Thursday, December 11, 2008

Birthday Memories

December 11 is my birthday. I am a Saggittarian with a joy for life and a thirst for knowledge and travel. I have been blessed to be multi-talented. I am a great listener, a writer, an untrained artist, and a craftswoman (mostly self-taught).

I love meeting and spending time with people. My taste in friends is varied so some of them don't mix well, much to their loss (my point of view, not theirs). I am a small town, Southern U. S. A. girl at heart. I love music in most forms with the exception of opera and rap.

I grew up in the 1950's and 1960's but was not brave enough to become a flower child. Even though my birth chart says I have the possibility of being promiscuous, I never have had that particular urge. Every person that reads my chart points this out to me. One person even argued with me about it and insisted that I was. Maybe this is a blessing from the incest that I have never acted out in this area. I have never believed in free love. Love always comes with a price. I don't mean that in a negative way. Involvement of my heart is a price that I will willingly pay. Love, for me, comes with committment.

Now for the birthday memories, as my title says. The first memory is from my 16th or 17th birthday. It doesn't matter which year. They were very similar. Most of my birthdays, because they are in December, are cold and rainy. If it doesn't rain, they are still usually cloudy. This particular December 11, for lunch, I left the school and walked to downtown Plain Dealing, Louisiana and bought a candy bar at the local five and dime store. Back then our school lunches were 25 cents a day. Usually I would skip lunch the whole week so that I could eat in town one day of the week with my $1.25. I remember the day looked the way I felt, sad and lonely. We had moved to Plain Dealing when I was in the middle of the school year of the tenth grade. I left all of my friends behind at Haughton High School. I really missed them. We had all been friends since the fifth grade when we move to Haughton, Louisiana. Moving to a small country school in the middle of the year doesn't make it easy to make friends especially if you are extremely shy like I was.

My next birthday memory is more joyful. It was my 24th birthday. I was married and pregnant with our son Jeremy. We lived in Asheville, North Carolina. We were 900 miles from most of our family. Daniel threw me a party and invited two couples from our Natural Childbirth class. It was a wonderful night of laughter, birthday cake, and discussions about our dreams about being parents and time spent with new friends. I enjoyed every minute of being pregnant back then. For the first time in my life, I felt beautiful.

My next birthday memory comes from ten years ago. We had just bought our home back in October 1998. My mom died in November of 1998. Daniel and our son and daughter decided that I needed cheering up so they threw me a surprise birthday party. Several of my friends helped out by inviting everyone from my small church. I don't think I ever counted who all came. They made it a potluck so that Daniel just cooked hamburgers and everybody else bought a dish. I worked that day at the bookstore. Daniel picked me up from work and then drove the long way home so that I wouldn't see all of the cars parked out on the street until the last minute. I was so tired, it took a minute or two for me to decide to be pleasantly surprised and thankful for all of the trouble that he and the kids had gone to that day. It was a joyful celebration of family and friends.

This year's celebration will be scattered over several days of small get-togethers. Daniel and I went out for lunch together on Wednesday because he is working on Thursday. Jeremy will take me out for a meal some time later. Two of my friends will each take me out to separate meals to spend the time together with them. Our daughter will call me sometime on Thursday to wish me Happy Birthday from Idaho where she lives. We miss her and she is happy living in Idaho. We like to visit Idaho but for us, Hot Springs, Arkansas is home. It is where my heart is.

I wish for each of you a wonderful Christmas season.


Diane Emerling said...

Happy Birthday, Patricia! A friend of mine once said we all have a Birthday Season! And it can start as much as several weeks before THE DAY and extend up to several weeks after - it's up to us and what is going on for us that year. My friend has passed away (this year in March) and I miss her.
I like reading about you and what you are doing, what you think of the books you are reading. So, have a wonderful Season and a wonderful Christmas. You are so special.

Patricia Singleton said...

Diane, thank you for reminding me that I had a friend who used to say the same thing. She died 3 years ago on Dec. 1. Yes, I still miss her as well. She blessed me so much with her friendship. I was thinking about her last night. Friends are so important in their contributions to our lives. Cherish them while you have them. You have a wonderful Christmas as well.

DeStouet said...

Happy Birthday, Patricia!

Thank you for taking us down memory lane with you. I really enjoyed it.


Corinne Edwards said...


I love the way you share your life with us.

- makes us feel as though we are part of your family!

(I think you are!)

Patricia Singleton said...

DeStouet, Thank you. Glad you enjoyed the trip. I have had a glorious day of lunch with a friend, birthday phone calls and emails and cards and shopping to finish my Christmas list.

Patricia Singleton said...

Corinne, I am glad you feel that way. You are a part of my family. All of my friends are my family of choice.

Stephen Hopson said...

Not only did I enjoy traversing back in time with you about your birthdays, I also liked how you answered Corinne's comment with "all of my friends are my family of choice."

What a neat way of putting it. It certainly reasonated with me.

Happy Birthday!

Patricia Singleton said...

Stephen, Thank you. I forget who told me that we have two families---our family of origin and our family of choice. I liked it too. Sometimes we are closer to our family of choice than we are our family of origin because of the dysfunctions that we grew up with.

Mother Earth aka Karen Hanrahan said...

a delayed but sweet wish for a deliciously happy happy birthday

Patricia Singleton said...

Karen, thank you. My best friend and I were getting together for a late birthday lunch tomorrow but because of the icy weather that has hit Arkansas today, we will get together on Wednesday or Thursday instead.

Leal said...

I didn't notice you birthday had past. Best wishes, and also hope you have a wonderful Christmas tomorrow.

Patricia Singleton said...

Leal, thank you. I had a wonderful birthday and Christmas. Hope you enjoyed the Christmas season as well.