My birthday is mid-November . . . November 12th to be exact. Ahh, autumn - my absolute favorite season. I always had the idea that because I was born in the autumn, I love autumn the best.
Anyway, since my birthday falls in a chilly month, I never had pool parties or something similar to celebrate my birthday. It was usually something indoors.
I remember one year, however, that I had my birthday at Living History Farms in Urbandale, IA. It must've been for one of my early "teen" birthdays (13 or 14?). I remember having classmates from school in attendance, as well as a friend who went to a different school, but was on the local United States Pony Club team with me.
On this birthday, I vaguely remember going on a hay ride with all my friends, and maybe having a tour of the Living History Farms, and how farm life in the Midwest was, way back in the day. Then I remember being in some building with a fire crackling, and having cake around a long wooden table.
Other than that, I don't have many memories of spectacular birthdays when I was younger. Although, when I was about 5 or 6, I do remember being sick and having to stay home from school on my birthday.
The good thing is that I'd gotten a present from my mom early in the day - Legos - and I was having fun figuring out how to make things as I sat in the den, wishing I'd felt better, and watching TV (Sesame Street, I think).
I also remember that it was a gray, November day, and the Midwestern skies looked like gunmetal - dark, ominous.
At some point, when I looked outside, it was snowing! I was so excited. Now, I love autumn - the scents: apples, cinnamon, crisp air, pumpkin pie - and I love the cool, crisp weather, the changing leaves.
The first snowfall, though, always seems like magic.
So,anyway . . . I do remember really fun memories of various birthdays as an adult.
When I turned 28, I was living in the Chicagoland area. My mom happened to be in the area, and my brothers were already in the area, because they were going to college in Chicago.
So we all got together with some friends at one of my favorite restaurants in Chicago - Rosebud on Rush (it's just down the street from Holy Name Cathedral where Andrew and I got married a few years later). I think my birthday was in the middle of the week, so we met midday on the Saturday either just before or just after my actual birthday. We had a great time and had some great food. And to top it all off, I think I may have even gone to a Chicago Blackhawks game on my actual birthday, probably with my brother Joe and his friend Travis.
Here we are at Rosebud on Rush. I'm the third one from the left.
My mom took this photo.
And the next year when I turned 29, I was in Air Force Officer Training School (OTS) in Maxwell, AL. Well, it was getting close to the end of our 12.5 week training (we graduated exactly one week after my birthday, by the way). Anyway, towards the end of training, we had what's called a Dining Out - a formal dinner, where we were in our most formal uniforms, the Mess Dress, which is the equivalent of a tuxedo. Our Dining Out was just 3 days after my birthday, and during our last week of training, so while it wasn't a "birthday" party, there was a very festive vibe in the air.
This is me in my Mess Dress just 3 days after my 29th birthday.
Then in 2002, when I turned 32, Andrew and I were recently stationed in the greater Boston area and were continuing to plan our church wedding for that December in Chicago (read: I was saying, "here's what I want," my mom was doing her best to execute my plan in Chicago because I couldn't get leave to plan it in person, and Andrew was just going along with it).
Now I don't remember what Andrew and I did to actually celebrate my birthday. But my favorite memory from this particular birthday was a call from my mom.
She'd said, "Guess what I'm doing right now on your birthday?"
Of course, I had no idea, but I knew it must've been something good, so I smiled really big and I asked her, "Um, I dunno. What are you doing on my birthday?"
"I'm in Chicago and I'm tasting wedding cakes, trying to decide which one you'll like the best."
Well, she certainly picked the right one, because it was absolutely delish. It was white cake and had a lemon butter cream filling plus a layer of raspberry glaze in the middle. SO yummy. Of course, she picked well, because she's my mom and she knows my taste. Besides, it WAS my birthday, so I must've been sending her vibes on what I'd like best.
Here it is, topped with stargazer lilies (one of my favorite flowers, also found in my bouquet):
This photo only: © 2002 Brad Baskin
So I have no special memories of one birthday in particular, but lots of small memories from a bunch of birthdays.