Monday, February 28, 2011

Birthday on the Plains

These last many months I've had my head buried deep in my work, hardly ever coming up for air. I live a rather hermitty existence anyway but lately for weeks on end the only persons I see with any regularity are the grocer and the post master.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not complaining one little bit. I love my work and my quiet little life out here in the wastelands. But yesterday was my birthday, a day to celebrate I guess. I'm not a big cake person but instead baked a small pan of brownies the night before. When one lives alone and not expecting company, some social graces can be packed up in a box for later like one does with their summer flip-flops or a sleeping bag. So, I ate the molten goo-ey middle right out of those brownies and chucked the crusty edges. A hermits birthday delight!

I drove out of town to the U of MN where my daughter is a student for a long mid-day meal and a great interesting natter about her subjects. I can't think of anything I enjoy more than time with her.

The sun was still shining on the way home and being buoyed by time with kidlet, and not having taken a day off for weeks, and it being my birthday, and having a semi full tank of gas, and the roads being clear for the first time this month, and after having wrestled with every reason not to do it....I drove on past my town in the other direction.

The casino, a place I hardly ever frequent, a glittery little hell-hole on the flat white tundric wilderness, owed me a free birthday turn on the Wii bowling for a shot at 30 bucks, a drink and a free buffet. Hardly something one would drive an extra 30 miles for is it? But I was feeling a need now that I was actually out of the house, to see some people. I didn't want to actually talk to any of them but just see them and enjoy a bit of clatter and sparkly lights. I won the 30 bucks, I lost the 30 bucks, gave away my free drink and late before I went home I enjoyed a snack at the free buffet where I dined alone watching people from my booth. No surprises. It was all as I had expected but had hoped it wasn't. In my bed by 11pm.

But here you all are today wishing me a happy birthday. I was surprised and so warmed by your greetings. You're all people I picked, people I care about, people who inspire me. And you picked me too. Folks say that the interweb is a great wild wilderness, cold, impersonal and unforgiving but not nearly as much as the Minnesota plains. Thank you all for your kind and happy words. I only wish you didn't live so far away. I'd come out of my hermitty little box for you :o)