Sunday, September 27, 2009

Happy Birthday to *me*

My first birthday, Sept. 1968

Today I turned 21 for the second time. My daughter taught herself how to play "Happy Birthday" on the piano so that she could surprise me. It was a sweet surprise and we all enjoyed singing it together. My family took me out for breakfast, which is always a treat, and then we decided to go wandering. I *love* meandering roadtrips! We stopped at Rockbridge Winery to do some tasting, went down the road to an open house at a Llama farm, drove through the Virginia Horse Center in Lexington to see what was happening (nothing, it turns out) and then headed for points west. We ended up about 12 miles from the West Virginia border in the George Washington National Forest at Lake Moomaw. The weather was perfect. We had the entire lake to ourselves. It was a good day for a birthday.

I remember hitting 21 the first time. I expected it to be this great year of freedom and liberation but it really wasn't. I was young and cute; I had already graduated from art school and was earning a meeger living as an entry-level designer. I didn't know much about the game of life or what I really wanted to be. Though I suspect I behaved like I knew everything. I found that life wasn't really that much different. I hadn't yet met the man I would marry or seen all the places that for a short time I'd call home. The idea of children was far too big for my mind to grasp.

Today I can't imagine my life without my family or without all of my wonderful friends. The journey to 42 has filled me with a deep appreciation for what truly matters in life. I've learned great lessons about love, understanding, compassion, loss and true heart. And the more I learn, the more I want to learn. Last week I started teaching myself how to play piano, which is something I've always wanted to do. And I'm learning how to speak French because I figure that will surely come in handy on some upcoming adventure, right? I don't know what lies ahead, but I do know that enjoying right now is the best way to spend today.


  1. Happy Birthday Leslie! My daughter's is today - & she turns 11...just think - 10 more years & she'll be 21 - yikes! let's not think of that one yet!

  2. I still have this rocking chair! It's in my attic now, but both of my kids used it. My daughter is 11 also - yes, I try to steer clear of lookig 10 years out...way too scary for me. Thanks for stopping by & for the Bday wishes too.

  3. Happy Birthday Leslie!!! Glad you had a great day. That is the cutest baby picture. You look like you were really enjoying that cake! Wishing you much happiness always.

  4. Happy Birthday to you! I got married on your birthday in 1997! :)

  5. Thanks Elisa and Jen! It does look like I was really into the cake, most literally. Happy Anniversary Jen!

  6. Belated Happy Birthday! I've got an 8year head start on you! But it certainly is a good time of the year to celebrate! And yes, I too appreciate the wisdom that comes with age!


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