My happy birthday
Birthdays come and go and I don’t get too excited about them. I quit counting quite a while ago but I do occasionally review the tally just to make sure I didn’t miss a chance to apply for Social Security. Thankfully, the tally isn’t that high yet but the day is approaching. This year I had a very good birthday.
It wasn’t because of breakfast in bed. I got up as usual and made the coffee and also made my own breakfast, French toast with real Wisconsin butter and maple syrup. I also made my wife breakfast, a big, brown egg from the backyard chicken coop with a sassy, orange yolk on an English muffin. I had a good birthday but it wasn’t because of the breakfast.
The weather was perfect, actually one of the nicest days of the year. No wind, no rain, no frost, no nothing except blue skies and sunshine which helped the flamboyant maples to really strut their stuff. It was a really good day but not just because of the weather.
I had a really good birthday but it wasn’t because of my present. I am not really into things. Things break, things fall apart, things get rusty and things take time to repair. I did get a present from my wife but I went to Fleet Farm and bought it myself and put it together myself. I’m not complaining, I got what I wanted and even if it wasn’t my birthday I would have bought it anyway, so there. But that’s not why I had a good birthday.
For the entire day I refused to look at the news, listen to the radio or check the Internet. I didn’t look to see if the stock market went up or down because I didn’t really care. I didn’t care if the Middle East erupted into violence or if Scotland decided to keep the Loch Ness monster all to themselves. I didn’t want to know if there was another fire or earthquake in California. I am sure these are important issues but at least for one day I wanted to ignore the things that I had no way of ever changing or influencing, so I decided to not even look.
We had a wonderful supper, cooked outside on my new camp cooker. I planned the supper of brats, hamburgers, sweet corn and beans and a big watermelon and I cooked it myself for the family. We all ate more than we needed and as much as we wanted and it was good. However, I didn’t have to clean up, that was really good. But that wasn’t why I had a good birthday.
I love the outdoors and I spent the entire day there. I hiked and played and cut trees and took pictures of colorful leaves and flowers and I enjoyed every minute of it. I had so much fun that I forgot to eat lunch, and that was fine because I ate too much at supper anyway. But that wasn’t why I had a good birthday, either.
It seems the more time passes, the more we become aware of the things that really matter. It isn’t something you can buy. If that were the case, then every millionaire and billionaire would be completely happy and content. We know that isn’t true. In my opinion, basically everything that can be bought doesn’t have real intrinsic value. It isn’t something that you accomplish either. Company presidents and star athletes are not always happy; in fact, many of them are incredibly unhappy when they realize reaching that lofty goal they were striving for somehow wasn’t all it was made out to be.
Throughout the day I continually received phone calls and texts from each and every member of my family. Unsolicited birthday wishes and warm and sincere “I love you, Dad.” I received so many calls and texts that my day of doing nothing was frightfully interrupted. And then I received a birthday card with drawings from my granddaughters. I was the big stick figure with big feet but I was surrounded by little stick figures that wanted to hold my hand. It was the greatest gift I could have received because I knew it was genuine and no amount of money in the world can buy that kind of gift. And that is why I had a really happy birthday.