FOOD FOR THE SOUL
So today it happened again, even though I tried so hard to not let it happen…..I had another birthday. Birthdays were always special as a child. We got to pick out our favorite cake for our special day. It was unheard of to go to a store and have them make and decorate a cake for your kid’s birthday. I always had 2 that I would choose from, either a German Chocolate cake or an Angel Food cake. Now that I am an avid baker, I realize that those were probably 2 of the most time-consuming cakes that I could have chosen, but mom made them without a complaint. She had 2 heart-shaped cake pans that she made our cakes in, so the cakes were 2 layers with lots of filling in the middle. Of course the german chocolate pecan/coconut frosting was homemade, which made it all the better. If I chose an angel food cake, it too was homemade and had a marshmallow frosting that was gooey and sticky. Yummy in my Tummy! I can remember that she would turn the cake pan over on a tall RC Cola bottle while it cooled. She later became interested in cake decorating, and the cakes got fancier every year. We could also choose a birthday meal, and mine was either roast beef, potatoes and carrots or fried chicken, mashed potatoes and corn. When she made the roast beef for supper there was gravy that we used to put on bread, and she made a side dish of chilled cucumber slices and onions that she mixed into a sauce of salad dressing, sugar and milk right before serving.
I then became an adult and learned to dread birthdays, especially as I got older. Perhaps I am not looking at this right? When I was in my 20’s and 30’s I was so busy raising kids and working 2 or 3 jobs, that I didn’t have much time to think about birthdays. In my 40’s I found myself starting over with a new baby in the house….and the 2 oldest graduating and leaving home. Again…..not much time to sit and worry about birthdays. Then the 50’s arrived…and I would remind myself that I was now that age that I considered “old”, when I was young. I remember thinking…how can someone in their 50’s still have a life???? Shouldn’t they be retired and in rocking chairs, wearing disposable underwear???? Their kids should all be gone by the time their parents are 50, and these “old” people should be rolling in the money right???? People in their 50’s should be in eating supper at 4, and going to bed at 9, right? I am here to set the record straight…I am now 54, and proud to tell people I am 54, although I would rather skip the official day. While some days I feel my age, I will never act my age. I do not wear disposable underwear….although on girls night, that would be an extra security measure from all of the laughing we do. I go to bed after 11 at night, and usually get up at 4:45….and I will admit that by Friday, I’m pooped…but wouldn’t most people? I can still tell a joke with the best of them, and I will stop to admire a mans rear end anytime it is possible. I admit there are some wrinkles under and on the sides of my eyes, but I consider them laugh lines. Besides, here is a little known secret…..fat is a great wrinkle filler. I still have one child at home, and she will be with me for 5 more years at least, and I am not “rolling in the money”. I have also figured out that I can say things to people that I wouldn’t have dared to say when I was young. It’s like we have earned this badge that gives us the freedom to say whatever comes to mind.
So today I crept into work hoping everyone forgot my birthday….no such luck. There was a free meal, compliments of my co-workers, a birthday ice cream cake, cards, signs, birthday wishes and that dreaded “birthday song” that was sung several times. There have been texts from my kids, and as of 10pm today, over 200 birthday wishes on my Facebook page. One of my oldest and dearest friends at work dropped by on her day off and brought me…….a homemade angel food cake! She does this every year, and it reminds me of my childhood each and every time. I thank my friends from the bottom of my heart for thinking of me, because sometimes I don’t feel that I am as good of a friend in return. It is very very humbling to me, and I guess being humble at 54 can be a good thing, for I take nothing for granted in this life. So as they say…there are 2 things in life you can’t avoid…..death and taxes….and in my case BIRTHDAYS ♥