Sunday, April 05, 2009

39 and Holding

I've decided Jack Benny had the right idea. Today I'm 39. Again.

For awhile it was my custom to take the week of my birthday as vacation and to schedule a genealogy research trip. That started way back when it became the custom at work to trash your office with streamers and confetti and balloons. One year, when I turned 39, I decided I just wasn't up to that kind of thing anymore and decided to vacate the premises and just avoid the messy cleanup afterwards.

The other benefit of taking vacation during my birthday week was that it corresponded to the switch to daylight savings time and I could get adjusted gradually. They really fouled up that plan when they bumped daylight savings time to mid-March.

But thanks to uncooperative airline schedules and weather concerns, the last few times I turned 39 the genealogy trips got scheduled later in the month, but generally there was still a trip sometime during April. This year it just didn't work out. Back when it would have been time to book airline tickets, the prices were out of sight and there was no assurance the airlines would even still be in business by the time we got there, so we opted to stick to a year of research close to home. I have mini-trips coming up (long weekends), but no week long excusions on the horizon. It feels a little strange after so many years of Salt Lake City in April and Arkansas in April and Indiana/Illinois in April and Kentucky in April.

But Texas in April is nice, too. Bluebonnets. Wrens building nests in the back yard. Tomatoes coming along nicely on the deck. And spur of the moment rambles in the country.

Today little brother came down to take me out for a birthday lunch and we decided to try a place recommended by my aunt that is a 20 minute drive to a place on the other side of Paige. We drove and drove and drove and decided we had missed it and, just as we were planning to turn around at the next wide spot in the road, there we found the Elm Creek Cafe. It was well worth the wait.

So, replete with chicken fried steak on my part, and stuffed flounder on his part, and fried green tomatoes and dewberry pie on both our parts, we decided it would be nice to wander back home by a different route. We ended up driving through Lexington and then to Blue and then to Knobbs Springs where I suggested I show him an old cemetery that you get to by hiking through a pasture.

Just as we got a good ways inside the gate and were heading over the dam to the cemetery, we realized we were not alone. A lone goat bleated to us from the next pasture over, but dead ahead of us were a half-dozen cattle standing there staring at us, trying to decide if we would be feeding them or they should high-tail it to the other end of the pasture. I kept walking toward them and shooing them away when little brother started hanging back and observed that one of them was a big bull and if he headed our way, little brother would be gone. City kid. I was trying to get close enough for a good picture.

As it turned out, once they realized we had no feed for them, they turned their backs and ignored us as we kept going. We explored the little cemetery and then headed back. As we approached the little group again, Mr. Bull had turned his back on us and I remarked how much his rump looked like Mr. Mojo's. Big, black, fat and with attitude. Little brother informed me again that if the bull got up, he was outta there.

But even he was a sucker for what came next. A group of young donkeys had come in close and were really friendly. There was the really young, grabbing the opportunity for a quick snack.

There was the male of the bunch who was ready for a little head patting and sweet talk.

All of them crowded up for a little attention and we had a great visit with our fellow Democrats. Just the kind of folks I like to have show up for my birthday party. A nice surprise ending to our outing.

Once home we took a long walk through the woods with the wee ones, who were overjoyed to see their uncle. Now we are basking in the glow of a day well spent. From sweet puppy kisses when I woke up this morning, to sweet donkey kisses in the afternoon, to a satisfied tummy, it was certainly my idea of how to enjoy one's birthday.



Bettye said...

sounds like a perfect way to spend a 39th birthday. BKP

RMG said...

Nah, you couldn't be over 35 and holding! :)

MiniKat said...

Sounds like a wonderful day! :-)

Happy Birthday!