Thursday, December 20, 2012

Birthday


I am pondering growing older. Enjoying life. Having been born shortly before Christmas, my birthday has always sort of merged with the greater celebration. But I learned not to look at it as a diminishment but an enhancement of the holidays. This year was no exception. In fact, my wife and I started the fun on birthday eve by driving to the lake to watch the sunset. Incidentally, we ate catfish at one of our favorite places.

Birthday morning, when I got up I smelled sausage frying, a rare olfactory sensation at our house. We try to eat more or less healthily most days, but on special occasions, out comes the high fat stuff. We had scrambled eggs, hot sausage and the kind of biscuits only my wife of many years can create. They defy description—I wouldn’t call them light and fluffy, nor are they heavy and thick. But they are just right: firm enough to sustain a separation but soft enough to turn butter liquidy. Those biscuits receive preserves with a kind of ineffable gaping grin of joy.

After a great breakfast and our customary moment of prayerfully pondering the scriptures, we discussed all kinds of possibilities for the day. One part of me wanted to do a sentimental journey from Choudrant to Ruston to El Dorado to Magnolia. You know the drill: going to some of the old places that have been meaningful in our lives. But that seemed like too much trouble, so I put the mountain bike in my roof rack and we drove to Texarkana, looking for the much touted bicycle path down there. We found it, but it is paltry. Apparently the bike path authorities have just started on the project and it just runs a half mile or so from the St. Michael’s fitness center to Cow Horn Creek. The end of the trail is the Cow Horn Creek Retirement Center. Was that symbolic? Was than an omen? I choose to think not.

After a repetitive and not very satisfactory bicycle ride, my wife bought my lunch at a nearby deli. There was a big crowd of people there and my comment was, “Hey, this is just like being in a big city.” I said that because the eating establishment reminded me of those busy places in West Palm Beach, Berkeley, Chapel Hill, Columbus (Ohio) and other large cities we have called home. (I have noticed, though, that northern repasts are generally louder in such places, while the talk in Southern eateries is somewhat plaintive.)

Of course we did the obligatory shopping that outlying people do when in a larger town and then came home and sat down to my favorite, pecan pie with whipped cream on top. Then I employed the aid of my hearing enhancement Bluetooth device and listened to the holiday album of The Duttons, a luxury I enjoy at least once during the holidays. I’m glad to be getting older.

Today we have lunch at church. It is an event called Prime Timers. I will get a cupcake because I have a December birthday!

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