I don’t usually make a big deal of my birthdays – and this year, it seems my brain was about a month behind schedule and I managed to forget a couple VERY IMPORTANT birthdays (note: head hanging in shame) for which I will be apologizing for at least a year… BUT I mention this year’s birthday, not because there was a RADICAL number change (not yet) but because the celebration was unusual for me. I don’t do the party thing very often. Almost never at my house where parking can get tricky… and my parties are always non-alcohol events (no buzz dust or smoke, either) and so I pick my companions carefully. I am fortunate to have some wonderful friends. You can visit the Frog and PenguINN’s blog to see what we had to eat! (http://thefrogandpenguinn.blogspot.com/2010/09/birthday-time.html) And I might mention, in passing, due to the hatred being spewed forth by certain individuals in the “news” – my guests represented Catholics, Methodists, Buddhists, Muslims, a couple agnostics, even a Baptist, and all the races were represented except Chinese or Japanese. (They tell me Oriental is not PC anymore.)
My friends also know, not all gifts come in boxes wrapped in paper, and even though I did get a number of them, in spite of stating, I thought quite firmly, “NO GIFTS!” the point of this posting is to share some of the OTHER gifts. If you have been reading my blog for a while, you will know I consider a beautiful sunset a gift, or a butterfly… or coming over and plowing my garden for me, or building me a Stand Uppity Garden… Those are all great gifts! A friend came by with his weed whacker and cut the grass and weeds out in front of my house that the town has decided to no longer cut. There is a drainage ditch in the middle of this, so mowing is not an option. They have trimmed alongside the roads for years, but the new mayor decided it is VDOT’s job. Is this a mess or what? VDOT cuts along side the roads once, maybe twice a year. So the town looks like crap now because the mayor apparently does not take pride in how the town looks, just in being Right. “It’s NOT our job!”
Another friend came by and saw how the culvert under my driveway was blocked… again, a problem for VDOT. But, being a practical man, he also knows the serious cutback in VDOT jobs and knows it may be another year before VDOT gets the job done, if then. So, he asked if I had a shovel, and in 5 minutes cleaned a load of mess out of the pipe. Before it was weed-whacked, you couldn’t even find the pipe! OH, see the autumn leaves?
Still another friend volunteered to come by and cut back the branches on the redbud and a birch tree where the small branches and leaves were hitting the roof. Check out the pile of branches! It is over my head again!
It’s the time of year when critters tend to wander – guess it is the cool crisp mornings we had… can’t be much else, my boys have been “fixed” – heck, they don’t even spray around the yard. Anyway, they disappeared for a day and a half. I walked up and down the road, called and called… nobody in sight, not even at mealtime. So it was a “sight for sore eyes” as my grandma used to say, to see 2 little boys out in the back yard on the morning of my birthday. What a gift! Hmmm, they hate strangers and loud noises, so maybe they took refuge in my neighbor’s garage when Mike came with his chain saw????? Maybe they got locked in?
Mother Nature gives me a gift each year – every year, right on my birthday, the first fall camellia blooms. It has not failed since it started to bloom 20 years ago, though I wondered about this year with the drought. But! There it was! Right on schedule! Am I honored or what?
What can I say? Can there be any better gifts than these?