This is the year that the majority of my high school classmates and I cross over into our second half century of life. Some have slipped there quietly, others have faced it head-on with weekends in places like Vegas or the Caribbean or on a cruise ship. One guy, Roy, is in Colorado as we speak, and...well...he says it best himself on Facebook..."[I] just finished a sleigh ride and a cowboy dinner after enjoying a walk down a snowy mountain in snow shoes...because tomorrow I start my second 50 years." Sounds like a well-planned birthday celebration.
Tom turned 50 almost two years ago. What he wanted was to have his mom and dad and all 8 of his brothers come here to help him celebrate, and so that's what we did. It was great! But a party like that is a once in a lifetime thing - I don't want anything like that for my birthday. I don't want to have to work that hard for myself!
I "cross over" in just three months, and I can't decide how I want to mark it! For my 30th, Tom arranged for me to have a day off from work - boy, that was a surprise! Then he took me to a spa (massage, manicure, etc.), shopping for a new dress, and then dinner at the Magic Island restaurant in Houston. On top of that, we had a party, because I wasn't sure if he was going to do anything, and I wanted to make sure I celebrated! (I believe in that old saying, "Instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers, why not gather your own bouquet?")
We didn't do anything big or spectacular for my 40th because Tom was scoutmaster then. Scouts took up most of his (our) free time. We had a big Boy Scout cook-out on the only free weekend around my birthday, but that was okay. That's what you do for your kids!
But I've had some wonderful birthdays on non-milestone years. My first one after we moved to Lago Vista we drove with the kids out to Enchanted Rock (one of my to-do wishes) and then to Fredericksburg. The wildflowers (bluebonnets, especially) were phenomenal that year. Another year just Tom and I drove out that way for the day.
I spent a weekend at a bed-and-breakfast in Salado (little historical town near here) one year with a bunch of my girlfriends. Another time Tom bought me a Bruce Springsteen concert DVD. He had stayed home from work hoping to take another wildflower drive, but since it was a rainy day, we just stayed home and watched it on the big screen. It was just like being on the front row, live! I could almost feel Brucie's sweat drops landing on me!
Just last year Tom made another one of my wishes come true. We took a ride on the Hill Country Flyer- an old vintage train that runs through the hill country from Cedar Park to other small towns (this time Burnet) and back, with a break to have lunch and explore some of the shops in Burnet. We had our own private compartment and it was a beautiful day.
This year the funds are low, now that the Recession has landed. It would be fun to do something big and spectacular for my 50th - Vegas, New York City, etc.- but not very smart right now. I think I'll be fine with another trip through the hill country, maybe this time following the nearby winery trail that a couple of friends have told me about.
I'll also start saving up for a Big Birthday Bash with all my high school friends this summer in Galveston. We're hoping to meet there one weekend so we can all just celebrate 50 together. I think THAT will be a birthday celebration to remember!