I fully intended to write this post today complete with pictures. In typical fashion, I'm down to the midnight hour as it were, so this post comes au natural, which is actually appropriate because that's the way I came too 60 years ago!!
10 Years Ago--We had just moved to Omaha two weeks previously. My son, Taggart, had been deployed to Kuwait and then on to Baghdad with the First Marines. This was truly a time of terror in my life. The entire 3 months he was gone, I was glued to the news or on my knees praying. The traumatic move from NJ to Nebraska sort of compounded my emotions as well. On April 15, 2003, our home was still full of boxes. Some new furniture dotted the new space. We were getting the lay of the land, and Jerry was settling in to a new work environment. I would not begin working again for 18 months. Nevertheless, I celebrated my birthday by treating myself to a burrito at a local Mexican cantina and then puppy shopping at the Omaha Humane Society (which incidentally is actually worth a trip to Omaha to see!!!) It would be 6 months before Mugsy joined the party, but I became a regular, making bi-monthly visits to oogle the dogs. Life went on to even out. My son came home, we settled into our lovely home, and our new lifestyle unfolded.
20 Years Ago--I was recently divorced and smack in the middle of obtaining an English teaching certificate from Idaho State University. This necessitated driving to Pocatello one night a week in fall, winter, and spring and 4 days a week in the summer for three years--a gargantuan sacrifice looking back on it. My three kids and I bought a comfy little home and filled it with marvelous friends and good times. On my 40th birthday, I remember a small celebration at school with friends. When I returned at midnight from Pocatello, Thomas and his friends had written a large, "Happy Birthday" over my bedroom carpet with tiny pieces of paper. In the center was a "sunflower seed container" Thomas had made out of a small box. I still have it. Ever unique.
30 Years ago--At this time we were living in a 2-bedroom apartment in married student housing at the University of Texas in Austin. The year previous we had gone without a car of any sort--took the bus, walked, bummed rides to church, or rode bikes equipped with saddle bags to carry groceries. My ex-husband Chris was working on a doctorate in piano performance. On my birthday some friends came for cake. Texas memories are always a quirky combination of poverty, 3 little kids, and some of the best times of my life. For a good time, go to Texas, ya'll.
40 Years Ago--I was a sophomore at Brigham Young University. For my 20th birthday I cooked stuffed pork chops for my boyfriend Mark. I also baked 3 jello cakes and invited about 40 people to come for cake. It was a smashing party! People wandered in and out. Nobody does that except at college which is a true shame. At the end of the evening I remember shoving cake into Mark's face. Pretty classless on my part. I remember one of my roommate's boyfriend gave me some beets as a gift. Why do I remember that 40 years later?
50 Years Ago--My family lived in Arco, Idaho--a microscopic Idaho hamlet just this side of Hell way out in the desert. For my birthday unfortunately I was sick with undiagnosed hepatitis. My birthday was a blur of trying to keep 7-up in my system as my sole means of sustenance. No party. No friends over. Just my parents trying to figure out what in the heck was wrong with me. And oh yeah, my mom thought shots would help, so she administered lots of those.
What will I remember 10 years from now about this day? Snow--more than April has a right to bestow, lunch with my friend Elyse, a giant mango frosting cupcake made by a sweet student, losing the dog, and cooking spaghetti noodles and then bagging them for 200 servings of spaghetti in anticipation of a church fund-raiser tomorrow night. I had good help, though. I received a beautiful bouquet from my son and his family, and well wishes galore.