Sunday, January 27, 2008

Birthday for a Compactor

OK. Yes, as of yesterday I am now 42 years old. I was born in 1966 on January 26th. A year later there would be a giant snow storm that would effectively shut down the city of Chicago and surrounding areas. Later on in 1967, there would be the "summer of love" in San Francisco where mellow people from all over the country would come to drop out and turn on. Another 2 years later, in 1969, there would be a giant music festival on a farmer's land in a town called Woodstock in upstate New York and people would dance in the mud, much like my daughter and son sometimes do now when it rains. In 1968, or 1969 there would be televised rocket launches, one of which comprises one of my earliest memories: my oldest sister insisting to my mother that I could stay up to watch the launch because how often would there be one? My Mom relented and I did get to stay up--thanks sister #1. Thanks Mom.

In the 70's I went camping with my family up to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. It was a wonderful time of immersion in Nature and allowed for self discovery.

One of my favorite memories from one of our camping trips was when I went camping with my Father, Brother and a friend of his, Sue. My Dad and I were in one canoe, and my brother and his friend were in another. We paddled over the lakes, portaged, paddled again and made camp. At some point we went out and went fishing from the canoes. We used worms and draped the line over the side of the canoe. We used Red Devil spoon lures: red and white, or black and white or green and white. My Dad inadvertently dropped my pole into the water. Uh oh. I cried. I was very upset. He looked at me, looked into my eyes, and dove in to try and get it. I felt bad that he went to all of that trouble, and felt very well loved by him for his trying. He did not find the fishing pole--he got hypothermia instead.

We got Dad back to camp and got him into warm clothes and got him into a sleeping bag and he rested. He warmed up and then after a while was fine. But, it was a scary time for all of us.

The next day I stayed with him in camp and my brother and Sue went out fishing near a river. They caught a lot of fish: small mouth bass, northern pike and they fishing pole! They snagged it and pulled it in.

We all were amazed.

Meanwhile, my father had felt so badly about the loss of my fishing pole that he had fashioned one for me out of a thick stick, a spare reel from his tackle box and guide rings he made from twisted strips of metal he got from an empty fuel can for our cook stove. With that fishing pole I caught the northern pike you see below. I was proud. He was proud. My brother and Sue were proud. I caught that fish in 1975 and I was 9 1/2 years old. My son is the same age now as I was in that picture.

Here I am holding the pike.

I'm now 42 years old. And, my husband and children and I are in a compact not to buy anything new for this year. What a quandary for my husband. What was he going to get me? He knows how strongly I feel about all of my camping experiences. He knows how they have helped to frame my view of the world and the universe and my place in it and my connection to everything else. So, my husband found this picture of me (I don't even know where it was) went out and found an ugly turquoise frame from a thrift shop, painted it black and framed the picture of me with the northern pike. Beautiful.

Yesterday, my husband had my kids make me cards.

My son's front, inside and back:

Note the "Hallmark" on the back?

I blocked out the names in my daughter's card to protect the innocent here...

See the "1, 4, 3"? That means, I love you.

Below, you see the mixer going at top speed as my husband made me "Dream Cake"--the cake we always make for birthdays.

1, 4, 3 family. I love you daughter. And you son. And you husband. And you cat. And you mom and dad and brother and sister and sister. Thank you, it has been a very happy birthday indeed.


Blessed Wife and Mother said...

Happy Belated Birthday!!!! - Sorry I haven't been on much since Friday as Hubby is back in town (he is home for 2 weeks and then gone again).
Let me know if you get that check, you should get it today!!

Laura said...

Thanks for the good wishes! I'll let you know when I get the check. I'm glad you're trying different things with the kefir. Have you gone to Dom's Kefir site yet? There is an encyclopedia of info about kefir there.

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