The Birthday Club

Miss D's Art Deco Inspired Birthday Table.

My mother has always said that life is marked by events and I happen to wholeheartedly agree.  As I grow older, the benefit of perspective has caused this swift and certain passage of time to loom larger than it has in the past (I keep hearing I better hold on, that only gets crazier as I get older).  I was standing on the sidewalk at our St. Patrick's Parade yesterday and looked at the friends surrounding me (the "Parade Crew" as I refer to them.  We only seem to see each other at the semi annual parades and are connected through a bizarre overlapping circle of friends).  There was a tightness in my throat when I thought about all of the amazing changes in our lives in the years that we have been doing this.  Marriages, divorces, births, deaths, houses bought and sold, career struggles; so many changes that are shaping us into our more grown up selves.    It made my heart ache and very full all at the same time.

Several years ago (about 2 years before I married my husband), I had a dream where I spoke to my older self.  The dream started with me having a conversation with this woman in her early 70's and she looked so familiar to me.  I kept thinking, "Who is this regal bitch I am talking to"?  Yeah it turns out it was me (I should just mention here that my taste in shoes only improves the older I get).  I didn't immediately recognize her because she had a look in her eyes that wasn't familiar to me.  I realized it was the look of the life that had happened to her.  The sea of hurt and happiness that had shaped her was tangible in her gaze as she regarded my younger self.  The moment of conversation was full of a knowing smirk and mischief in her eyes about what was to come.  Advice was given in abstract snippets of conversation, me unable to get over looking at my older self.  So many questions and not enough time to ask them in the dream.  Curiosity about my future, but the pull of still wanting it to be a surprise and the taboo of knowing what my future held kept me from asking too much.  Apparently it's one hell of a ride.  

In this crazy journey where we are struggling and stumbling and groundhog day-ing our way through (eat, work, sleep, repeat), it seems completely appropriate that we stop and take stock of where we are.  Wendell Berry said that we can't know where we are going if we don't know where we've been, and I concur.  It is what has been the inspiration for so many of the birthdays I have hosted over the past few years.  I am surrounded by amazing and beautiful souls.  They are generous and loving souls that rarely take the time to celebrate themselves.  I gladly take on the role of cheerleader for at least one time of the year.  There should be some point where we say to the people that we love, "I think you are the best and here's why", where we drink a toast and have a table full of lovely things and eat their very favorite foods and laugh long into the night.  A moment in time where we are able to feel special and loved and doted on is a necessity in my book.

Table detail.  Vintage art deco plate that belonged to my grandmother.
 Birthday Menu
Baked Pecorino Toscano
Toasted Walnuts, Honey

Wedge Salad
Blue Cheese Dressing, Crumbled Bacon
Louis Perdrier Champagne

Pan Seared Scallops
Orange and Butter Glaze, Roasted Asparagus with Bourbon Barrel Kentuckyaki Marinade
Pine Ridge Sauvignon Blanc

Foxhollow Farms Grass fed Sirloin
Port Wine Demi Glaze, Salt Roasted Loaded Baked Potatoes
Killerman's Run Shiraz Grenache Blend

Traditional Vanilla Creme Brulee

There was lots of great conversation and laughter and the night ended with the appropriate glow of food and wine and friendship.  Just right for a birthday, I would say.

End of the Evening
The coming weeks are full of much preparation.  Garden, yard, Easter, Spring Break, and a major happening that I will tell you more about later.  I hope that the suns shows up a little more, as I am officially OVER this gray winter.   Go and plan a birthday party for your loves, friends.  Take note of this passage of time and celebrate each other as fully as you can.   We certainly all deserve it. 

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