August 8, 2013.  I celebrate my birthday–a lot. Anybody who knows me has heard of  the “birthday month”. As queen (of only me) I made a rule that a person can call out thirty days for festivities. Okay, some of my chatter is silly humor but since I started this thing, I feel an obligation to carry on. I’ll tell you how it’s done.

You can convene the session at three different points.

If  your birthday is August 8, you could start the hoo-roar on July 8 and end on August 8 with a big shebang. Or you could start on August 8 and proceed to September 8. A third choice is to start on August 1 and tear it up through August 31.

If you make a mistake and begin late, or forget to celebrate one day or maybe have the flu, there are dispensations and do-overs. I usually just don’t feel like celebrating some days so makeup days are definitely necessary. I started on August 1 this year so what with extra days, I figure my celebratory opportunities might run into September.

This day started with phone calls, emails, and Facebook postings. I have roses on my desk and Mom has the bouquet she always gets from me for my birthday. Dave is working on my birthday present, a ceiling fan in the bathroom.

Today is number 64, as in “Will you still feed me, will you still need me when I’m sixty-four?” This birthday, I am more reflective than on previous ones. I don’t begrudge, resent, or grieve turning 64. “Regrets, I’ve had a few . . . ” Maybe, but I don’t remember what they are. Bucket list? Today it seems that my bucket is already full. Mostly I’m bewildered at the arrival of the mid-60s. It’s cliche, isn’t it, for me to ask “How did this happen so fast?” 

Mom, Dad, Dave, and I attended a 50th anniversary party for dear friends a few weeks ago. In the receiving line, the bride asked me, “Can you believe this?”

“No,” I said. “I thought we were all just 50.” I was only 75% kidding.

It is raining and the sky has been dark all day so far. I don’t mind. Dad’s vegetable garden needs the rain. He just planted his fall crop. My flowers appreciate the rain so much more than they do the garden hose. A groundhog is circling the morning glories that climb the bird feeders to chomp off their Southern Belle skirts as high up as he can reach. The songbirds don’t care about the groundhog, or the morning glories, or the grey skies. In fact, the little ones love to eat in the rain. On any given day, I watch the birds–cardinals, blackbirds, chickadees, mockingbirds, purple and house finches, goldfinches, robins, woodpeckers and sapsuckers, sparrows, wrens, doves, and bluebirds. We saw the first hummingbirds just a couple of days ago. 

Both had Southern Belle skirts until the groundhog chowed down.

Both had Southern Belle skirts until the groundhog chowed down.

I love The Ravine today as I loved it at first sight. I am delighted by where I am, content with who I am, and okay with how I am. I am, as the ravine is, beingThe critters that dwell in the big ditch come and go, as we do, except that the interludes between their presence and their absence is lengthier, and seasonal. The permanent going-aways of some are frequent, their life spans shorter than a human’s, their choices of homes more about the natural condition rather than what they can re-fashion. We human residents, the Revells and the Blairs, constantly clean, replace, and renovate little things in the two homes and all these blessed garages.

Sometimes our machinations work, sometimes they don’t. Dave stopped in just now to say that there’s an old “fan box” where he intends to put the ceiling fan and we’ll need to call for help. I find kinship with The Compound as we all become.

I am happy with my beloved house companions; Dave, Dad, Mom, and Murphy. They are, as I am, perfect in their imperfections of change and aging. Mom and Dad express surprise at being in their 80s. Dave can’t believe he’s 70 and neither can I. We call Murphy our puppy but she hobbles around sometimes with arthritis.

The birthday dinner today is actually a mid-afternoon snack with Mom and Dad. We’ll eat little steak bites, shrimp, cheese, and vegetables. Maybe there will be a glass of wine. I do have a cold bottle of prosecco. It’s been rolling around in The Cellar frig for months.

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