You Say It’s Your Birthday..

My signature photo face- been making it since I was a freshman in high school.


I recently read And So It Goes, a biography of Kurt Vonnegut, written by Charles J. Shields.  After finishing this book, I decided to read Slaughterhouse Five again.  I came across a passage where  an alien species, the Tralfamadorians, are describing the difference between books written by humans, and those written by Tralfamadorians.

“There is no beginning, no middle, no end…..What we love in our books are the depths of many marvelous moments seen all at the same time.” (p. 88).

At first, I thought these words perfectly described what parents see when they look at their children.  But since today is my birthday, I tried to view the past year in those same terms.  This year I:

Savored the smell of tangelos.  It is the most juicy, sweet citrus I have ever eaten, and I love that after peeling a piece of fruit, the scent lingers on my fingertips for the rest of the day.  More than anything at our old house, I will miss that lovely tree.

Watched Liam transform into a fish.

Racked my brain to remember the lyrics to songs, as Kellen repeatedly said “Song! Song!” whenever he wanted me to sing- which was a lot.

Marveled daily at having a small part in creating two gorgeous, hilarious, curious human beings.

Crocheted a blanket for one of my favorite people, my Aunt Lee Anne.  Took about nine months.

Learned how to can- well, I took a class anyway.

Missed my dad more than I ever thought possible.  It finally seemed to sink in that he is gone.  I miss the way his voice sounded whenever he called me “Kathy Jo from Borneo,” and all of his dumb jokes.

Celebrated traditions specific to our little family- cutting and gluing a family of paper pumpkins, making my mom’s noodles with leftover Thanksgiving turkey, preparing Italian food on Christmas Eve, and Mexican food on Christmas, making homemade Valentines to say “I love you.”

Flew home to my beautiful Colorado mountains.  Spent at least part of each day hiking.  Watched in agony from Arizona as parts of it burned to the ground.  Counted my blessings that my family was unharmed.

Had true reconnections with people I had not spoken to in five, ten or twenty years- you know who you are.

Quit coloring my hair- wondered why I ever started.

Learned that a proper bra fitting is worth every penny- get a professional to do it, then buy cheap bras in the right size.

Enjoyed the way a porterhouse steak melts in your mouth, while my heart continued to melt for my husband of seven years.

Wished science fiction could deliver on the idea of portals, so I could see my family more often.  Was so homesick at times, that my stomach felt hollow.

Found a recipe for oven friend eggplant that delights my mouth every time I eat it.

Drank way too many Leinenkugal’s Summer Shandy Beers after dipping in the pool to refresh from the blistering heat.

Ran a 5k in under 30 minutes.

Completed my first obstacle course.

Ran my longest distance of 6.2 miles.

Learned to like my body as it is.

Came to terms with my past.

Aknowledged that while cliché, the words “the truth shall set you free” are indeed accurate.

Made a pact with myself to never again write a letter to solve an argument.  I will respect the other person enough to include her in the conversation and listen to what she has to say (or he).

Am currently dumbfounded watching caterpillars morph into moths.

Continued to be enthralled watching babies grow into kids, become brothers and sisters, and witnessing their mommies gaining strength in the process.

Played a game of Scrabble with my husband- our first since our children were born.

Awoke annoyed every morning as my cat meowed until I got up and feed her.  Felt comforted every night as she snuggled beside me.

Improved as a writer as I got into the habit of writing daily.

Cut loose during afternoon dance parties- best way to enjoy a vinyl collection.

Listened to Joan Jett “I Love Rock and Roll” more times than I thought humanly possible- thanks Liam.

Survived potty training.

Survived sleep training.

Toasted champagne at a birthday party for a ninety year old.

Got tickled at the way my grandmother always cooks way too much food.

Still have not met a sweet treat I don’t like.

Still count “Alien” as my favorite movie and Bjork as my favorite singer.  Decided if I am truly honest, “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” is my favorite book, perhaps followed by “My Petition for More Space,” both for sentimental reasons.

Had many ups and downs, such is life, but spent the year surrounded by love.

So that is 37 in a nutshell.  Bring on 38.




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