“Believe you can and you’re halfway there.” ~ Teddy Roosevelt
Today was Aunt Janet’s 78th birthday. Mom, dad, and I were joined by Martha Conley to help her celebrate. It was hard for her to celebrate what with being in a nursing home, but she tried, God love her, and we all enjoyed our fellowship with one another despite where we were. I’m grateful for another birthday to celebrate.
“Labor to keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire, called conscience.”
~ George Washington
Nifty, nifty, look who’s fifty! It’s Annie Bassoni, come to join the 50-is-the-new-30 club. There was a gathering of friends to celebrate Annie’s half-century on this planet. People I love from the bottom of my heart, and people I’d never met: my favorite kind of gathering. Happy Birthday, Annie. I’m sure glad you were born. You make the world a better place.
“You can’t make positive choices for the rest of your life without an environment that makes those choices easy, natural, and enjoyable.” ~ Deepak Chopra
My mother, Shero Numero Uno, turned 75 years old today. I called my old friend Belinda Jordan who owns Another Season’s Gifts in West Liberty. She delivered this gorgeous bouquet of red roses and lilies, and the warm peach patterned scarf. The birthday card, with the little boy picking his nose, was delivered by USPS. She thought the flowers and the scarf were so beautiful that she gussied up and asked dad to take her picture. And here she is: Shirley Fay Adams Terry at a sparkly 75. Happy birthday, mom. We all love you.
“Say goodbye to drama, toxic people, and self-criticism. Say yes to more happiness, love in your life, and time with good friends.” ~ Unknown
Meet Steve and Anne Kiselewich. They joined the party back in November to welcome Grier Whitehouse to the horde. The same party when we also celebrated their son-in-law, Brett Bick’s, birthday who, of course, shared his cake and candles with his son, Jackson and wife Lisa. Steve is calm, quiet, and exquisitely kind. Anne is outgoing and I’m not sure she has ever met a stranger. She is the embodiment of happiness, and she shares that happiness every time I see her. I hope to follow her lead.
“Please be good to each other (start with yourselves), think before you speak, practice awareness, love fiercely, live in the now and “choose” to be happy & yes I do believe it can be that simple.”
~ Bree Chapman
This time last year, when I turned the big five-oh, mom was in bad shape with her shoulder and unable to do much, let alone celebrate. She’s much better now, and with dad retiring just last week, tonight they made extra effort to come see me and take me out for birthday dinner (actual birthday is tomorrow). It was a fabulous treat. Of course, we had to go to the Apple store first so mom could have her devices sorted out (password problems apparently). My only mistake in the whole evening was not taking a picture of dad meeting Benita Clarke as he and I waited in the mall. (Incidentally, it was dad’s first time in Fayette Mall.) Benita recognized dad immediately, as if he was famous, and it just tickled him to death. It made me mighty proud, like I’m not already proud of my folks. I sure won the lottery when they picked me to be their kid.
“Fear is a natural reaction to moving closer to the truth.” ~ Pema Chödrön
If baby Grier hadn’t brought us all together Saturday, rental nephew Brett’s birthday would have. Brett’s son, Jackson, aka “Cincinnati Red” has not been quick to warm up to the camera as you can see. Despite aunt Cassie’s coaxing of a smile, he was having none of it. In Jackson’s defense, however, he hasn’t seen enough of me to really understand what’s going on. I’ve noticed how little kids reach a point of aggravation with cameras at a fairly early stage. You may recall my photographing Riley Morrow every month during his first year. I can see his progression from fascination to annoyance from one month to the next. It started around his seventh month and he hasn’t gotten over it yet. He’s three and a half now, just a few months older than Jackson.
Besides, there was daddy’s birthday cake waiting to have its candles blown out. Who’s got time for pictures when there’s ice cream cake? I’ll tell you what, Jackson is so stinkin’ adorable you just want to squeeze him and never let go. And after he had a bite of the icing he said, “De-lish-ous” in the most adorable voice. Every heart in the room melted with joy and every voice rang out with laughter. It was an unforgettable moment.
At the end of the day Jackson kissed his new cousin Grier goodbye. If this picture doesn’t warm your heart you don’t have a heart to warm. These two handsome boys are going to either love me or hate me when it’s all said and done. Then again, most people in the outhouse probably feel the same way. <insert smiley face> I’ll be keeping my camera charged. It’s just what I do.
“May Light always surround you;
Hope kindle and rebound you.
May your Hurts turn to Healing;
Your Heart embrace Feeling.
May Wounds become Wisdom;
Every Kindness a Prism.
May Laughter infect you;
Your Passion resurrect you.
May Goodness inspire
your Deepest Desires.
Through all that you Reach For,
May your arms Never Tire.”
~ D. Simone
I had the most amazing day. Here is a selfie as my Kentucky Tribe sang Happy Birthday: (starting from the left side of the table) Eric, Riley, and Heidi Morrow, Deb Chenault, Susan Stewart, Catherine Brereton, Annie Bassoni, Ruth Bryant, Reinette Jones, Kathy Schifflett, Vanessa Oliver, Greg Davis, Sandy Davis, Crystal Heis, Stacy Yelton, Tracy Hawkins, Lori-lyn Hurley, Duane Krieble, Jeanne Marie Hibbard, Becky Ryder, and Bryan, Abby, and Jen Bartlett. They all joined me for lunch at Jalepeno’s, and if I ever doubted they loved me, they came to lunch during a UK Wildcats basketball game. Now, that’s love! Heidi made a delicious red velvet cake, and I was overwhelmed by the thoughtful gifts, and kind words from my friends. As soon as I left The Tribe, I met my family for our belated Christmas get together. Mike, Missy, and Macie Moore, Lois Wilson, Barbara Schirmer, Charlene Vest, Rhonda Dedic, Renee, AJ, and Adam Watkins, and Eric, Jessica, Logan, and Lyndsey Stigall surprised me with a birthday cake, too!! Then, they also sang happy birthday and showered me with cards and gifts and kindness. I had a planned party, and a surprise party. To say that I had a day filled with love from beginning to end would be an understatement. In fact, there aren’t words enough to describe how happy each and every one of these people have made me, or how important they are to my life. This has been the best birthday ever.
“The only people with whom you should try to get even are those who have helped you.”
~ John E. Southard
It’s the last birthday Crystal Heis will ever have in her 30’s. She went to the DMV. She did laundry. She even came to a library function on her day off. I agree with Stacy Yelton; “Don’t do any of that next year.” At least she got a cupcake. Happy Birthday, HRB. I feel a Lordy, Lordy, look who’s 40 party plan coming on!
“All applicants of good will are accepted.” ~ Leonard Nimoy
Mom’s birthday is this Friday. The weather is supposed to be crappy (par for the course in January), plus I have to work (par for the course on Fridays). We were proactive on this gorgeous Martin Luther King Day and did birthdayness. We met in Morehead where a two hour lunch followed by two hours of shopping ensued. I don’t think anybody was in West Liberty because they were all in Morehead. It felt like home, but with a different view. It was a totally fantastic day, so what more could you ask for? I know: running into Pam Hager! You might remember Pam from last year with her husband Bobby who, sadly, passed in the fall. Pam has soldiered on and looks better than ever. It was a great way to end a truly wonderful mother/daughter birthday date.
“The best people possess a feeling for beauty, the courage to take risks, the discipline to tell the truth, the capacity for sacrifice. Ironically, their virtues make them vulnerable; they are often wounded. Sometimes destroyed.” ~ Ernest Hemingway
I thought we were having a Happiness Project breakfast. I was stunned to find the table loaded with birthday gifts atop my menu. These woman – Annie Bassoni, (Erin Chandler couldn’t be with us), Deb Chenault, Sandy Davis, Jeanne Marie Hibbard, and Stacy Yelton – never cease to surprise me (I’m not easy to surprise either). Each woman is giving, and I don’t mean giving of material possessions, but giving of her heart and the many other virtues that make people so divine. Each time we’re together I see us grow, individually and collectively. We never lack for conversation or laughter, and we never lack support for one another. More than the surprise were the gifts themselves that impressed. Their selection illustrate just how well these women know me. From the completely gorgeous pashmina to the CD “Mix Tape” (I’m showing my age with that term, I know), I was simply bowled over. Still, I can’t find the words to express fully my gratitude for such friends. I really must be living right.