My carnival

At first this post was going to be titled “another day,” because when you turn 58, it is just another birthday of many and not that big a deal.

But for my family and friends, that’s just not true. It turned instead into an extended celebration, as usual – my carnival started Friday and lasted through Sunday evening. Actually, it started a few days earlier when the dogs called me to the front door to catch John dragging a large smart TV for the bedroom into the foyer.

“Uh, happy birthday, ” he said. Oops. Great gift, even if Tess, Zuz and I spoiled the surprise.

Friday morning, Mother and I lit out for Springdale to pick up her darling little dog, called “Lollipop” by the rescue folks, but transitioned to “Polly” by Mother to spare confusion, since John and I are Lolly and Pop. Seeing her joy over the little white ball of love was the best gift I could have gotten.

John puts together little Lollipop/Polly's crate while she looks on approvingly. She loves it.

John puts together little Lollipop/Polly’s crate while she looks on approvingly. She loves it.

That evening our friends Julia and Rich came over with gifts and we had an old-fashioned cocktail in Waterford hi-ball glasses (Julia and me) and one beer each for the guys, while we watched the 2-hour Dateline episode featuring the freaky FDLS compound and Warren Jeffs’ arrest. Julia and I are somewhat obsessed with those folks. (So is my daughter-in-law, whom I got addicted with John Krakauer’s Under the Banner of Heaven.) The guys made fun of us for our exciting evening, but they ended up watching it too.

Like a train wreck they are. I dare you to look away.

Saturday Jude decreed that Lolly must have cupcakes on her birthday, so Liz got up early and made six heavenly vegan cupcakes, which she and the kids brought over before the Razorback game started. Liz and I also shopped at the South Main Vintage Market, scoring big on two chairs for $10 each and a set of 1950’s painted aluminum small tumblers and a pitcher.

Could’ve been from the year I was born. Close, anyway. And we got a vintage wooden Playskool school bus puzzle thrown in to boot. Sylvia’s obsessed with school busses. (I guess obsessiveness is a family trait.)

Bill Maher ever so kindly came to Arkansas on my birthday (Sept. 14, a day I share with my friends Allison Langston, Ron Wolfe and Paula Putt – and Joey Heatherton, one of John’s and my dad’s dream girls in the ’60’s), so my sister, Cathy, way-back-from-high-school friend, Anita, and I got tickets as soon as they went on sale.

After dinner at Vino’s with John and Paul, we went to Robinson Auditorium, where we were seated in front of my friends Dauphne and Cassandra, so the five of us enjoyed the show together. (Dauphne and I have been bemoaning our busy schedules keeping us from getting together. Coolness.)

Then today was the big family hoorah at Mother’s. Six children (my five grands and Cathy’s one), a new doggie, Rhonda and Mike, and all the family adults made for a big noisy bunch. Mother had a heavenly carrot cake and a whiskey bundt cake with whipped cream. I had too much of each and thought I’d never eat again, but oddly, I find myself getting almost hungry at almost 8 p.m.

So now it’s winding down. I have fabulous and funny cards, nice gifts, fantastic and loving family and friends and good health. Growing old is a breeze, sort of. It’s definitely worth doing, even if in my mind I still look like this:


My “official” 18th birthday portrait.

Instead of this:

I guess this is my official 58th birthday portrait. John took it.

I guess this is my official 58th birthday portrait. John took it.

Whatever. I just hope the birthdays keep coming.

I’m now 10 years older than Daddy was when he died of cancer. He’d be so proud of us all.

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