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I just turned off the space heater in this room. I had it on for about 30 minutes, just to take the edge off. I’m directly over our uninsulated garage and the temperature was in the low 50s. The weather cooled off about 10 degrees, just for a few days, enough to be as close to perfect as we’re going to see, but the heat is coming. It may be a few weeks before I touch the space heater again.

I am, of course, personally nowhere near the low 50s. That day is done.

We were discussing my 60th birthday, just a few of us last night as we sat around a backyard fire pit and wallowed in the coolness of the evening. Again, this won’t last. It’ll be crazy-beautiful and warm and practically perfect, but temps in the 90s (or high 80s, I guess) are never fun in the Land That Air Conditioning Forgot. We were grateful.

My wife volunteered this house, belonging to friends of ours, with this nice fire pit, for my birthday celebration. She was proactive in this regard, knowing that most of the people I see and care about live in this area, about 30 miles south of our house. It’s not a big place, but they’re used to having open house-style things, and it’s not like we’re talking 50 people.

In fact, when we were talking about inviting guests, it was decided to just announce it at church and see who shows up, which is fine with me. I like having birthdays but I don’t require anyone else to notice. It’s really OK. I will let you know. If you’re selling me milk or just getting gas at the pump next to me, doesn’t matter. I’ll be glad to inform you of the enormity of this occasion.

And, as I observed in a very underappreciated  comment, given how clever it was, we could announce in church that next Friday we’ll be giving away free money and the same 23 people would show up. I know this church. They’ve got habits.

My brother and his wife are also planning on a trip north, because why not? This is statistically, historically, and in meteorological terms only (and only if you prefer summer to the other seasons, which not all people do) The Week. Guaranteed beautiful weather, always. I would know, too. I pay attention to late July.

So they’ll probably drive up and we’ll do this thing on Wednesday, the night before the big day, and then we’ll probably do something else. It’ll be fine. Everything is fine.

And as I pointed out last night, I’m perfectly capable of throwing myself a party if I want. I honestly have no problem making this all about me. It happens once a year, and gratitude for still being alive is a real thing in my world.

I’m looking forward to next week, then. My 30th birthday, I was all nerves and worry, about to assume a mortgage and a move north. My 40th was dismal, my 50th a relief, again, to be alive. This big one should be better, because why not? I can’t hide from the world, or really fix much of it. I can’t erase the cancer that killed my old friend before I was ready for him to go.

But I can anticipate a fun time, nice weather, good friends and family to mark an irrelevant day on the calendar just because we want to. I can look forward to the days ahead, no space heater needed, and that sets me up for a nice self-fulfilling prophecy, and now I wonder why I don’t think this way every week.

Chuck Sigars1 Comment