Thursday, January 3, 2013

Activating the Countdown Clock

When one's birthday falls in the shadow of Groundhog Day (pun intended) and one lives one's entire life in cold-weather environs, one gets used to spending one's birthday doing a bit of shivering.  A benefit of getting older is having more and more candles to adorn the top of the birthday cake.  Happiness is candle-generated warmth.  

I shall never be confused for one who travels.  My beloved Skate, which I sold in late August, had more than 166,000 miles on it and all but perhaps 500 of those miles were logged within the geographical confines of the State of Concrete Gardens.  Historically, I spend a lot of time driving around for work but very little time in "travel mode".  

Whether it is a residual effect of aging or whether two decades in I have finally started to act (at least on occasion) as something other than an unrepentant prick to my perpetually-suffering wife, in the past year or so a subtle change has started to take effect.  

This autumn the Missus and I went to Texas to visit Suzanne and Ryan - a mid-October visit when the average day time temperature in Houston was slightly less than 875 degrees Fahrenheit.  A month of so thereafter we descended upon Jess and Rob in Colorado.  I take it as no small compliment to my son and no small credit to my future daughter-in-law that having the three of us (Joe was our wing man) under their roof for an entire week did not put the kibosh on their mutual interest in forging a life together.  

One month from today - on 3 February 2013 - I shall mark the happening of my 46th birthday.  I did not say, "Celebrate" because it is not an event I celebrate.  After all, I had scant little to do with it.  If Mom is inclined to celebrate, then she may feel free to do so.  This year however - for the first time ever - the day on which my birthday falls carries with it the potential of being a sunny, warm day.  We shall spend it not in the State of Concrete Gardens but in the State of Blue-Haired Snowbirds.  Yep, we shall be in Florida. 

The return to work for anyone who had the joy of abbreviated weeks back-to-back due to Christmas and New Year's Day has likely been as enjoyable as it has been for me, which is to say...it is work and not "fun for pay".  Even a miserable old cuss like me can look transfixed at the light at the tunnel's end and find hope.

Especially when that light is not that of an onrushing Amtrak Acela but - rather - the bright, February Florida sun.  

Happy Birthday to me indeed. 

-AK 

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