Skip to content Skip to left sidebar Skip to right sidebar Skip to footer

Good friends are icing on cake

I am beyond the halfway mark. Let’s just say that unless science steps it up a notch or I get in better shape, I don’t see me living to twice the age I am now. In fact, my odds just became less this week, after celebrating my birthday Monday and reaching a higher age. I won’t say what age, but it is sure to be the prime of life, whatever that is. Right?
I am not one that likes to announce “It’s my birthday,” and especially in my column, but I would like to thank my wonderful staff for planning a delicious birthday lunch. Last week I was told it was just a random idea for a luncheon at work, but it turned out to be an early birthday celebration for me.
Lunch consisted of delicious fried chicken by Brenda Sparks. She has made that for us over the years for special occasions. In my mind there is nothing better. We also had mashed potatoes, green beans, macaroni and cheese, deviled eggs, broccoli casserole, biscuits, gravy and cake and ice cream. Needless to say it was a very unproductive afternoon at work.
As I reflect back on my birthdays, they have certainly been varied. I recall times in my youth that my mom would be driving us home on Spivey, while the snow piled up. We once had to park about a quarter of a mile from the house and carry my birthday cake, while tracking through the deep snow.
In the third grade I remember having a party at the old YMCA on Main Street. Classmates gathered for cake and snacks and, in turn, I got lots of gifts. The only one I can still remember was a Ouija board. I had no idea what it was. Who in the world would give a third grader a Ouija board? For those who don’t know, it is a “game” for contacting spirits from beyond.
I was already terrified of my shadow growing up. I kept that game tucked away for years. Finally I got the nerve to “play” it with my cousin Karen. I don’t know if she moved the game piece around or not, but it started sliding to various letters while we rested our fingertips gently on it.
Supposedly something unseen was trying to spell out a message. I had no desire to contact the world beyond or for the world beyond to channel through me. That game soon went in the pile of most unusual, yet of no use, stack of birthday gifts.
Birthdays have always been just another day for me. I am just as happy to go out to eat or spend a quiet night at home. I really require no high maintenance celebration. Looking back over the past years, I can say that my birthdays have been anything but plain.
I have received flowers numerous times, special meals at top restaurants including the Inn on Biltmore Estate, home cooked meals with a few friends or family and even a cruise leaving from Barcelona, Spain for my 50th birthday.
I think some of the best have been a simple call from a friend or a heartfelt card. I have learned to FaceTime and enjoy visiting with a dear friend in Mississippi that way. This just amazes me that now we can use our computers to actually see someone far off and carry on a conversation. There is still plenty to learn in life. Sometimes I think the older I get the harder I have to try and keep up with all of the changes.
Facebook is another outlet to keep in touch. I appreciate all of the wonderful birthday wishes from the many friends I have on there.
Sunday night I got invited to a Super Bowl party at Maple Lane Farms. There were probably 100 people at one point, socializing, eating and watching the game. I was accompanied my good friend Josh Tipton, my cousin Jessica and her husband Adam Williams.
Jessica and Adam held their reception at Maple Lane a little over a month ago. As a surprise to me, Jessica had arranged for a large birthday cake to be brought out and those gathered nearby began singing Happy Birthday. It was a special treat that I will always remember. They both are so busy and treasure the time they have with each other. The fact that they would share a night with me meant the world.
As I blow out the candles of my cake each year, on what is becoming a fire hazard, I realize just how blessed I am. I take only two prescription pills and could probably do away with them if I would just find the time to walk or exercise.
I consider myself to be one of the most blessed people for friends. I have many, many friends and then I have some best friends. They set the bar high for the others. I know what it is like to have some awesome people in my life that I can talk to about anything and everything. These friends would be there if I called with the simplest need.
Sometimes it is a text message unexpectedly, a phone call, e-mail or at best, a few minutes or even hours of one-on-one time. I count those as little tidbits of gold. They brighten my day.
The simple things are the greatest gifts. They can’t be purchased. They leave lasting memories that can be reflected on and relived for years to come. To all who made this birthday special, I offer a heartfelt thanks. Your friendship is a gift.