Remembering Tom’s birthday over our years of world travel….Happy birthday, Tom!!!…

December 23, 2013:  We were so preoccupied with a “safari luck” day in Kruger, we didn’t take photos of Tom on his birthday.  Instead, here’s a favorite hippo photo we took on the sunset game drive. Click here for details.

“Sighting of the Day in the Bush”

We were thrilled to see Wildebeest Willie stop by for a bit of hay, some pellets, and a nap in the shade.

Looking back at posts on Tom’s birthday since 2012, after we’d left Minnesota to begin our journey, we’re reminded of how few photos we’ve taken of us over the years. 

It’s not as if we’re particularly camera shy. It’s more about the fact that we’re preoccupied with our surroundings, finding using the camera’s timer to take a photo of us a bit cumbersome, and preferring not to disturb other travelers to take our photo.

December 23, 2012:  At that time, we rarely posted photos, unaware of how big the commitment to posting would eventually become and all the worldwide readers we’d finally have. Click here for the text from the post on Tom’s birthday in 2012.

Also, I guess I wasn’t diligent enough over the years to take photos of Tom on his birthdays as often as I could have.  Tonight, at Rita and Gerhard’s temporary home at Ngwenya, where they’re making a special birthday dinner for him, I promise to take photos.

December 23, 2014: Click here for a video taken on Tom’s birthday while in the Pahoa, on the Big Island in Hawaii with our kids and grandkids.

Last night, we did take photos at Kathy and Don’s party. Still, once again, none of us, as we were preoccupied chatting with everyone, dining on excellent starters, appetizers, or PuPu platters as Kathy and Don, who also live in Hawaii, refer to a variety of platters of delicious foodstuffs suitable for nibbling or dining. We’ll post those photos soon.

But today, Tom’s birthday is my primary focus. I know I could go on and on extolling his virtues as a husband, lover, travel companion, and best friend, but you’ve heard it all before.

December 23, 2015:  Tom’s birthday dinner in Fiji. My rumpled lobster juice-soiled clothes were a sight to see after dinner. Click here for details.

Recently, I read some reviews from another travel writer’s post, and the wife was severely criticized for raving on and on about how wonderful her husband is. I cringed, thinking, “Oh, good grief, that could be me.”

We don’t get many “haters” and are incredibly grateful we don’t have to deal with the emotional upheaval that can be precipitated by negative comments from readers.  

Thus, I learned a lesson from someone else’s experience and tempered my enthusiasm to describe Tom’s fine qualities. Above all, on this day of his, I’ll say I am grateful…for him…for our lives together…for the friends we’ve made along the way and for this magical world we live in.

December 23, 2016:  Mersey Beach bluff in Tasmania, where we dined on Tom’s birthday. The outdoor food wasn’t exceptional, the live band was festive, and the ocean views were exquisite. But, again, I failed to take photos of him that night. Click here for details.

It’s not just Marloth Park. It’s also all the other places we’ve visited in the past six years. It’s all the different experiences we’ve had along the way. And, we can’t forget the joys of our “old lives” so many moons ago that linger as distant memories that flood our hearts and minds when we stop for a moment to recall.

Tonight we’ll celebrate with friends. Today, we’ll revel in the day, and whatever morsels of nature wander our way. We’ve already been greeted by Ms. Bushbuck and Baby and, of course, our friend “Little,” who loved eating the apple peels from the birthday dessert Tom requested for tonight – homemade gluten-free apple crisp topped with vanilla ice cream and whipped cream.  

We have no doubt tonight will be wonderful at Rita and Gerhard’s birthday dinner.  We’re bringing all the ingredients to make sugar-free Lemon Drop Martinis for this special occasion and his non-traditional birthday cake of apple crisp.
December 23, 2017:  Happy 65th birthday to my darling husband, lover,  travel companion, and forever friend who has made this special and unique life of world travel possible. Click here for details.

We’ll be back tomorrow with photos from last night’s party and tonight, including photos of our friends and us.

Christmas is almost here. May the blessings of the holiday season (for those who celebrate) fill your hearts and homes with love.

Photo from one year ago today, December 23, 2017:

Panamanian hats for sale in Manta, Ecuador. This was the last post with favorite photos from the 30-night South America cruise, which ended on this date, one year ago. Click here for details.

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