Happy Forty Something
Yesterday was my birthday. As of today, I’m officially Forty Something. (Anyone who hasn’t hit the big four-oh yet, don’t fear it. Thirty nine was scary and awful with that big milestone approaching, but forty was pretty cool–I’m not sure what was different, but it was sort of like I all of a sudden felt like I’d crossed a line somewhere that gave me permission to not take crap from anyone, know what I mean? Forty-one, by comparison, will probably be sort of a non-event.) It was a nice day–well, it was a hugely busy and crazy day, and the only time we got to celebrate as a family was breakfast before school. My husband and kids made pancakes, we drank local cider and ate not even remotely local fresh pineapple rings. (Fresh pineapple is my absolute favorite fruit; I don’t know what it is about it, but it’s just so lovely…)
My gifts made me smile. Not just because they were nice gifts, but it was just sort of cool to see how my family really does sort of “get” me on this whole green thing, and that they encourage me so much. And how much my life and tastes have changed in the past couple of years.
I think my 39th birthday gifts were probably something like this: the new Nora Roberts novel, a sweater from Kohls, a couple of CD’s, stuff like that.
This year: my husband gave me two books: Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer, a memoir of a woman who manages gardens and livestock in the inner city, and Barnyard in your Backyard, a guide for keeping chickens, geese, sheep, cows, whatever. That last one, especially, I could hardly believe, since he rolls his eyes whenever I talk about the laying chickens I want. My mom had sent Preserving the Harvest, a guide to pickling, freezing, drying, canning, etc. almost any fruit or veggie you could think of. She also gave me a beautiful hand-woven sweater from the Maine Common Ground Fair. Kids gave me handmade soap and fair trade chocolate.
It was a very nice birthday. I don’t expect to spend all day tomorrow canning fruits, and I’m not anticipating keeping chickens in the backyard any time in even the remotely near future, but it’s fun to be able to think about it and do what I can, and have the reference materials there for when it is the right time. And there’s nothing like knowing a little about the unknown to make it seem not quite so unknown or intimidating. Sort of like your forties, ya know?