Over the Hill, Not Over the Thrill

I’m all set for my birthday week. As an adult, I don’t expect everybody to get all worked up about my birthday.  In fact, when I came home from China with Baby, my mother said to me “You know, it’s not about you anymore.”

Several years ago I started cultivating companies that will help me celebrate. If you sign up online, they’ll send you a coupon on your birthday.  This year I have coupons from Panera, Jamba Juice, Ben & Jerry’s, Brueggers, Nothing Bundt Cake, Noodles, Caribou and Dairy Queen. Except for Caribou which needs to be used on my actual birthday, I have planned to spread the others out over the upcoming few days.

I don’t give myself a card; it seems a little overkill to make a card and then give it to myself. However some years I do bake myself a birthday cake or a birthday pie; some years I even throw myself a party.  No party this year and the jury is still out about the cake/pie.  I gave my BFF theatre tickets for her birthday and turns out that the date that was good for her was my actual birthday, so I guess technically I gifted myself with theatre tickets this year!

What’s a great gift you’ve received?


27 thoughts on “Over the Hill, Not Over the Thrill”

  1. I always get a couple of nice sweaters from my mother in law every year for my birthday. My husband and kids say I am hard to buy for. I just like to get things for myself when I want them and surprise other people with gifts.


  2. By the way, Baboons, direct all blog posts to me now. VS gets a well deserved month off now. Thanks, VS, for all your writing this month.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. College – the gift of college without having to work three jobs while I went to school. My parents saved some, and Mom picked up a (very) part time gig for part of my years at college, so I could go to school and be able to concentrate on just that. I had a work-study job, but my folks didn’t want me to do any more than that for work. It meant graduating with some debt – but being able to concentrate on classes and homework (and all the growth that happens from living on campus and figuring out “adulting” with a safety net) was truly a gift.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Will also add (somewhat based on yesterday’s topic, that I missed): my parents. I knew pretty early on that my parents were different than some of my friends’ parents. I never felt the need to slam doors or rebel – I didn’t need to. They managed to provide guidance without interfering, and supported who I was and what I wanted to do. They weren’t the “cool” parents, but our house was where my high school friends liked to hang out because my parents had created a safe, warm space for everyone. I remember my mom asking me when I was 13 or 14 if it felt weird to have parents that were still married (many of my friends had parents who had divorced – sometimes with one or both parents re-marrying…and all the multiple households and such that brought) – my answer was a firm “no,” I liked that my parents were still together and actually liked each other. Truly a gift – and one I recognized long before I was out of the house.

      Liked by 6 people

  4. I want to repeat Anna’s excellent point. I was the first person in our immediate family to go to college. My parents never even considered going. Economics alone dictated that. Their schooling stopped after they graduated high school. Both of them were smart enough they could have done well, although now I suspect my dad would have had trouble following all the rules.

    That was my view, but my parents were embarrassed by being relatively uneducated. Both of them feared I couldn’t respect them because they weren’t educated. Sending me to a private college was extremely expensive for them at that time. Worse, they both felt my college experience was sure to drive a wedge between them and me.

    Although there were some scratchy moments, that didn’t happen. Quite the opposite. I need to honor their courage and selflessness. They loved me enough to risk losing me.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. I love that you celebrate a birthday week! That’s awesome. My favorite gifts are the ones I bought for myself generally or had on my gift list. A Foodsaver, a Cuisinart food processor, nice clothes from my favorite catalog, etc. I have expensive taste. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  6. I’ve written about it before on the trail, but since it is – by far – the gift that has most affected my life, the $5,000.00 check from Bob Dean that encouraged and enabled me to apply to college. Unsolicited, and completely out of the blue, this was truly a gift that change my life. It’s a gift that I’m still paying forward in whatever small ways I can.

    Liked by 4 people

        1. And I love the “Pay it forward” attitude. My family had some people in it that were kind, generous and timely. After receiving such a caring gift it is easy to want to pay it forward, which I try to do through my dad’s scholarship at Iowa STate.

          Liked by 2 people

  7. OT: since two baboons had asked and I was awake and needed to kill time before going to the surgery center. I typed a long answer to the question of my absence. Daughter and family were here to drive me. Thus I did not have access to computer in bedroom where some of them sleep. Typed it on Ipad, usually a minefield of errors for me. But I read and reread for errors with my blind in the morning eyes. Went to send it but WP demanded I login. It refused to recognize my password so lost the post.
    Summary: my errors and omissions bothered me and a couple others, so I decided I would only enter things of interest and be very careful. Every time I thought of something it would be long. Decided in the end I really have not much to add. For instance as for today, I receive few presents, at my request, which has been true for most of my life.
    This morning I had Radio Frequency Ablation on right lumbar, my much worse side. Fails to work for a significant number, which I expect, will make me finally significant. Only lasts 6-12 months, sometimes longer. Supposed to have left side done in two weeks.
    Sandy is developing very bad pain from doing much more of the cooking. I will take that out of her hands now. Otherwise she is good. Some mental failures. One was a $100 money issue. Struggling with how to address that. She gets upset when I raise the subject. She spent the day with our grand daughter yesterday out for lunch and shopping. Grand daughter pointed out her lapses. She seems to handle it when Lily addresses, not when I or daughter addresses it, but daughter is a bull dog pastor who deals with many elderly with issues.
    One highlight: to try to do something I am a volunteer driver for an charity which helps the elderly in many fine ways. My physical therapist, about whom / could write a bog (Nah), thinks if she educates me about new knowledge of pain that my pain will learn the truth and stop with the pain attacks. Seems to work for some, but I have known 95% of what she teachers for 10 years. But she has shown me how to use the many machines at Vine, the fine charity for which I drive. Anyway, I drive two men in their nineties to and from Vine for a light exercise class. One is a blow hard retired soc. teacher. I have known too many of those. Yesterday I had only the quiet little mouse who rides in the back. In the two mile drive home we got to talking. Then we sat in his driveway for 10 minutes. He flew Hellcats from a carrier in combat in the pacific in 1944 and 45. I did not ask so much about his experiences, just the war itself was all he wanted to talk about. Very few of those left. Wow.

    Liked by 7 people

    1. Glad to hear from you and that this surgery is over. I for one never mind the typos, although sometimes they are funny.

      Those WWII soldiers were a stoic bunch, weren’t they. Over and over I hear that they only will discuss it at the end of life. I was so glad Ken Burns did his series on it–at least then they had an ear.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. The day before I left for China, I got a Saturday Delivery Fed Ex box. It was a pocket electronic translator (this was before the ubiquitous cell phone w/ apps for everything) from my father. When I called home, my dad wasn’t home so my mom was able to tell me that he had seen it on late night tv two nights before and had spent most of the day on Friday calling stores all over the US looking for it (also before online shopping). Finally found one in Chicago and browbeat them into getting it into Fed Ex that day for the next morning delivery. It didn’t actually work very well and didn’t last very long but the fact that my father went to all the trouble to make sure I had it before going to the other side of the planet meant the world to me.

    Liked by 6 people

  9. Sort of related to yesterday’s topic: Sandy had grand daughter out to buy her some clothes for school. Grand daughter said, “Gramma, I’m not spending $50 on a pair of jeans.” She attends a school with mostly kids from homes with low incomes. Clothing is not much of a social issue. Then they went to store that sells a lot of used costume jewelry. Thousands of things for sale in an organized manner. It took her 10 minutes to find 14 pieces for $16. She loves doing things with pieces like that, as do some of her friends.

    Liked by 4 people

  10. A friend of mine dug up some lilac saplings from her property some thirty years ago and brought them to my house. Now they are considerably taller than I am, and bloom reliably each spring. Blooming lilacs are a truly wonderful gift if you have them nearby. The scent is out of this world.

    Liked by 6 people

  11. OT – This afternoon my doorbell rang. It was my neighbor’s adult daughter. She was going out of town until Friday, and wanted to know if I would take care of her four Monarch caterpillars until she came back. I said I’d be happy to, but I needed instructions on what to do. Nothing, she said, just keep an eye on them, and note when they transform into a chrysalis. Once that happens and the butterfly emerges, release them. She then added that she hoped didn’t happen while she’s gone. She’s been taking of them since they were eggs and wants to observe the transformation. This is the oddest “pet sitting” assignment I’ve ever had. Pretty interesting, though.

    Liked by 3 people

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