three days of birthday

Saturday morning, my husband and I went on a hike, my one (main) birthday request.

According to the website, it was a three-hour hike but we made it to the top in thirty minutes. (True, I was moving at a rapid clip, ignoring my husband’s pleas to slow down already, but we weren’t going that fast.) It was the most crowded hike we’ve been on ever, including our trip to Acadia (because of the rain, we pretty much had the place to ourselves). We leap-frogged hikers the whole way up the mountain, and when we got to the top it was swarming with people: people taking selfies, people telling stories, people eating.

We found a little spot off to the side where I could eat a sandwich and my husband could stare into the middle distance, but then we didn’t stay long. 

Instead of hiking back down the way we came, we took another route, hoping to avoid the crowds.

Which we did, mostly, but then we had to hike two miles back on the busy road which, ironically, had far more people (all in cars) on it than the trail did, ha. 

My mother had invited us over for supper that night, so I spent the afternoon not prepping for supper, which was half the fun.

She’d made a mountain of food and what a feast it was! Chicken and rice, collards (perhaps my favorite part of the meal), green beans, and slaw. I piled my plate high and then straightaway scarfed it down.

For dessert, she’d made the most delicious cake: nectarine and cream. It was as good as it looks. Maybe better.

My mom’s one request was that no one do the dishes, so after the meal we just sat around the table and visited. It was lovely. 

The next morning my husband left while I was still in bed to track down my breakfast request: 1 glazed sour cream cake doughnut. When I came downstairs, my younger son had set up the breakfast things: 5 boxes of captain crunch (all the flavors because he knows that’s my favorite junk cereal), bread and jam for toast, and granola, even though all I asked for was the doughnut.

(But we’ve been snacking hard on the captain crunch — it makes for a great movie-watching snack.) 

Coffee in hand (the mug was a gift from my mother), I trailed my husband down to the shed for the morning milking, and then I spent the rest of the morning doing fun computer work. My older son (my daughter-in-law was on a work trip) popped in to wish me a happy birthday, and to deliver their gift: a gorgeous handmade mug. 

The lunch hour was rushed so we last minute decided to switch plans: leftover potato soup instead of chef salads. Everyone showered me with gifts, and then we drove into town for Ultimate. 

When we got home, the whole house smelled of chocolate — my younger son had baked a cake and was putting the finishing touches on it. I showered and then, free of all chores and responsibilities, I curled up on the sofa and let people serve me my popcorn and apples. My older son stopped by again and we visited for awhile out on the porch, and then he left and my phone dinged with a text from my brother of his family singing Happy Birthday.

When my younger son came home from rehearsal, we watched a Schitt’s Creek together, and then he blasted music over the big speaker and I danced freakishly all over the downstairs until we woke my younger daughter and she yelled at us to TURN IT DOWN. 

And then my birthday day was over and I still had the chef salads and cake to look forward to…

Which means I managed to stretch the goodness to last three whole days, hip-hip!

This same time, years previous: getting shod, pointless and chatty, 37, she outdid herself, the skirt, warm feet and golden crosses.

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