January 20, 2016

Seriously, when you start to write the name of your blog---that THING you've written for almost four years, and sweat and cried over, trying to find just the right poem, just the right picture, and just the right words to make your post as good as it's gonna get---and you can't REMEMBER THE NAME OF YOUR BLOG you know something's wrong.  As in, I need to write more posts (I've been really slacking off lately!) OR...I'm growing older and hence more forgetful. 

Oh right, that's the name!!
Let's go with slacking off, shall we?  Because the subject of birthdays is just a tad TOUCHY this week.  January is a lovely month for birthdays---three of my very dearest friends in the whole wide world (no exaggeration!) have January birthdays.  They are all amazing women.  One started a new career in the last few years, studying in Italy and becoming an expert bow rehairer and restoration specialist.  She and her sister have opened their own studio and work is steady and satisfying.  I am in awe.

Just in case you have a violin bow that needs rehairing, you can check out her work at Con Brio Studio
Another friend is incredibly talented and turns out amazing creations with her trusty sewing machine.  She is so creatively brilliant, and wickedly funny,  that she boggles my mind.  I am in awe.

Cloth elephant created for a client in memory of the her mother.  The mother loved elephants and this one was made from a piece of her mother's clothing.  What a treasured keepsake!
My best friend is an amazing mother.  We both read, and re-read, and then read yet again, The Family That Nobody Wanted by Helen Doss in junior high and dreamed of being mothers.  I dreamed big (4 children) but she dreamed bigger (6 children), three of whom she and her husband adopted out of the foster care system.  Every time I'm tired or frazzled, I think how she still has to face slumber parties, birthday parties, middle school, the teen years, dating and college with her youngest three, I. Stand. In. Awe.

Celebrating my 18th birthday with my siblings and my best friend, 1974. Check out our cool shoes!
I have a special uncle that shares my best friend's January birthday.   I also have a cousin that celebrates her January birthday in style---teaching zumba classes in a tutu!  Whoo-hoo, that's the spirit!
Happy birthday to a seriously cool cousin!
And to make January even sweeter, we can also celebrate some of my favorite writers' birthdays!  JRR Tolkien, Carl Sandburg, Edgar Allen Poe, Jack London, Lewis Carroll, and last, but certainly not least, AA Milne.  Does that mean it's Winnie the Pooh's birthday too?

I would much rather celebrate Pooh's birthday than face the fact that not only am I turning a year older later this week, I am turning a new decade.  That sounds rather daunting. Dang, truth be told, that just sounds rather old.  How on earth did that happen?  Wasn't I turning 14 just last week?

Egad. The saving grace in this picture is my adorable pink skirt...I loved that skirt!!
I'm all for celebrating my friends' and relatives' birthdays but turning another decade?  As Scrooge would say, humbug. But if I must age, I'll try to do it with grace, and of course with profound gratitude that I am alive and able to blow out the candles and make a wish...

For K.R., On Her Sixtieth Birthday

Blow out the candles of your cake.
They will not leave you in the dark,
Who round with grace this dusky arc
Of the grand tour which souls must take.

You who have sounded William Blake,
And the still pool, to Plato's mark,
Blow out the candles of your cake.
They will not leave you in the dark.

Yet, for your friends' benighted sake,
Detain your upward-flying spark;
Get us that wish, though like the lark
You whet your wings till dawn shall break:
Blow out the candles of your cake. 

~~Richard Wilbur 

Let's all find something to enjoy today about our "grand tour" and always remember...
Today is a good day for a good day!

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