Tuesday, July 22, 2014

A post of gratefulness

I don't quite know how to say this without getting sloppy but my heart is overflowing with happiness tonight. I truly have had a birthday to beat all birthdays. I wish I could write individuals messages to everyone on Facebook who sent good wishes, ranging from "So now you're finally old enough to drink" to "Have a mystery cake." And to the friend who called me creative and compassionate, what can I say--two traits I strive for. I've heard from family, near and distant, from many many fellow mystery writers, from several countries, from people I know well and those I'd like to know better. I am truly overwhelmed and so grateful.
My birthday of course started with  the weekend with my kids but today, the actual day, was a pure delight. Jacob arrived, grumpy and sleepy, about eight. So this is how we started the day--him asleep on the couch. But I roused him and we left about 9:30 for a day at my brother's ranch. I went by the deli to pick up lunch and then to friend Betty's house where we switched cars and drivers...then we were off to Tolar. My brother is par excellence the best manipulative osteopathic physician ever (and that includes our late father) and he worked on the low back/hip problems that have been giving me grief for a while now. Jacob meantime roamed inside and outside--he loves being at the ranch. Then we had a leisurely lunch, with a tad of wine, and a good chat. Betty, John and Cindy got to know each other, and all seemed to enjoy it.
No trip to the ranch is complete without a tour in the Kubota (all terrain vehicle--like a golf cart on steroids and much noisier). We checked some cows, a coyote snare (or is it for feral hogs?), checked on a cow that limps (I use the term "we" figuratively). Jacob wanted to look for signs of Bigfoot by one of the stock tanks, and we searched for the bee trees (I am not good at spotting things in nature, to my dismay, and never did see the hives). My brother is wonderful with Jacob, encouraging his interest in nature, pointing things out to him--today he let him pick up and bring home three turtle shells. When Cindy and I insisted Jacob wash his hands, John rolled his eyes and said, "Ladies, let it be." But we held firm--he washed his hands, Cindy put on a disposable glove to put them in a big baggie for the trip home, and they are now residing on the bookcase in my dining room. By the time we got back to the house it was time to head to Fort Worth.
The fun wasn't over yet. Friends came by for happy hour as I was still unloading the car and unpacking flowers that had been delivered. The friends brought an orchid, and then Jordan arrived with roses so I have a house full of flowers.
The fun wasn't over yet. Christian had a meeting and couldn't join us for dinner--we missed him but decided we'd cook things he doesn't like. So we had scallops and an artichoke and a bit of marinated tuna on the side--plus one big piece of chocolate cake split four ways (Christian was glad to eat that!)
Tonight I'm oh so tired, but I will tell you that if I'd know how much fun it is to turn 76, I might have done it a few years earlier.
To all who helped me it such a great birthday, my heartfelt thanks.

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