Thursday, March 1, 2018

A Very Happy Birthday

TBG requested this post.  He wanted me to share something happy, something nice, something that went well and was just the way you wanted it.

He worries that I share too many of the woes of the world, as if that gives the impression that I am sad or aggravated or disturbed most of the time.

I'm really not wallowing in the dark and unknowable places very much any more.  They are locked away in the jewel box in the back right corner of my skull.  It takes a lot of work to find the key.

Most of my days are pleasant and routine, and Tuesday, my birthday, was the same.

Pilates first thing in the early morning, with The Pilates Diva who convinced me to use the work as the focal point of my rehab.  She was right then and she's right now.  We admired my even hips and my ever strenghtening adductor and marveled at the fact that I could maintain a high kneeling position while challenging my stability on the reformer.

I've made progress.  There's no doubt about it.  I took that happy thought back home, where the temperature was just perfect for pruning and trimming and cleaning.  The gardeners were coming on Wednesday; I could make a mess and leave it for them to pick up.  To me, that's gardening heaven.

So I trimmed errant buds on the roses, and pulled dead pieces out of the yucca along the front walk.  I cleared the path between our house and JannyLou and Fast Eddie, and considered the future of a cactus and a tree, neither of whom looked long for this world.  (The gardener thinks they are dormant and will benefit from a careful pruning.  I'll keep you posted.)

I went inside for yogurt and granola and the sixth day of the Decameron .  The fun stuff (yes, Boccaccio's tales are scandalously delicious) was followed by some exceptionally dense poetry by Guido Cavalcanti and a somewhat more accessible Canto from Dante's Inferno and then my homework was done.

I drove down to the University, flashing my temporary parking permit to make the bright yellow arm  creak its way upright.  I found a space on Level 2. My favorite seat was waiting for me.  I listened and  I crocheted and I learned about Bullshit and nobility and laughed along with the Professor as he admitted that he just didn't know.

Big Cuter called as I was driving home. My favorite classicist wanted to know everything that I'd learned, and I told him.  We've read it and argued it and enjoyed it for years.  If the texts aren't equally familiar, we can converse.  Oh, yes, we can converse, ending with Prof. Alfie's delight.

I don't have to know everything.  I can laugh, even when the issue is well within my areas of expertise
That kept me interested all the way home, home to a clean house and fancy birthday cards which dance and light up and twirl around and FaceTime with FlapJilly, who had quite a lot to say on subjects of great interest to her.  After many kisses, delivered with a giant face on the screen or a kiss to a fingertip that was gently applied to each of our faces on the screen or lips looming and then smacking, we left the kids and went to dinner.

It was in the 50's.  The wind was blowing.  There aren't that many days where we can wear a sweater and a jacket.  I took great delight in putting them on.  My outfit made me smile, from top to bottom.  Jeans bought when the boot seller refused to let me leave with those boots and THAT skirt.  A sweater from Mark Shale, our outfitter in Chicago in the 1980's.  A comfy stretchy long sleeved top that TBG bought me several Christmases ago because it made him smile.  A Fabletics black heavy cotton baseball jacket, the kind of jacket I've been looking for in leather since my 20's.  This iteration comes closest to the ideal.

It's the perfect drive to Caffe Torino  (yes, that's how they spell it).  Two turns, paved streets, wide lanes, beautiful mountain vistas, and only three traffic lights brought us to the parking lot less than 10 minutes after I got into the car.  Our booth in the bar had access to ESPN on tv (so we could sigh about Sean Miller on the chyron... and no, I'm not talking about it.... nor did we watch much) and a colorful cast of characters on the wooden stools.

The 100 year old woman with Bozo-orange hair, was surrounded with love by friends on either side as she drank her way through Happy Hour.  The older gentleman for whom TBG had held the door was treating us all to a charming view of his plumber's crack; every time the door opened we chuckled...... wasn't he cold?  didn't he notice?  The skinny marink who paced from the door to the edge of our booth and back again, radiating anxiety with every step, whose company finally arrived to some of the most searing scathing stares I've seen in a long time, made us giggle instead of groan.

It was Tucson at its finest.  We were having a great time.

TBG's creamy sauced penne with bites of bacon had him put his fork down after the first bite.  He had to announce to himself and the world around him that this is a great bite... a seriously great dish.
I smiled and returned to my lemon buttery linguini and spinach and grilled sea bass (or was it cabrilla?  I didn't care) and my Greystone Merlot.  The rosemary loaf and pesto dipping sauce was dessert enough for us.

TBG took his leftovers home in a box. This proved useful when he was hungry for a tasty snack several hours later.  It's just as good reheated he sighed, as I snuggled deeper into the couch, glad that I didn't have to move to create something wonderful.

The day kept rewarding me that way.  FlapJilly and her family sent me a loud, twirling birthday card.  Facebook was awash with wishes.  My mailbox exploded with Affirmations of Affection.  And that library book I was angsty about?  It was on my Kindle as the candles flickered and Star Trek amused us in the background.

It was a very happy birthday.


  1. Sounds like it was a perfect birthday. You deserve to have great days like this all the time.

    Sending massive love and hugs!

    Stacy xxx


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