Friday, April 09, 2010

Thoughts on my birthday

• Well, I made it. Thank you, Lord Jesus.

• At my age you're not too interested in balloons, cakes, and candles. Every birthday becomes a grateful milestone. Thankful to be alive and thankful not to be sick.

• First thing upon arrival at the office this morning an email came breezing in from Raphaël, who is in Bordeaux this week wishing me a happy birthday. I thought that was very considerate of him.

• A few days ago I received a card from my brother which said "The secret of a life well-lived is not in counting the years but in making the years count." which was well put. Enclosed was an old photo of myself playing an electric guitar and singing on stage. Bryan guessed on the back that it dated from 1968 or 1969 but I think he was off by a couple of years. The photo was of me with the Red Mountain Guitar Group in Aklavik which was in 1964-5. By 1967 we were in Yellowknife — the year of my senior matriculation.

• For the past sixty-one years I can never pass a ninth of April without thinking of my birthday. For me there is something wonderfully special about the month of April. April is Spring, sun, flowers, and light.

• In the mail this morning was a pretty card from my sister Cynthia. She was born while I was playing the guitar in the Red Mountain Guitar Group — in 1965. I'm amused by her scribbled note on the outside of the envelope saying, "Sorry this will be late ..." which, of course, it wasn't. Thank you, Cynthia.

• Every ninth of April for the past 32 years Sarah and I have eaten strawberries. Little traditions like this are meaningless in themselves but give a semblance of stability to the fragility of our lives.

• Aunty always sent me a card, every year, and it always arrived on time. That's how she was.

• Later on in the afternoon Rosemary wrote with greetings and then in the evening (my evening, her morning) Ammi called and we had a nice chat. Anything that helps people keep in touch is a good thing and it sure was good to hear from her and to get news of Zack and the children.

• It shouldn't be possible but I am now older than my daddy ever was.


  1. Lots of memories here - the Red Mountain Guitar group - I remember you playing in that band. I'm sorry you didn't get a card from this sister - but I hope the email sufficed. I can never pass a ninth of April without thinking older brother! Ha ha. You know I always remember the day just not the week before so I can get a card in the mail. Bryan is like Aunty - cards on time, faithfully.

    Strawberries sound nice - I hope you enjoyed them...

  2. Thanks, Wendy, the strawberries were delicious as the first strawberries of the year invariably are.

    Update: After chatting with Bryan I think we have agreed to a compromise on dating that picture. He's right, in that it IS surely in Yellowknife. But cannot be as late as 68-69 for I was already gone.

    Whereas I'm starting to see 65 as too early and am willing to settle at 1966 or 1967.

    But then, who cares? :-)

  3. Really? Well, I'm not going to get into the dating issue - I did think it was in Aklavik though, not YK. However, I see that the white shirt/black pants is still the elegant and appropriate outfit for when one picks up the guitar!

    You're looking good, big brother! Miss you...