I often wondered how I ever got to this age. Surely, I haven’t been around for almost 75 years. I can tell you right now, I honestly don’t remember having that many birthdays. Some were real doozies, though. Remember the Columbus Day Storm that occurred on the real Columbus Day, October 12, 1962? Oops! I guess many of you have only read it in your history books or found it on the internet. Anyway, I’ll get back to that one in a moment.
When I was little, nothing could stop me from having birthday parties, not even chicken pox. And, no, I wasn’t contagious on the day of my party! Rummaging through old pictures, I attempted to find ones of my youth. Unfortunately, the real old ones weren’t scannable. But, I want you to know, I was an equal sex inviter. At times, the boys out-numbered the girls at my parties. Guess I kinda liked them even back then. During my grade and high school years, I don’t think I ever missed an October without a birthday party.
Fast forward to college days. On my 21st birthday, I was serenaded at the Beachcomber Bar in Lake Oswego by one of the guys in the band who was a classmate of mine at the University of Portland. We were good friends and liked the same kind of music. At one point we almost dated for real. Ah, but I digress.
On to the Columbus Day Storm. My birthday! I was six months pregnant with baby #3. It seemed to have slipped my then husband’s mind that day. Yeah, right! Well, one could blame the whole storm on me because I really threw a fit! To appease me, he reluctantly brought his sister home to babysit, so that we could at least go out to dinner. Just as we were to leave, the storm hit. We had to hunker down in the basement, too afraid to venture upstairs.We could hear the wind thrashing about, glass breaking, and objects hitting the house. Since then, I’ve managed to keep my temper at bay, should any more birthdays be missed, and they weren’t. Hey, we’ve had no big storms occurring in October – yet! (Shedding that husband may have helped, too!) Needless to say, the birthday year of 1962 was by far the most fearful and exciting.
My children are now grown with families of their own, but they like to plan memorable birthdays for me. On one occasion, one daughter scheduled a party at her house and a hike up near Washington Park. My girls are very competitive about the birthday cards they choose for me often betting on which one would make me cry. On that particular hike, three of them were lagging behind me, another daughter and a friend. They were arguing about who picked the best card. Suddenly, we heard a burst of laughter. We turned around to find them in hysterics. Would you believe the three picked out the same card? And, do you know which one I picked? ‘Twas the one from my other daughter who was walking with me!
Black Butte was a very memorable and exciting 70th birthday celebration planned by the girls. Some of you have heard that story. I’ll have to save that for a blog all it’s own.
I can’t leave out my 60th birthday. It was a gala bash planned by a dear friend with help from my daughters. Relatives, family, new friends, and some surprise ones I hadn’t seen in years, came to help celebrate. I am truly blessed.
I’ve had many wonderful memories of birthdays past and I’ll probably get into trouble for not mentioning others. Afterall, I’ve had quite a few to remember. My children know how much I cherish each one. I can only hope!
So as another birthday nears, I will be as excited as that little eight-year old with the chicken pox. I’ll probably not show it on the outside, but the butterflies will be fluttering around inside. A friend once told me that one is allowed to celebrate the entire month for their birthday. Guess I better start enjoying it right now!