Saturday, November 20, 2010

My 64th Birthday

My "love slave", harvesting bamboo for me,
with Lucky at his side.
This is an account of my 64th birthday.  After waking up early and musing about my special day (2 posts back), here's what actually happened.

Talked to my Mom on the phone, of course, and received a few calls, texts or emails from friends (Vincent, Sheryl, Laura).  This on top of several Facebook well-wishers from my dog club.

Per my birthday request, John and I headed out to the woods adjacent to our property around 10 a.m., boots, gloves, machetes and lopers in hand, to harvest bamboo for my tee pee.  It was clear skies, still, and cool enough for long sleeves.  Not a single insect to bother us.  Energizing! Lucky came along, her very first off-leash walk-about in an unfenced area.  John was a bit trepidatious but I was confident she would stay with us, and she did.  Had to call her back into view several times, but she wasn't far away, just sniffing thru the tangled undergrowth. (Nathan, nobody is keeping the paths clear the way you used to do as a boy.) It was so thick with fallen trees, vines, and debris, we had to cut a winding path to the bamboo patch, lost it, and had to cut another path back home.  We were in the woods a good 2 hours.

Michele and Lucky, trimming bamboo
Finding straight poles was a challenge.  Most of the ones in this patch arch out, but we finally found a few 30' long pieces with 10' of straight somewhere in their length.  I set about shaving off the side chutes, with Lucky at my back.  My birthday is starting out GREAT!

We marked the path home by dropping lengths of bamboo all along the path.  When Jonathan gets here next Tuesday, John hopes to take him in there to clear the path, as Nathan did 25 years the ago. We used to harvest blackberries, I used to take my pre-schoolers out on short hikes, and I remember Garrett and I especially delighting in harvesting spiral vines to decorate our classroom with.  I don't know why the neighborhood boys don't go there now.  They are missing out.
Maxie on the tee pee

We came in, sat on the back patio to rest awhile and I took some photos for the blog of John and dogs enjoying our new lawn.  Inside, I finished binding the edges of the tee pee fabric with duck tape so it wouldn't ravel.  That took a few hours of bending over, and needing to rest now and then, I sat at my computer and wrote up my story on Laying Sod).  When I was finished with the binding, I spread the fabric out on the ground, set the poles in place, then John trimmed them to 9.5' with our skill saw.  

John checks it out for headroom. 
Oops, 6'4" Nathan might not fit.
We set it up, and here it is, in the raw.  So far, so good.  I still need to figure out how to fasten the door closed, rig up a bowl over the top to keep the rain from running down the poles, and paint some decorations on it.  But this is enough for today. Gotta go inside and rest up for dinner tonight.  My full tee pee story is scattered on some other pages. I'll pull them all together eventually, maybe.

Then John in his recliner, me on the red couch, we kicked back for a few hours and watched the last 3 episodes of Lie To Me, Season 2, streamed from Netflix.  Somewhat rested up, I changed my shoes, fixed my hair, threw on some makeup and jewelry, then John and I took off for Ichiban's Japanese Grill and Sushi Bar for 8 p.m.  "Dress is casual", Nathan had said, so I didn't even change my clothes from the hike in the woods.  I was so tired, I was incapable of putting on any kind of airs.  I was glad I didn't have to cook or do dishes, but not sure I could stay awake thru the dinner, much less be good company.

L to R: Audrey, Allison, Nathan, Me, and John
Notice all the bar chairs turned upside down. 
We were the last to leave.
At Ichiban, we met up with my son, his wife, and my sister-in-law for a scrumptious birthday meal, Nathan's treat.  These are my main "peeps", plus my grandson who couldn't come. Nathan did all the ordering. We drank chilled sake, had fried sushi, yes, fried sushi, and another kind wrapped in cucumber strips.  OMG, those were over-the-top delicious. We fought over those.  I tasted eel sauce for the first time.  The main platter had about 6 other kinds of sushi, which were also good but comparable to sushi you find other places. We ate, talked and laughed so long, we shut the place down.  I didn't realize until the last moment, as they were throwing us out, that I hadn't taken any pictures.  The waiter was kind enough to snap this one near the exit, in the bar, with all the chairs upturned so they could mop the floors.  Alas, I didn't get one of our food-laden table.  It was a sumptuous display!

It was a "no gifts" party except for cards, because all my peeps know I don't want any more material things. But Audrey brought me a gift anyway.  It was wrapped but you could tell it was a book.  I rudely, adamently pronounced that there was only one book I wanted, and if this was by some mysterious means that book, (which it couldn't possibly be), I would lie down on the floor in shock.  Sure enough, it was Barbra Striesand's new book, My Passion For Design.  So I laid on the floor as promised, in shock . . . . . which shocked a few waiters and patrons.  That's the thing about Audrey.  She knows me so well.  Unbeknownst to me, she had also seen Oprah's interview with Barbra and Robert Redford a few nights back, and she knew I would want this book.

So that capped off the perfect birthday day.  Good food, good people, a bit of magic, shock and awe! But my friends say "Fry's birthday isn't over til she says it is."  So this morning I woke up and ate the leftovers, including the last two fried sushis, and thought about declaring that to be the official end to my very special day.  And so, perhaps it is . . . . . . . . . . . then again perhaps not.  I still have friends coming in (tonight), we're hosting an Indian dinner party tomorrow night for many old friends I haven't seen in months, a book to read, a blog to write, work to do, pictures to take, projects to finish, dogs to train, etc.  Every day I feel a bit renewed, reborn, and spoiled by my friends, family and all my many blessings.  Words being so powerful, visualization so life-shaping, I don't think I should ever let my birth day be over.   :-)

Upwards and onward,

No comments: