Friday, August 28, 2009

Birthday Presents

I never got around to writing about my fortieth birthday. It's about time, I think. But, since my writing muscles are starting to wither away, I'm going to cheat (again), and post pictures instead.

I bought myself a boquet of flowers in the morning (which is something I should do a lot more often, by the way). By the time my party was over, I had three boquets and one orchid. I had flowers on my desk; flowers in the kitchen; flowers in the hallway & flowers in my bedroom. One of my friends gave me a book of things to do "now that you're 40." I'm thinking that having flowers around is one of those things.

Here I am at the party. See my beautiful cake? See my beautiful cleavage? One fun thing about living in France is how easy/comfortable/appreciated it is to share your shape.

At the party we had fireworks, which J helped set off - so the kids had a good time too. Two days ago, I learned just how close we had been to having the fire department called on us.

Apparently someone in the apartment behind our house saw us shooting things off, and worried we'd set the house on fire. Her neighbor, who works at the boys' school looked out, recognized one of the guests at the party, and reassured her neighbor that "oh, that's just an American thing. They're harmless. It's okay. Do NOT call the fire department."

Makes me wonder about all the things I don't know about, which I discover later. Hmmm.

My present to myself, was a three-day vacation at a spa in the Alsace region of France. I took a fast train, arranged a taxi, and spent three days taking care of no one but myself. On one of my walks, I noticed this ladder. Being the curious soul that I am (and having no children around in which I wouldn't want to have followed me), I climbed.

At the top of the ladder was a single wooden seat (really, a platform with a back). I turned around, sat down and watched the world go by for awhile. The best thing about this trip was the opportunity to slow down. To let go and to listen to the parts of me that generally get drowned out in the noise of everyday living.

The town was having some kind of art installation about bugs. All around town, I found these lovely creatures, climbing up walls, on the sidewalk, in cafes. Fun & silly.

Last, but definitely not least, my best girlfriend made time to visit with me this summer. She left her three boys, to hang out with me and two of mine (the older boys were in Denver with their grandma). This wasn't officially a birthday visit, but it was such a gift I had to include it. Love you, gal!

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