Sunday, May 31, 2009

belated birthday blog

This post is a few days late, but I arrived on the scene almost three weeks late way back when (sorry Mom!) so maybe my lack of timeliness is appropriate. (Maybe it's just habit now?) I had a great birthday. It always catches me a little off guard to learn that I'm a year older. You'd think I would have gotten used to that by now. But I don't mind getting older. I wouldn't trade what I know now to go back to being younger. Ignorance is too high a price to pay for youth.

Because the 27th was a Wednesday I got to work from home on my birthday. It's not quite as good as having the foresight to take the day off, but I make great coffee when I'm at home, and a truly great cup of the good stuff sands off a lot of edges. Right around lunch time I got a very unexpected gift. There is a book I've been looking for, for almost half my life and on May 27th, 2009 I found it. Back in high school, grade 10 or 11, my friend Freya gave me a copy of The Shell Seekers, which is still my all time favorite story. Laced throughout the novel are extended quotes from Louis MacNiece's epic poem, Autumn Journal. I absolutely fell in love with it. There have been times in my life when lines from that poem held me together. (And I know that will make no sense at all for the non-poetry-lovers among you, but trust me. Sometimes when your heart is breaking or the world threatens to tip off its axis the perfect line of poetry becomes the only air you can breathe.)

I have looked for Autumn Journal in every bookstore I have ever stepped foot in. I have hunted it at every garage sale, in every used book store. I have scoured eBay for it, I have run rampant all over the web and I've never been able to find it. Until May 27th. While searching online for another book altogether I came across an online book seller I had not seen before. As always, I did a search for Autumn Journal with no expectations whatsoever. Imagine my surprise when my search turned up one result. There, in a little bookstore in Illinois, was a single copy of Autumn Journal. Needless to say I proceeded directly to PayPal and one day in the next two weeks I will finally hold in my hands the book that has had a hold on me for so many years. When it arrives, I will be taking it to the beach to read. It just seems fitting to take it to the place I go to commune. I'll make the coffee.

After work I headed over to Gord & Shannon's where a feast awaited. There was steak on the grill and twice baked potatoes in the oven, grilled veggies and fresh, cheesy garlic bread. Shannon is an amazing cook and I was very happy birthday girl!

After the feast, there was cake. Cause, really, what's a birthday without cake? Also, I like cake. So that worked out well. Kendra is gifted in the making of cakes and this year's did not disappoint. Vanilla cake, layered with pudding and strawberries and topped with whipped cream and chocolate dipped strawberries? Happy birthday to me.
Fortunately, there were several of us to eat all that yumminess. Coli was happy to get in on the cake action.

Tucked in my birthday present from Amanda was a ribbon that read "Kiss me it's my birthday!"

As you can see, it worked.

I got a chance to talk to my parents (who will be here in person for next year's celebration, I can hardly believe it. Mom -- you and me are going to the Empress for tea!) Later in the day I talked to Dave & Janie. Dave made my day by telling me that all day Corrina had been asking, "When are we going to Auntie Claire's house for her birthday?" (That drip drip driping sound you hear is my heart melting.) Dave told me that Corrina had made me a card and the next day it showed up in the mail. You know it's going to be a spectacular card when it comes with a warning label:

Corrina got some help form her Dad cutting out the pieces but pasted it all together herself. I think it's fantastic and can't wait to Skype her and say so in person. Or close to it.
Inside she drew me a picture which I'm told is a Mommy lion and a baby lion. Her Dad did the interpretation and he would know about these things. He's quite the artist himself. The glitter, as promised, was plentiful. I think I sparkled all night.

And Corrina, this is photo is to show you that the bracelet you made me fit perfectly, thank you! It is ridiculously hard to photograph something on your own wrist, but hopefully this does it justice. I just might have to wear it to work one day this week :)
I think going to Disneyland for my 30th birthday three years back was a truly stellar idea. So far this whole thirties thing has been going well. I wonder what will happen this year?

Oh, and Mom, you asked me to take a birthday picture, so here you go. See you in THREE WEEKS!!!!!!!!

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