Fifty-Two

It’s my birthday today. I’ve managed to stay alive for fifty-two years so far!

I’ve been celebrating, sort of, since Friday when I took the day off work at the request of a good friend. A week ago, she sent a text saying, “Since it’s your birthday weekend, you should take the 9th off and we should go to the holiday boutique at U.S. Bank Stadium.”

So I did. And we did. We met in the middle and rode the light-rail into downtown Minneapolis. I’ve never been on the light-rail before and found it to be rather enjoyable. We got to spend the time talking and catching up instead of nervously navigating one-way streets and searching for expensive parking. We got off the train just across the street from the stadium and it was easy-peasy!

The boutique itself was massive and interesting. We saw a lot of fun stuff, but I didn’t buy much in spite of being overly amused by the abundance of novelty socks and dish towels making use of the f-bomb. They were funny. I just don’t feel the need to display curse words in my kitchen or on my feet. Not my style. I did purchase a couple of Bloody Marys for the two of us, and some over-priced eye cream. I would never have considered the eye-cream except for the young, handsome, Italian salesman who worked his sales pitch hard and gave us a trial run. Seeing for myself how my friend’s eye creases disappeared before my very eyes, I couldn’t help but be sold on it. And also because – you know. Fifty-two.

Anyway, we had a good time, the two of us, just hanging out together, solving the world’s problems, checking things out, and laughing. All in all, a good day.

The weekend was filled with more events and activities than most typical weekends. Some were in celebration of my birthday, some not, but it all contributed to my feelings of being very blessed.

We had dinner on Friday night with my brother, two years younger and his family. His birthday is one week before mine and he turned fifty this year!

On Saturday morning, we caught up with good friends over breakfast. It’s been much too long, and as we parted ways afterwards, she reminded me that good friends always come together as if not a day had passed, no matter how many actually have. She’s right. And we are so lucky to have friends like them!

When we returned home after breakfast, there was something sitting on the living room floor that caught my eye. As I wondered what the heck it was, it took a moment to register that there was a silver bow and a “Happy Birthday” message on top of it . And then my brain realized that what I was contemplating was a robotic vacuum! Shark

Now there may be some who would be offended with such a gift, but not me! I was thrilled! I literally jumped up and down with excitement when I realized what it was. (Have I mentioned that there are two dogs living under my roof? Do you have any idea how much time I spend vacuuming, Swiffering, and vacuuming again?)

While we were away at breakfast, Shark was plugged in and charging. I set him loose after a quick review of the instructions and then we proceeded to watch him do his thing, sort of defeating the purpose of having a robotic vacuum as we continued to marvel for much too long. I was skeptical at first. The pattern of movement seemed very random, but as I continued to monitor the progress, I saw that it was covering all of the necessary spaces. The dogs watched with mild curiosity but otherwise were not bothered. Shark is quiet and moves gently, not like that big, loud, scary Kirby that lives in the closet underneath the stairs. And Shark did a spectacular job! I love this thing! I can even download an app on my cell phone so that I can have the house vacuumed while I’m away from home. Best. Gift. Ever. The hubby and kids definitely hit a home-run with this one!

The only draw-back? Shark kept reminding us of a current, ridiculously popular children’s tune and we could not stop randomly bursting into song. I’m sure we’ll get over that soon! Mmm-hmm.

On Saturday night, Jack and I bowled with our league. Son Ryker bowled with us, subbing for an absent team-mate and boosted our standings with his awesome bowling skills. Jaeger and Chesney and some of their friends came too, to cheer us on. It was fun and only added to the celebratory mood!

On Sunday Jack and I attended another memorial service in which my mom was included among those being remembered. My parents were involved in several churches during the years of their lives, and this was the last church where my dad served as a deacon. I think my parents were members there for fifteen years and it’s the church where we held both of their funerals. Father Joe is the priest and he was very good to my parents. He has become very special to our family, especially in the time since my dad passed away. He greeted us when we walked in and said, “Welcome home.” That gave me a warm feeling, and in spite of my lack of attendance in an actual church lately, made me feel like I might want to go visit a bit more often.  And it seemed appropriate to  remember my mom in such a formal way over my birthday weekend. I was surprised to find myself crying. I thought maybe it has been long enough that the random bursts of sadness would have started fading away, but I guess not. It’s okay though. It’s only been nine months. And being there, remembering Mom on my birthday weekend made me feel as if both of my parents were closer to me than usual.

So today is my actual birthday and I’m off work again at the request of Chesney who suggested a mother-daughter day. I have PTO to burn before the year is over, and I love spending time with her, so it wasn’t a tough decision. She’s still sleeping as I write this and our day is loosely planned, but I know it will be a good one.  I have a feeling the entire coming year is going to be a good one, no matter what.