neighborhood walk:

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All the way to the distant coffee shop where again it's warm enough to sit outdoors.

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Trying to stay away from overly sweet bites, I've not given her anything with chocolate, but I decide that we can celebrate my birthday by buying a chocolate chip cookie today -- mostly for Ed, but with a bit broken off for us to share. Does she love it? Sure, though not as much as watching the baby at the table next to ours.

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She's down to one nap now and she wakes up after it tussled but happy.

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I watch her leaf through books and I think about how much joy she gets just from studying the pages.

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It's nearly evening. I drive back to the farmette where honestly, I don't remember ever seeing such beautiful old orchard trees on April 21st!

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In the evening, Ed and I join his friends who are in town for a dinner at Brasserie V. Corks pop, french fries sizzle.

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But at 63, you make a point of coming home in time to see the sun go down behind the willow. There are cheepers to lock up, tomato plants to take inside.

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And that's such a good thing!


  1. Sounds like a most satisfactory birthday!

  2. You find a way to make nearly every day seem lovely, but in this case, sounds like nature and those you love gave you a particularly lovely birthday. Happy belated birthday!

  3. Apple blossoms??!! Or are they cherry blosdoms? In either case, you're way ahead of Western New York!

  4. Happy Birthday (a day late) Nina. I didn't realize you were a week before me! In 6 days I turn 68, and feel quite over the hill. You look great and you seem to feel great, so I'm guessing you ARE great! Congrats for hitting 63 and wishing you many more returns of the Day! oxo

  5. Happy Birthday, Nina. I hope that your year ahead will be a wonderful one.
    Kerry (from Calgary)

  6. Thank you thank you for all your kind wishes!

  7. Oh, oh. I come late with birthday wishes as well. I was working on French lessons until very late last night. I did not complete my work, nor did I get farther than to see you had posted. What a lovely day you had. Congratulations.


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