It’s my birthday today. I’m 74, and I’ve got to say I’m delighted at how many people I know in their 70s and 80s who are full of life and creativity. Anyway, the day started in a wonderful way, as my husband Kelly (45 years together!) gave me a photo book he had made for me on Shutterfly.
We sat together on the loveseat, our little dog curled up between us, and looked at the photos he’d chosen, spanning decades of our life together and before.He put an early photo of me on the cover, and he commented on how much of the present me he could see in her expression.
Here she is, I mean, here I am:
Then it was time to hustle as we were expected to arrive at a private hot springs before lunch. We had a lot to do to get our RV ready for the overnight trip. We full-timed with our dogs in the rig, nicknamed “the Cabin,” a couple of years ago, so packing it up came automatically. The two dogs ran back and forth with every load we took from the house to the Cabin. Our nine-year-old Rottweiler Lola seemed especially anxious that she would get to go. I tried to reassure her, but my words weren’t enough. She was making sure nobody left without her.
I was doing last-minute things around the house when I noticed that Kelly was starting the RV, as he had done the day before. But this time, it kept stalling. After a while, he came into the kitchen and said, “We can’t take the Cabin to the hot springs. It won’t start and if it did, by now I wouldn’t trust it not to stall on one of those hills out in the country on the way to Mimbres.”
It took me only a split-second to realize that I was fine with whatever happened. We could go see our friends at the hot spring another time. Maybe there was a reason for this, maybe there wasn’t, but I wasn’t going to let anything spoil my birthday. Those tender moments we’d shared while looking at his gift were so sweet that I was perhaps more philosophical than usual.
We could just go out for the day in our pickup, but the main event out there was to be this evening. We could leave the dogs home overnight, sleep in the pickup, and have someone check on the dogs, but I wasn’t sure I could look my Rottie in the face if we did that. Fellow fanatic dog-lovers will understand that my birthday without my dogs would be less of a celebration. (Here they are in the Cabin when we were full-timing.)
We could have a great day wherever we were. I called our friends out at the hot springs and it turned out that things were quite busy there, and another time we could have a more relaxed visit. Aha.
So Kelly and I unloaded the Cabin, and he went and got takeouts at a Japanese restaurant that opened recently. Sure, we could have gone out to lunch but really I didn’t want to leave the dogs right away. They were still watching our every move.
We had a lovely lunch. The house is smelling heavenly from the carob pudding cake baking for later. Some of our closest friends are coming over for dinner. We’ll have the blended carrot soup I had made to take out to the hot springs, plus ground grass-fed lamb as a garnish, a salad entirely from our garden, the homemade bread Kelly had made for the trip, and that cake. As for hot water, we won’t miss out… we’ll just soak in our hot tub!
Kelly and I have a saying, that we have good bad luck. We have bad luck like anyone does, but it turns out well in the end. That’s happening today, and learning to be more resilient is a great skill. That’s another thing this “old lady” has noticed… learning never stops.