Thoughts from a milestone birthday…

Stormy windy day on my birthday.
Repeat photo from a sunny day a few weeks ago.

Yesterday morning, on the day of my 65th birthday, clouds rolled in from the white capped sea creating a gloomy blanket over us.  Standing at the glass door at 6 am, I wondered if it would clear in time to spend the bulk of the day outside, as we’ve done over the past two weeks since arriving at Laru Beya, a virtual paradise of lush gardens, shifting sands, and non stop congeniality.

As raindrops propelled by the fierce winds splayed on the glass, for a moment I allowed myself a little whine, “Goodness, can’t it be nice on my birthday?”  Quickly reminding myself that the “old me” might have been annoyed by an inclement day, I straightened up and threw my brain into reverse.

“It’s a perfect day.  I’m 65 years old today, alive, healthy and living in a haven of loveliness with the man of my dreams, living a life I’d never imagined, a life I never dared to dream. Let it rain!  Let it pour!  It doesn’t matter.

No walk on the beach.  No long walk next door to be driven to the outdoor Singing Sands, five miles down the road to celebrate the occasion with yet another special dinner.  No one-hour by the pool soaking up our daily dose of Vitamin D, which now “they say” reduces the effects of aging.  We shall see how “that’s working for us!”

Coffee, shower, dress for the day and tidying up our place in preparation for our Mayan maid Gloria to come in and clean at 9:00 am, the same time our trusty cab driver Estevan appears to take us grocery shopping so we’ll be out of her way.

She was early.  We like her.  Tom blurted out, “It’s Jessica’s birthday today!” Obviously, he was fishing for birthday wishes for me when back in the US, the wishes came in abundance on that day. 

Gloria throws her head back and laughs, “Its my birthday today too!  Happy birthday, Miss Yessica,” she says with her sweet broken English.  We all laughed together.  Tom and I couldn’t give her enough good wishes.  How ironic?  I can’t recall ever meeting anyone with the same birthday.

Determined to find something fabulous to make for dinner, we rummaged through the three freezers at the grocery store in Seine Bight, the little town next to us, a short cab ride away.  Sensitive to Estevan waiting outside, I had an awful time making a decision:  frozen chicken parts, thin frozen steaks, frozen hot dogs or frozen short ribs. 

Hummm…what shall it be?  The limitations of our diet added to feeling confused and rushed.  I grabbed the chicken, parts unknown, unable to make a decision for any other nights. 

We grabbed the four packages of cream cheese we’d ordered a week ago,  several packages of local peanuts in the shell, a head of cabbage, six giant carrots and three onions from huge bags that had just arrived from the farm.

After a total of only $35 plus $10 plus tip for the cab, we were back on our way “home” still wondering what we’d cook for the birthday dinner.  As we put the perishables in the ample ice cold stainless steel fridge, perusing its contents, we decided on eating the leftover homemade pizza still in the freezer while I’d make a fresh batch of coleslaw by shredding the vegetables by hand. 

The knife in the drawer was dull.  I sharpened it on the rock Tom had brought inside  and washed for cracking coconuts.  It worked much to my surprise.  When does one “wash a rock” while living in the US?.  Never.  I made the coleslaw early in the day to chill.  Coleslaw and pizza?  Sure, why not?  A perfect birthday dinner.  (This was the other half of the pizza we didn’t really love but ate it anyway a week ago).  It tasted better the second time.

The rain continued throughout the day into the evening.  We’d cancelled the dinner reservation online.  We stayed in all day and evening.  I finished Part 2 of Monkey River for this blog, posting multiple photos (a slow laborious process in Blogger).  Tom watched the stock market news on TV. 

I responded to a multitude of thoughtful birthday wishes posted on Facebook, spoke to family on Skype and paid bills online. You know, the stuff we do on rainy days, snowy days, days we’re stuck inside.  I was not disappointed.  It was a good birthday.

Tom did the dishes as usual.  I played solitaire on my computer scoring my highest score ever.  At 9:30, my head nodding into my computer, I decided to turn in.  For some goofy reason I was tired. I guess that what 65 year olds do.