D-Day’s Birthday

judge2banna-1  Anna von Ritz

Being born on June 6 is always an odd mix of solemn memorial to the invasion of Normandy during World War II on this day 74 years ago, remembrance of JFK, also born on June 6, and the silliness that often accompanies my celebrations on this same day.

This morning, before eight, I got a phone call from friends doing a group sing of the Happy Birthday Song…. as I held the phone receiver out away from my ear, the dogs were softly howling and I had a mental picture of my friend, Cindy, seated in the passenger seat of the family car trying to put on her mascara on her way to work and singing the “Happy Birthday Song” at the same time…..

My glory truly is and has always been having such friends…. and howling dogs, of course. If past experience is any teacher, there will be several such incidents today and the dogs will get in their choir practice.

This afternoon we will have a spaghetti supper in Big Lake, Alaska, and strawberry shortcake— the traditional repast for my birthday from time immemorial. Nobody remembers any longer exactly when, how, or why that became “my” birthday fare, but having such a pattern established makes life simpler, so I let it stand.

Just think of a Little Old Lady Party with howling dogs and pouring rain. Lotsa shredded Asiago. Garlic bread. Splashes of red wine on the carpet.

Yesterday, my son paid me back for years of Mom Care. He totally faked me out. We were traveling together and he asked to take a side trip to Barnes and Noble…. only later did it turn out that he had used the opportunity to buy me a birthday present, and that that had been his entire devious intention for the whole foray.

And he opened the door for me going into and out of the store.

I smiled.

Life is good. Somehow or other in the midst of everything, he learned to care for others and be polite and earn his own money and give God the glory.

No Mom could ask for a better birthday present than that.

I don’t know what to expect from the coming year or why it should be any different, but I feel somehow hopeful. It’s like a change in the weather or the direction of the wind. There is a sense that the world is changing and awakening and beginning to think again.

Thinking is good. It causes people to change their own minds and then, they go forth and change the world. Maybe this is the year when we reach a communal tipping point and decide that we are not going to live in fear of our own government anymore, aren’t going to take any vacuous excuses for the rampant abuses, and aren’t going to be silent anymore.

That would be another great birthday present.

Ooo-rah, America!


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