Apr. 9, 2016

Happy Birthday!


“Age is a number and mine is unlisted!”

“Age is strictly a case of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.”

Jack Benny

“Aging seems to be the only available way to live a long life.” Daniel Francois Esprit Auber

“A birthday is just the first day of another 365-day journey around the sun.

Enjoy the trip!”

It was my birthday last Monday. I was 29....again. It was also the birthday of our youngest grandchild, Brady Benjamin Davis, who is, obviously, an exceptional child who will grow up to be a brilliant writer, musician, physicist, missionary, astronaut, doctor or explorer...tracking and conquering heretofore unknown territory. Well, after all, he chose my birthday for his entrance into the world and has been growing, flourishing and is now on the verge of running. He enjoyed his party tremendously and, with quantities of family watching and cheering him on, totally demolished a cupcake covered with bright green icing and decorated his face, hair, hands and arms with it. His mommy and daddy did not turn the hose on him and his highchair, which was my suggestion, but, instead, swabbed him off with Baby Wipes. And I have pictures to prove it.

Many families downplay birthdays, I understand there are even people who don’t acknowledge them at all, which seems to me like a very sad idea. Our family loves birthdays. We love to celebrate, give each other stuff, make cake, eat ice cream, barbeque hamburgers, open relatively decent wine, sing loudly and as off-key as possible that good ol’ “Happy Birthday to you!” song, make wishes and blow out candles. 

Speaking of blowing out candles, when my father-in-law, Jay Earl Davis, was well into his 70’s, we all went over to their house at 326 So. Van Ness Avenue in Los Angeles, where he and John’s mom, Leila, had lived forever. We brought cake, made by me, and covered it with candles. It was quite a pyrotechnic display when they were all lit and we sang, told him to make a wish, he took a breath and went: PUH! And they were all out! We have never seen this feat repeated in our family, which now includes quite a few sturdy young people with great lung capacity. Legendary is how we describe it.

As far as gifts are concerned, most of our grandchildren have now reached the age where we ask them what they want and they tell us. Seriously, isn’t it the nicest thing in the world to open your gift and be able to honestly say, “That’s just what I wanted!” This is going to sound pathetic, but my absolute favorite gift now is a Home Depot gift card. I know, pathetic...but for me, it means tons of rose food, more of that fabulous rubber mulch stuff and more bricks for The Great Wall of Deanne, which I have been building for several years now. As this Wall is probably no more than ten or fifteen feet long and I only want it to be three bricks high, many people, myself included, wonder what has taken so long. Well, it’s like this...if the day is cold, I really don’t especially want to be out in it. If the day is hot, I’d much rather be enjoying our garden, reading a book under our umbrella and sipping something cold. So the Wall goes on forever. Our son, John and his wife, Michon, parents of the exceptional one-year-old Brady, gave me a Home Depot card and I’ve already blown it on mulch, rose food and bricks. So did my husband, the adorable John...also blown on mulch, rose food and bricks.

When I turned thirty, I cried because I thought I wasn’t young anymore. How hysterical is that! When I turned forty, I gave a really splendid party, invited only fabulous people, including our oldest daughter, Leah, who couldn’t attend because her son, Michael, had a raging case of chicken pox. At this party I vividly remember stating that now that I was forty, I was never going to do anything I didn’t want to do ever again. Probably the funniest thing I ever said. Life doesn’t work that way, does it! When I was fifty, my husband and children threw a terrific surprise party for me at dear departed Burger Continental. My mother and father, who had been divorced since I was a toddler, were there in the same room, sat next to each other, exchanged pleasantries and I have pictures to prove it!

When your birthday rolls around, I hope quantities of friends and family celebrate you with cake, ice cream, singing and blowing out candles. If you practice that PUH! technique, you might end up being legendary in your family, too! In any case, Happy Birthday to you, whenever it is, and best wishes for many more, along with best wishes for health, happiness and a Home Depot gift card.

Speaking of wonderful things coming up, the Sierra Madre Library is holding their annual Open House next Saturday, April 16, 2016, from 10:00-Noon. There will be an Author Panel - What it takes to write and publish! A number of local authors will be there signing their books, including me! How cool is that!

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” Ps. 139:13-16

God celebrates our birthdays, too!