I love having a birthday at the end of February! So often, it means I get snow! This year I'm in the North Country where the snow is supposed to fall until Easter...and it wasn't even that cold today! But you want to hear something weird?
When Joe deploys, I like to have one of those block calendars with days that you tear off. I would NEVER wish time to move faster than it does, even during a deployment, but I do like having something interesting to look at every morning and an indication that he's made it through whole months. This deployment, I have a Mary Engelbreit calendar. I know she's not COOL, but I like a lot of her illustrations. Today, mysteriously, the illustration says, "Happy Birthday To You!" and has a picture of a girl holding a cake! Isn't that neat? Are y'all SURE I'm not God's favorite?
I had to work like the dickens (me and my students are collecting phrases like that at the moment) today...and when I wasn't actually teaching, I had meetings! Joe tried to call from Afghanistan and I couldn't take the call! I can't STAND that!! I hope he gets to try again! It's not as bad as when he had to wait for phones on other deployments; this time he has his own. I did text with him a bit...which is weird. I'm used to deployments with five-minute calls and questionable e-mail service!
I didn't get to do much special today, but I had a nice time. My students tried valiantly to perform what I asked of them, even though it was difficult. My co-workers gave me funny cards and birthday wishes. For dinner I had good bread with brie and grape tomatoes followed by Hagen Daaz Vanilla Swiss Almond ice cream (my favorite!). I had many packages and birthday cards saved up, and I opened those too. I'm no good at sending cards and presents, and these were all so thoughtful that I felt both happy and guilty!
I took the dogs walking downtown in the slush, and since then, we have been drying out on the couch wrapped in blankets, watching Canada beat Germany in Olympic hockey. Niki is such a quiet little dog that earlier I forgot we had him and he startled me coming around the side of the couch! He's warm and sweet, and Tula seems to be adjusting. Their dog walker (I know, I know) said she thinks he'll be good for her. I hope so.
So now I am 35. And I live in New York, have a brave and good husband, write some things that get published, have my first book to review, and will be teaching World Literature in the fall. I'm very lucky.