Sunday, November 11, 2007

The New York Experience: Day 9: Having A Birthday Without All The Fanfare!

Happy Birthday to Me. Happy Birthday to Me. Happy Birthday to Meeeeeee! Happy Birthday to Me! If you hadn't figured it out yet, yesterday was my birthday. The day my very small white haired mother pushed out her third, last, and biggest kid. It has been a long time since I was in my hometown celebrating my Birthday. It was a relatively uneventful day spending time at Wal-Mart with Mom and just plain hangin' out, talking on the phone with my wife and bro's, and even reading emails from my Dentist, various restaurants, the people at FileMaker software development company and some friends.

As it Veterans Day, it was always pretty easy to remember my birthday. My Dad, being a Veteran himself, always put out the flag at every opportunity that honored our military heroes big or small. As a kid, I thought that every time my Dad put the flag out that it was my Birthday and I had no problem telling every kid on the block that! Sadly, my Dad is gone now. So in honor of him, and our veterans around the world, I found his flag and put it outside for all to see. It was a kind of somber moment for me and the only thought was, "This one's for you Dad. This is how you would have wanted it." I can see him smiling proudly!

As winter approaches here in the country, and the morning temperature a brisk 14 degrees, there is one thing everybody has to do to get ready before the snow flies and the frost hardens the ground. Winterize. That means putting covers on window air conditioners both inside and out, putting in these plastic storm windows my Dad built to keep in the heat and other inside and outside work. In fact, we even changed the smoke detectors today as we've had the same ones for probably 20 years or more. Probably was time for that. Tomorrow we'll pull up old plants, cut back rose bushes and trees, and get our yard ready for winter. Mom, at 81, said she's going to be out there with me getting her hands dirty. We'll see about that.

Since my wife went back to LA on Saturday (bummer), it's just me and Mom. So she decided to take our neighbors Peter and Ginny, out to dinner at a local place called The Barnsider. Great food and we didn't tell them about my B-Day until we got seated for dinner, saving that typical restaurant embarassment. These are two of the most incredible people you could ever meet. Besides tending to their own kids, they constantly take care of my Mom like she was their Mom. They check on her all the time, do errands for her, invite her over for dinner, take her to doctor's appointments and even pick us kids (although we're not kids anymore) at the airport when we come to see our Mom. And they never seem to complain or say no. They've got such a warm spirit and they are a great example of what country life is all about.

That's the way it is in my neighborhood. It's the way a neighborhood should be. What the heck has happened to our society over the years. I guess it's too much Desperate Housewives and not enough Little House On The Prairie.

So there you go. Birthday #43 has come and gone. I still feel like 23 but now I've got to hold papers at arms length to read them sometimes, actually write down things to remember them, and sadly have to pee every couple of hours. I even had to count on my fingers (rewmember that in grade school?) to figure out how old I really was! They say the mind is the first thing to go...

Discover Insanity's "The New York Experience" series is a continual recap of the previous day's adventures in the country wilderness of Upstate, New York. We will return with our daily topical blog posts on November 17th