Saturday, August 13, 2011

Marking Time

Well, here it is...the Big 5-0, the half-century mark! I've been smiling all day. I've got a great, friend-filled weekend on tap. I'm down 39 pounds towards my 50 x 50 goal. I'll get there, not exactly ON but near enough to my 50th. Being down 3 sizes is close the heck enough for me to feel pretty darn good. My confidence trumps others' perception of perfection or imperfection, every time.

I just wanted to pause before the festivities begin tomorrow, and reflect on how blessed I am. I have friends who are going through pain that knows no depth and that has no reason. it makes me realize that I'm so very lucky. I know that luck can and does run out. With little or no notice. I'm gulping life and treasuring every day. I'm healthy, and getting healthier. I'm in a good place emotionally and geographically and my family is on an even keel, relatively speaking.

50 is just a number, but it got here pretty fast. I feel late 30's at most, but have been shaped by my 40's.

When I moved from NY to NC last year, I started wearing this #2 charm. It signifies my "Chapter 2." I'm writing one page at a time and I like the way the story is unfolding. It's my "midlife" celebration, not a midlife crisis.

As independent as I am, I still love traditions. I like getting Happy Birthday e-mails, texts, cards and calls from family and friends...and I love that they still take the time to think of me, after all these years. I looked forward to receiving my prezzie boxes from my mom and my sister. They always hit the mark!

My mother's boxes are always nicely wrapped, and this was especially nice because there was a milagro tucked under the ribbon. She and I both collected milagros ("promises" for miracles) from visits to Greece, a decade apart. They are usually stamped out of tin or brass, more rarely silver or gold. This one is gold! Milagros might depict a symbol of someone or something that needs prayers. Could be a loved one, a leg, a horse, a house, a baby, etc. I love to hang the few dozen that I have, from my Christmas tree.

The side of the box was nibbled by mom's pet bird, Binky, before she could get it in the mail. That's a homey touch ;-)

Among the lovely things packed by my sister and niece, was this plate with a saying that I like. "Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the number of moments that take our breath away." It should be, anyway!

I don't take prezzies for granted. Time and thought goes into buying, packing and mailing the box...and everyone's busy, so I appreciate the effort!

Today I was blown away by two separate deliveries. First, I answered the doorbell, and there was a young guy standing on the porch holding fresh flowers in a mason jar. I was confused, because he looked somehow out of place.  While I was saying hello, I was trying to think of what florist could have such a rustic presentation. He said, "Happy Birthday from Poplar Ridge Farm!"  I've blogged about Poplar Ridge's wonderful Farm to Table Dinners. The owners are unable to attend my birthday party tomorrow, but I never, ever expected flowers! I asked the young man to please tell Marianne and Phillip, ahead of my thank you note, that I was utterly flummoxed by this surprise!

A pretty, rustic and very fragrant bouquet!

Here's the card:

If you ever get to Waxhaw, NC...Poplar Ridge Farm is worth finding. Real good people, a lovely setting, and great veggies and flowers!

The second unexpected delivery was via UPS. The delivery man does the "ring and run" so the truck was almost out of view when I saw the Pro Flowers box on my porch.

Now, who could have sent me 100 (ONE HUNDRED) baby roses? There were so many they didn't fit into one vase. I have a second arrangement in the master bath...a nice bonus! They are from my NY realtor and friend Joan. The flowers were quite unexpected and so very thoughtful! Joan said that the 100 roses were meant to "celebrate twice my 50 years, and so that I may have double the luck from this day forward." She and I reconnected on the #7 subway platform a few years ago, after having a passing acquaintance as teenagers on Long Island. Funny how people move in time and space. Joan did a spectacular job helping me sell my home, and is truly happy for me as I live each page of Chapter 2, out loud.

I smiled alot today. I'm truly blessed, and it's heartwarming to know that I've also touched some lives in return. Happy Birthday to me.

Life is good. Level & Plumb.

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