Saturday, January 21, 2012

The annual increasing number

Today is my birthday, always a highlight of my personal year. I first talked about that back in 2008, when I was a mere lad of 49. That means, of course, that the next year was a rather big deal—so much so, apparently, that it used up my energy for the following year’s birthday post. Last year, I kind of rounded out what I said in that first birthday post.

I was thinking this morning that, technically, I’m just one day older than I was yesterday, even though I’m now also one year older. I suppose if you want to be super technical about it, I’m neither until tomorrow, when January 21 arrives in the place I was actually born. Whatever—though I do kind of like the idea of celebrating my birthday over two days!

Tonight we had pizza for my birthday dinner. In past years we’ve had a barbecue on the weekend closest to my birthday, and I’ve always thought that was kind of exotic, since I was born, my mother told me, during a blizzard. For the first 36 years of my life, cold and snow were the backdrops to whatever celebrations I had.

Still, even as a child in the wintry Midwest of the US, a bit of summery flourish on my birthday wasn’t uncommon. I remember one year when I was quite young my mother froze corn on the cob so she could cook it for my birthday dinner (I loved corn on the cob); at that age, I was still easily led by her. As I got older and started to choose my own dinner, none had, as far as I can remember, any summery treats.

That changed when I moved to New Zealand; with its upside down seasons, my birthday was suddenly in summer. All of which is why the idea of a barbecue on my birthday seems exotic. Still, variety is good, so some years we’ve gone to a restaurant and this year it’s one of my favourite foods, something that I don’t have very often.

The pizza came as a bit of a reward. Yesterday afternoon, Nigel and I started staining the deck we’d extended last winter. We’ve been waiting months for a couple stable days of weather at the same time we were free to do the staining—a seemingly impossible combination. Today, we finished staining the new deck and part of the old. Good progress.

So, we earned that pizza. However, I actually earned it mainly by managing to make it to another birthday. And the best part? Cold pizza for breakfast. Bliss.

The image accompanying this post is a detail from a Creative Commons-licensed photo by Babymestizo, taken in Joliet, Illinois in 2010.


Roger Owen Green said...

Happy birthday. As I noted on Twitter, you are OLD! But not as old as I.
I always needed a device to remember how old I was once I reached 50. 55 was the speed limit, 57 was Heinz.
But 59 (my next one) will be tough.)

amerinz's sis said...

Happy Birthday, Art!! I had never given any thought to your birthday dinner menu as we were kids. How nice of Mom to freeze the corn for you. The best part was that we got two birthday cakes - one for the party with our friends and one for the family dinner party.

Glad you had a good day. (I like the road sign. Clever!)

Arthur Schenck said...

Roger: Age is a state of mind, but I find sometimes my body is in another state altogether. I had a mnemonic device to help me remember my age: On and after my birthday, the ones digit of my age is one higher than the ones digit of the year: 51 in 2010, 52 in 2011, 53 in 2012, etc. The only trick for me is remembering what the tens digit is in any given decade, and sometimes I have to—gasp!—do the arithmetic, always a dodgy proposition for me. My ages for the next several years remind me of roads, actually; not sure what that says about me, though.

Sis: Thanks, it was a good day—though we were pretty wiped out from staining the decks! I'd actually forgotten about the two-cakes thing! I do remember, though, that my favourite was German chocolate.

As for the sign, I thought of using that a couple weeks ago and then found a photo. Unfortunately, probably because it was a couple weeks ago that I downloaded it, I forgot to credit it in my post (something I always try to do, especially for photos). Thanks to you, I've now remembered to add that photo credit!

d said...

Just a quick note to say Happy Birthday and that you and Nigel continue to be a gorgeous couple. =) xx

Arthur Schenck said...

Aw, thanks!! :-)