Friday, February 17, 2012

Some Day When I'm Old and Grey

"They say it's your birthday. Well, it's my birthday, too."

I've always wanted to use those lyrics in something other than a song, and now I've found a way. It's a little self-aggrandizing to mention that it's my birthday today, but all my friends and family live far away and I work at home so there are few chances for me to stumble into a surprise party and be surprised. On the other hand, if I stumbled into somewhere and a bunch of strangers jumped out and yelled, "Happy Birthday!" I would be very surprised.

I know a lot of people here in Colorado Springs, but they are amateur radio operators and mostly men. I doubt they even remember I have a birthday, let alone think to throw a surprise party or even email to offer their wishes for a happy birthday. They seldom remember their own children's or wives' birthdays. I can't expect them to slot me into minds overfilled with electronics, waveforms, and oscilloscope readings. It's too much for them to handle and they might just blow a gasket or three. I wouldn't want them to hurt themselves.

That's the thing about birthdays. As Poppy Z. Brite, also known as Billy, reminded me a couple days ago, things are always better when you're a kid. I was talking about getting Valentines in school because he is down on Valentine's Day, but it is apt for today, too, the anniversary of my debut into the world 57 years ago. Then again, birthdays weren't always so great when I was a kid either, but that's a story for another time.

I have ordered tiramisu and Ben & Jerry's Cherry Garcia ice cream for my own little celebration, which will be consumed during my lunch break since I have to work today, and nothing else will change in my daily schedule. I'll shower and dress, pull up the recycling bin and break down boxes to recycle, check the mail, send some mail out, and put away the groceries, all before I start working. My only hope for a day off is for the Internet or the lights to go out so I have no means to work. I can still eat my tiramisu and ice cream by sunlight and spend some quality time with my Kindle finishing off Terry Pratchett's "Unseen Academicals" and get back into "Black" by Ted Dekker, which is beginning to get very interesting. I might even sit outside if it's not too cold and work a little more on another Xmas stocking for one of my grandchildren or try out the new stretcher frame and stand I got yesterday for the needlepoint. I can't roll that up and work on it like I can with cross-stitch. It requires taut framing so the stitches come out even and the stocking looks right when it's done. I think it's going to be the only needlepoint stocking I will do. I prefer cross-stitch right now.

In the end, birthdays aren't always about presents, although I did get a couple (from Beanie and Mary Ann), but about celebrating another year in the life, which is always better with friends. I have loads of those and they spent a few seconds this morning reminding me of that on Facebook where they typed out their birthday messages to me. One of my sons even remembered I have a birthday; that is a first. Birthdays are also about reminding us that time doesn't wait for us to get with the program or figure out what we're going to do. Time keeps moving no matter how many plans we made for some day. As far as I am concerned, some day is today and I have a lot I'm looking forward to getting done. There will be no boxes, bags, and storage cases with my some days in them. I'll have done them all today.

Happy birthday to everyone who shares February 17th as their natal anniversary. Make it a good one.

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