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Thursday, May 21, 2015

Another birthday near...

I was surprised today when I saw that my Facebook profile said I was 44 years old. I have been calling myself 45 since 2015 began. It's easier to remember when I roll my age forward with the year. Birthdays aren't what they used to be and it is not because I avoid them. I don't mourn my youth (I do sometimes mourn a smoother, more youthful complexion). I get a kick out of the silver that is beginning to show up in my black hair. I am growing my own sparklies... how cool is that?

When I was a kid, my birthday marked the end of the school year, the beginning of summer. It used to make me sad that it was too late to have a party at school, except for one year when a teacher had the bright idea that all the summer birthdays celebrate with cupcakes in early May. It wasn't quite the same, and my mother more than made up for the lack of a school party at home. My birthday often coincided with a volleyball net strung cross the driveway, neighbors and friends invited for homemade ice cream, Mom's angel food cake and lawn chairs set up round the yard.

I guess I've long associated my birthday with big gatherings of people, though with my kids we've developed more intimate, family centered celebrations. For the last four years I've been celebrating as part of Dirty Kanza weekend, where the farmers market I manage hosts its biggest fundraiser of the year, and 1,000+ bicyclists from all over the United States and beyond gather for a 200 mile ride through the Flint Hills. This year my birthday falls at the end of the festivities and I've told my family I want to sleep in, stay at home, and have little to nothing on the agenda.

Meanwhile, I'm going to settle in and adjust to the fact that I really am only 44 years old for ten more days. Forty-four has been a very good year, but I'm pretty sure 45 is going to be better. I've been practicing for five months now, after all, and the trial-run has been promising.

My 2nd Birthday... before I grew my own sparklies. And that's the family dog, Poochie.
I don't know why those two photos are connected in my files. I can only assume they were taken on the same day.

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