Monday, June 2, 2014

Recipe for a Good Birthday

You start with a dearly-beloved partner. He's my best friend, and he makes me giggle. Rarely in photos of him do you get to see that sneaky little grin, but there it is!
You add a great location. We went back to Beaufort for my birthday, same place as last year. Isn't this a darling boat?
A little marine eye-candy always helps ...
This beauty hails from Fairhaven, Mass.  Hmm. Speaking of Mass, I wonder ~~ do we have any other states whose names we abbreviate that way? What if we called Mississippi, Miss? Or Minnesota, Minn? Or Oregon, Or? Or Vermont, Ver? Or what would we do with all the News? Haha!
I warned Adam I would take lots of selfies. Most of them turn out rather like this one, bleh.
Along Beaufort's boardwalk, one shop rents bikes. They name them after herbs. A musical person clearly arranged this line-up.
Here are some "this year/last year" photos of Adam and me:

I clustered all those photos together so you can see what a difference a year makes. On my last birthday at the Spouter Inn Restaurant, we were just beginning our journey to better health by Cutting Back Portions. We still look like us. It's not an earth-shattering change. But if our efforts can help just one person get their life back, get mobility back, get off their meds, or simply feel better, I want to share it.
The Spouter Inn is very nice for a birthday celebration. We sat right by the water and watched boats and boaters. The early sunset was gorgeous. But I realized the menu is rather limited; I ordered exactly what I did last year because it's the only thing on the menu I found remotely appealing!
I did choose a different appetizer. Instead of bruscetta I opted for shrimp and grits, and it was yummy-good!
A warm goat cheese salad appeared before me.
Instead of last year's plateful o' prime rib, Adam got Chicken Piccata, rice, and cooked squash. And the fact that my husband ate all that squash shows me, more than anything else, that his eating habits have radically changed. He'd have curled up his lip at such food a year ago.

We made the 8:30 ferry home. It was crowded and they guided the vehicles on board and wedged us in like puzzle pieces.
We sloshed across the river by an orange sky.
That was Saturday. Anybody up for more birthday stuff? Well, here goes ....
Look who greeted me first thing on birthday morn:
Adam made my breakfast-in-bed, and Julia walked it down the hall. Adam can't carry anything much, since he's still on 2 crutches all the time. Julia made my birthday card with one of her favorite characters, Murgatroyd the Penguin.

Sunday at church we heard that the North Carolina Symphony would be giving a free concert that evening on the lawn at Tryon Palace -- yippee! Adam said we should go.
 Many people came.
We opted for two blankets for sitting, and a bread/cheese/fruit picnic. People don't eat like this, as they used to. I think it's a shame. In my old family photos from the '40s, they're always eating meals on blankets in the grass.
 The bread is a garlic/rosemary loaf made by a friend. Extra sharp cheddar and creamy Havarti were our cheeses of choice, and a Granny Smith apple -- perfect!
Julia loaned Adam her "hobo bag" purse. He can sling it over his shoulder and thus carry small things.
 He toted his iPad and my two copies of Beowulf. While waiting for the concert to begin at 7:30, he played his current favorite game, "2048" and I scribbled in Tolkien's commentary a bit more.
 The fife and drum group pleased the crowd, sounding very colonial.
 And then the symphony, conducted by their new assistant conductor. He looks young. Their regular conductor broke his leg and is out of commission.
What they played: Copeland, some new music by one of their own, and Beethoven's Fifth!
A short program, just right. I don't like indoor symphony concerts that last two-and-a-half hours, in which you are mortified if you so much as squirm in discomfort, and you receive a scowl from the musical purist next to you.
Here's a 30-second excerpt of part V by Mr. Mizesko, the symphony member -- "Lament and Finale."

The sun had sighed behind the trees, and fireflies floated in the woods.
We relaxed. Most people sat on chairs, but we couldn't carry two lawn chairs plus the food. I kept rearranging myself on the blanket, but at my new age hard earth and tree roots are no longer comfortable.
 One last selfie. I'm so thankful for him.
 A sliver of a moon~
 Ending with fireworks from the river, with many Oooos and Ahhhhs.

 New Bern's thin colonial homes look good in their evening dress.
This morning Adam said again how nice the evening was.
As the music ended, I scribbled on my program a few poetic impressions. Here they are.

Night Flights

Against a robin-egg sky at sunset
The moon cradle lay and
Trails of crossing jets and
Beethoven's agonies, moaning from
String and wood and metal,
And fingers and mouths and one baton.
Clusters of sparrows, and a lone gull.
A fireworks finale above the river,
And a thousand thousand thoughts
Drifting up from minds crowded,
Huddled, isolated.
I lie on the concert floor and
Boldly stare at a woman's profile
Until she senses me and turns.
Perhaps most lovely of all ~
A stranger captures fireflies in the wood,
And gifts them to expectant girls
Who bow over their cupped hands,
Faces full of wonder.

(copyright by author)


  1. Lovely. Your day sounds peaceful and joyous.

  2. Great ;photos, especially the weight loss ones. I look forward to seeing next year's!

  3. Can't think of a more romantic weekend. Wow! A special person, deserves a special birthday and you sure got it.

  4. What a wonderful birthday weekend! And you and Adam both look great:)

  5. Fabulous all the way around! I loved the video --- what a wonderful day y'all had. The before and after photos of the two of you will inspire folks who need a little push to get healthy. What a blessing to look and feel so good! Happy Birthday, MK! And many happy returns, so many that you can't even contain them all.

  6. Birthday weekend sounds great. But I still can't figure out what people see in that game 2048. To me it is a dead boring, no brainer, time waster. Gimme a Sudoku any day! LOL (And I won't admit to playing Candy Crush)

  7. You had a wonderful celebration, MK! You guys looks great!
    Oh, I love the look of the river.

  8. Happy birthday, MK! You two lovebirds look great and I loved the mini-concert. :)
    I may need to rename my bike since seeing that picture. Sage maybe? Really enjoyed reading about your day and all the beautiful photos!

  9. I saw that moon! And this is the first time I've seen Adam's grin. Worth the wait.

  10. Wow, what a lovely post, so filled with joy and love.

    I love the selfies, and think you two have done very well with your lifestyle change.

    God's continued blessings on both of you ~ FlowerLady

  11. It looks like you had a most beautiful birthday! Happy late birthday wishes to you!
    The new life style looks good on you, congratulations!
    Have a blessed and beautiful day, Debbie

  12. Happy birthday! I think it was this time last year that I started reading your blog. It looks like you had a lovely time. You guys know how to enjoy life. I wish you many more happy years!

  13. Happy birthday M.K. Looks wonderful all the way around! congratulations on your weight loss; you both look great! Picnic, concert, ferry ride, breakfast in bed, fireworks, sounds lovely!


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