Ok, maybe not. It’s my birthday this Sunday. I’ll be 49. I’m not one to care much about the number or that it’s my birthday. These days, my preference is that my birthdays pass as quietly as possible.
When I was a child, there was an ice cream parlor in town. Farrell’s. Like a lot of things back then, it eventually went away. In Sacramento, this was partially due to a horrible tragedy. There were two Farrell’s in town. One was down the street from Sacramento Executive Airport. The month before my eighth birthday, my family went to an air show at the airport. As we left, us kids begged and pleaded to go to Farrell’s. Our parents, wise oldsters that they were, took us elsewhere for pizza instead. About 45 minutes after we left the air show, an air plane participating in the air show slammed into the Farrell’s down the road. Twenty-two people were killed, Among the dead were twelve children. Needless to say, Farrell’s ceased to exist at that location and the other Sacramento location closed a few years later.
A few weeks ago, Farrell’s made its return to Sacramento. I suggested to my family that I wanted to go to Farrell’s. Within a few days, I changed my mind. I don’t need to go to Farrell’s and order some ice cream extravaganza that’s about five times too large. I don’t need them running around the place singing happy birthday to me. Now what I need is peace. What I need is quiet. Instead, my family of four will be playing bocce ball and then having dinner somewhere. I’m not sure where, but it will be a place where they don’t have to sing and there will be no hullabaloo. Why? Because that’s the way I am.
I took the week off from work. When I planned for the time off, I had no real plans. I just knew I would want some time. I ended up spending a couple of days in the Aptos/Capitola area. What did I do? I watched the waves. I watched the sea gulls and pelicans. I sat and waited. Waited for what? Nothing. I tried to take a breath and slow down.
I did what I do when I have time off these days. I practiced retirement. It’s only six years away for me, unless things change. I went for a four-mile walk through a redwood forest. I took pictures of the waves. I read. A lot. I wrote. More than I expected but not as much as I would have liked. I took my time and enjoyed the moment that I was in. A thing I need to do more.
When I returned home, I started a few other things. I baked some bread. I planned some dinners. I wrote some more. Again, more than I expected, but not as much as I would have liked.
I have this vision of my life a few years from now. I’ll rise with the sun. I’ll spend some time catching up on the day’s news via the newspaper or the internet. Then, I’ll start some bread. Go for a run or a walk while it rises. Return to finish the bread and sit and write for a couple of hours. The afternoons will be filled with a little of this (maybe painting, maybe playing the guitar or sax, reading) and that (blogging, gardening, more cooking). And dinners will be quiet. Sitting on the porch when it’s warm, inside by a fire when it’s not.
And, most importantly of all, there will be a view of the ocean, which will also be a short walk away, so I can sit and watch the waves whenever I want.
It’s my birthday Sunday, I’ll be 49. Six years isn’t a long time, is it?
P.S. I think it would be incredibly wonderful if you were to purchase one of my books this weekend and write a review on Amazon. 🙂 What a wonderful birthday present that would be. Quiet, peaceful, supportive.