06 February 2007

Almost heaven...

...I bet you thought I was going to say "West Virginia" given that's where I got my start. You should know better than THAT. Forty seven, that's what I'm talking about!

I have to say that if today is any indication of what this year might hold, I'm wildly optimistic.

Even with a voice that threatened to go AWOL off and on during the day, it was still a great birthday. Actually, my birthday eve brought surprises. It started yesterday - the postman only rang once, but he came bearing gifts: One from the western high plains of Texas and an Adobe software application and computer propaganda (Apple Computers) Mac OS System manual from the Northern region of the UK.

Now, I have to tell you, I got an e-mail this morning hinting that if there was a report of a nuclear mishap in Cumbria, well, I had to bear some responsibility for it. I guess it depended on how strong the coffee was across the pond. At the close of business today, I'm happy to say that the only "big news" involved a very strange story involving an astronaut love triangle and, I can promise you I had NOTHING to do with that. I was in Wilmington all weekend and I've never been an employee of NASA although, I will admit, that Katie and Justin did attend Space Camp. But that was a LONG time ago and I never dated an astronaut, although I did love riding the zero-gravity simulator, I can't see how one can be tied with the other. My conscience is clear and my hands are clean.

Vanessa arrived at work bearing gifts and a cake - a yummy whipped cream cake. Vanessa also got me some fun, blue pajamas. I think she believes they will make me write more efficiently. I think Vanessa was on a sugar high. I think Vanessa's cute when she's loopy.

Katie told me the "birthday fairy" might be paying me a visit. I didn't know what this "fairy" might look like, but she never showed herself in downtown Wilmington, but she certainly found Lansdowne Estates.

And what a busy birthday fairy she was!

Daisy Points of Origin included (in order of appearance):

New York, New York --------------------->
Thank you Katie & John!

<------------ Paris, France
Merci, Michel!

Tampa, Florida----------------------------->
Thank you Billie!

Everywhere I look, I smile because everywhere I look, I see friendly daisies. And then I smile some more...

But wait, there was yet another cake awaiting me when I arrived home. My next door neighbor and wonderful friend, Kathleen, my former partner-in-crime, sent me a beautiful chocolate cake from Apple Annie's and a sweet fig scented candle which is supposed to make me write with an eloquence not seen in these parts. :-) Oh Kathleen, you are too good to me! She may not realize it, but I will force her to share this cake with me.

We've tossed back a few things together in the shared history of our friendship and I see no reason why we can't toss this back, too! It's almost too beautiful to eat, but I'm willing to try and get past that. My side door is unlocked Kathleen - I have a plate with your name on it. This wonderful neighbor also sent me chocolate dipped pretzels and chicken soup this past weekend when I was not feeling so hot. I had no idea when I bought this house six and one half years ago, that it came equipped with such amazing neighbors who would soon segue straight into precious friends.

A few weeks ago, I mentioned a special man in Amarillo who, along with being one of the nicest people I've ever traded an e-mail with, is an artist on top of it. He sent me a photo of some snow scenes to make me appreciate living in a more temperate climate. He also included a picture of a flute he actually made.

Yesterday, the flute in that photo arrived at my house. The photo he sent doesn't do it justice. It is exquisite and although I haven't yet had the privilege of playing it, I am so proud of it that when I'm not trying to figure out how to play it, this gorgeous instrument will be displayed on the wall over my desk. A keen reminder of some of the many blessings I've accrued through writing because, Jim and I "met" when he started reading my newspaper column YEARS ago in Amarillo, Texas.

And it's right here that I have to send a special thank you to Michel LeSeac'h in Nantes, France, who cajoled me into making the proposal of a single-parenting column to the editors at The Amarillo Globe News and who made me believe I could actually get paid to write something. So I guess I became friends with Jim because an extremely obstinate and very dear Frenchman challenged me into taking a chance. You just never know where your next blessing may come from. It is a very small world, indeed.

Of course, the fact that today was as wonderful as it turned out to be, should have been of no surprise. When the first phone call you receive on the morning of your 47th birthday is a native New Yorker serenading you with "Happy Birthday to you...", well, you just sort of know it's going to be a pretty fine day. Thank you, Glen. I was honored. Have you thought about a career in....ummm...publishing? You might have a future. Don't get me wrong, the singing was great, but you are still obligated to giving me a tour of your favorite parts of Manhattan which, from hearing you go on about the place, is every square inch of it. I can't even believe you don't know what a hush puppy is! You need to get out more often. (The card made me cry...).

I have to admit that my heart has skipped a lot of beats today, but stress wasn't the culprit. Sometimes, particularly on days like this, my breath is taken away when I consider how many angels have strolled into my life and carressed my heart. Turning another year older is painless, when you are lifted up by friends such as these. I "heart" every last one of you, with every single beat of my own, even the extra ones.