Saturday, March 7, 2009

It's good to be Queen!

As I think I may have mentioned a time or ten, I had a major birthday last week. In keeping with a tradition that Donna came up with a few years back, I got to celebrate it with a "Birthday Week of Fun," or most of a week, anyway.

I started on Friday, three days before my actual birthday, by declaring that I couldn't cook dinner because it was my Birthday Weekend. (As the Birthday Queen, I also couldn't be the one who had to go fetch the Good Food Store sandwiches, or wash the minimal amount of dishes.)

On Saturday, we went to Donna's in Portsmouth (I shouldn't have been required to drive, of course, but since Tony had just started a new heart medication, the label of which says, "May cause dizziness" and "This drug may impair the ability to drive or operate machinery--use care until you become familiar with its effects," it seemed best that I take the wheel). Annie and Katrina took the bus up from Boston, and we all went out with Donna and Jerry for a wonderful lunch at Mama Rosa's. Then there was cake (and my favorite, Friendly's buttercrunch ice cream) back at Donna's, and lots of presents. Whoo-hoo!

On Sunday I got to spend the whole day lounging around the house in elastic-waist pants. (Is there anything better than a day spent lounging around the house in elastic-waist pants, especially if you can be reasonably sure no one is coming to the door, and if you are also consuming celebratory quantities of leftover birthday cake?)

Monday was my actual birthday and, sadly, I had to go to work. Not only did I have to go to work, but, because the town of Roxbury inconveniently decided to hold their town meeting on my birthday, and because it was my job to cover it, I had to work from 8 a.m. till 9 p.m. On my birthday. Booooooooo! wasn't all bad, because thanks to my coworkers, there was another birthday celebration that included More Cake. Yaaaaaaay!

I also got lots of emailed birthday wishes, many in response to the message Donna sent out containing a couple of classic photos:

I'm guessing the Halloween one on the left is circa 1961, and the one on the right is probably from spring of 1966 (and yes, I have a jacket full of kittens; I'm not sure what the cooler was for, but I suspect it had something to do with transporting the kittens...)

Update: Donna says the date on this photo is 1969...meaning that I was 10, not 7, but hadn't outgrown doing silly things with kittens.

When I got home at 9:30 p.m., in the cold, windy dark, there was a line strung across the kitchen, and clothespinned to it were a whole bunch of birthday cards.

I was pretty excited, because, although I wouldn't have been surprised to receive a few birthday cards (it was my 50th, after all, and I had been reminding people of that for almost a year), this was way over the top. Then I took a closer look and noticed something odd about the stamps on most of the cards--yikes!

Apparently, my brother Greg is the one responsible for turning a 1967 Christmas photo of me, proudly wearing my very first Red Sox cap (which was actually a plain navy blue cap with a red felt "B" painstakingly sewn to the front) and gripping my very first baseball bat (there was a card on the bat saying that it was from Carl Yastrzemski [by the way, how many of you can spell Yastrzemski without looking it up? I can, and I could when I was 8 years old, too] which I remember being both very excited and a little confused about, since I had asked Santa for a baseball bat, and I wasn't sure why Yaz, as much as I worshipped him, would be giving me a present). (Have you ever noticed that the computer keyboard has enough symbols--( ) [ ] { } <>--to allow even my digressions to have digressions? It's a wonderful thing. But I digress.)

Donna's card had this really cool sticker on it. Check out the Altoids box--this is the kind of thing she learned to do when she went to Computer Goddess school last fall. (I, on the other hand, am so much less than a Computer Goddess that I have no idea why the image that she sent, and I saved, shows George in his proper, brown color, but when I import it into my blog, he turns blue.)

I got cards from siblings, friends, nephews, nieces, my aunt, my uncle, and some long-lost cousins! They were full of good wishes ("I hope someone bakes you a cake!" and "How'd you get that old?") and lots of good advice ("Channel your inner imp," "It's OK to embarrass your kids," and "Don't melt the snow with hot flashes!"). Even better, because the post office decided (for no good reason, since the addresses were all correct) to reroute some of my mail through Lisbon and China (that's Lisbon, Maine, and China, Maine, although nothing would have surprised me), the birthday wishes kept on coming for a couple more days, helping me to stretch out my Birthday Week of Fun!

In fact, I'll be stretching the 50 fun out even further, since next month I'll be collecting Tony's present--a tour of Fenway Park with all the kids, or, as Tony calls it, "a pilgrimage to the family shrine." I've never had The Tour before, and I'm excited about actually getting to touch the Green Monster!

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