Saturday, April 21, 2018

another April 21st

How well I know this date! How happy I am that it has rolled around once more, making me, as of today, a 65-year old!

Each year, I feel a little immodest writing here about my own birthday, posting photos that inevitably include many more images of me -- and not of the silly selfie type, but legitimate pics taken by others. It's not as if I regard this as my day. It's happy insofar as I know that all people I care about are in a good place in life. And if I spend some moments with them -- in person, over the phone, texting, messaging, card sharing -- well now, my cup could not be fuller.

But it is true that I am very aware of the date. Most of us keenly feel the coming of our own birthday. (Ed may be the only person I know who completely seems indifferent to it.) Life is not always kind and so when you feel you've had a good year, I think it's reason enough to rejoice.

Today, I surely feel like rejoicing.

Let me put up just a few photos. Beginning with a mini-breakfast. For once, Ed takes the camera.

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Though in reality, my day does not begin in the midst of beautiful flowers. Instead, I come downstairs and find this:

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The humbling reality sets in: the chicks had been given "Paris" yesterday. No more will they roost contentedly at the edge of the box. They want to explore. To scratch, search, discover. And so they set out. And I'm left with scrubbing the floors, eliminating traces of their poop.

Ed finds a screen. We put it over their box. You have lost your edge-of-box privileges! (On the upside, when the day warms a little, they'll have their outdoor time again.)

Too, the cat (dare I call her our cat?) comes calling again. Out comes the food. (The cheepers like her, she likes them.)

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Ed says -- she should have a name.
I tell him -- I'll suggest some names to Snowdrop and get her input.
Later: Snowdrop, we need to name the visiting cat. I was thinking, because today we're eating brunch at Sardine Restaurant, maybe we should call her Sardine?
Snowdrop is in the stroller and we're walking rapidly toward our brunch venue. She responds -- how about if we call her Stop Sign? And for a nick name -- Bicycle?
I tell the others -- she wants "Stop Sign." Ed responds -- sounds good!
I push this a bit -- maybe we should just call her Bicycle? 
Snowdrop interjects -- her name can be Bicycle, but then her nickname should be Car!

I think we'll stick with Stop Sign. Or Sardine. Or both.

It isn't very warm in the morning hours. Nonetheless, our quick stroll through at least a fragment of the Farmers Market is fantastic.  I mean, after a winter that would not go away, it's so grand to see the markets colors again!

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(A helpful child...)

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At Sardine Restaurant, the young family brings in colorful packages. Ed joins us and once again I think how this is the only time when Snowdrop seems so small -- when she is standing by him...

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She hands over cards and helps me with the awesome packages...

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We eat (she shares Ed's fries)...

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And eventually she crawls into my lap.

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There is a pastry, a song, a candle...

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There are happy grins.

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It's time to return home. Ed had come to the brunch by motorbike, I had driven over by car (so that I could do some market time with the young family). I'm home first. In fact, time passes and there is no Ed.

What happened??

Some ten minutes later he shows up with balloon and card in hand. If you knew Ed, you'd understand how much of a reach this is for him. I'll forever remember that on my 65th, there he stood, with balloon plastered to a card...

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In the late afternoon, he and I take the plunge and go to the greenhouse, where I pick up annuals for our outdoor flower pots (the greenhouse just opened this weekend for the season).

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There are only two or three others filling carts (prematurely!) with annuals. These plants are tender: they wont like night temperature dips into the thirties. Most anyone would advise a gardner to wait until we get a steady flow of warm days and warm nights.

But that's not me: I'm always an early planter. I'll watch the forecast and haul in the tenderest plants to the mudroom each night if I have to. I'll harden them slowly. And in the end, they'll survive and be fine. And I will love their color all summer long.

(Peach, the hen, is with me on this!)

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I'll end with a selfie. Why not! I'm 65!

(The sun comes out, I take out the shovel and dig up the crab grass and creeping charlie so that I can sow some seeds here tomorrow.)

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Evening. Take out Thai food and a newly opened bottle of fantastic white Burgundy. We watch Grand Designs (a show on architectural innovations in the UK) and listen to the chicks settle in for their night.

You can be a young child, you can be sixty-five -- it hardly matters. When you finish off a birthday, what you're left with is the year before you. Another chance to put your good foot forward. It doesn't have to be your best foot. A good effort will do. And then next year, if all goes reasonably well, you can rejoice again! With a deep exhale... And, one hopes, a wide smile.