My birthday is today! Over the past 57 years, the glow of anticipation for the Big Day has dimmed a bit, and I have, surprisingly, arrived at the stage of contemplation. I wonder how my mother was feeling 57 years ago- I hope that she was excited!
Some people claim to have memories of events when they were little babies. My first memory is just as clear as if it happened yesterday. I was three years old, and my parents were visiting the house that they would purchase. The house that I grew up in, the same house in which I still live. I was taken upstairs by the children who lived here. They revealed a delicious secret about the house- the floorboards in the closet had open knotholes, and whatever was dropped thru the hole disappeared! Oh, the wonder of it all! My three year old mind didn’t grasp that there was no retrieving of the goodies that went down that hole, I just remember the delight of that discovery. Ten years ago an earthquake brought down the dining room ceiling and all those childhood treasures finally returned to me. I was thrilled!
Evidently it is not in my personality to be a pessimist. Each day of life begins with a sense of happy anticipation, and at the end of the day there are always good memories to store away. One of my joys in life is spending time at the Grays Harbor National Wildlife Refuge at Bowerman Basin. The mile long boardwalk transports me to another world. It’s a mini-vacation, a place of such serenity that a half hour walk brings the same benefits as a week of camping. If you haven’t ever been there, this Saturday is your golden opportunity to be part of the first ever Bird and Botany stroll. Knowledgeable volunteers will point out all manner of intriguing wonders, and you will become an outdoor expert in record time. I suggest stopping by Deidra’s Deli at the Hoquiam Farmers Market first, because heading out on a walk requires refreshments. I always pack cookies with me, and a good lunch will fortify you for the afternoon. The walk begins at 2p.m. on Saturday, call Carlene at 753-9467 for further information. Bring her a cookie too, she’ll be hungry.
The Daffodils will keep on appearing at the Market for as long as the Satsop Bulb Farm keeps harvesting. In fact, we ought to have flowers non-stop from now until next fall, as more local varieties rise from the soil. My eyes take such pleasure in seeing the market tables filled with bright cheery blossoms. The gray days don’t seem at all dismal when the daffodils appear! Beginning this week I make a daily pilgrimage to our trillium forest. Usually there are a few trilliums showing by March 9th. The date always stays in my memory because it is the birthday of a dear friend, and I hope to have a bouquet to share with her again this year. Plus a chocolate cake. Nancy makes a delectable chocolate cake. I’m expecting to have one on my birthday too.
Once the trilliums burst forth in abundance you will see them nestled in amongst the daffodils at the market, because we are blessed with copious quantities. Many states, including Washington, outlaw the picking of trilliums on public land because they are so rare, and when pulled by the stem instead of carefully picked, the plant takes offense and won’t come back. But do not worry, flower loving friends- the trilliums which we will have are legal , coming from private property, and correctly plucked! They thrive in our forest and I love sharing them. I discovered that the deer will nibble the flower out of the center, leaving the leaves and stem untouched. Our deer are well fed enough without stuffing themselves with trillium delicacies. I’d rather know that they are in someone’s vase, bringing the joy of early spring into the home.
Birthdays don’t always fall on a convenient day, so many people believe in having a week long series of birthday treats. That way they can indulge in things like concerts, movies, and plays that don’t happen to fall on a Tuesday. You can probably see where I’m headed with this. I think it is uncommonly good hearted of the local entertainment venues to allow me to dash from one fantastic event to another all weekend long! The Driftwood Players are presenting the final weekend of ‘The Foreigner’, and you really should be buying your tickets today, it is a not-to-be-missed production. There is nothing quite like laughing yourself silly, and studies have shown that laughter is truly the best medicine. Consider going to this play the best prescription you’ll ever take!
Of course, a foot stomping evening of Celtic rock is guaranteed to revitalize and rejuvenate the spirit! How can anyone resist the lure of 4 great bands bringing ‘riotous fun’ to the D & R? Unless you would rather opt for a quiet evening of nostalgia and romance by attending the 7th Street Theatre showing of Casablanca. Some of us never ever tire of seeing this film, and I can hardly wait to experience it under the stars of the theatre’s restored grandeur. Bogie’s grand gesture of sending Elsa off on the plane to safety will seem even more epic in the classic theater. Does anyone else cry during the scene where the French begin singing their National anthem while the despicable Nazi’s are singing theirs? It gets me every time. Two great choices for Saturday night!
Birthdays deserve to be observed, and we discover new meaning in the occasion as each year comes along. The milestones change as we change. My poor parents. I think back to what I put them through, and marvel at the restraint and patience that they exhibited. How in the world did they keep from throwing up their hands in despair? They must have longed to drop me off along the roadside on some days.
Now I look in the mirror and see my mother’s eyes, my fathers smile. All those lessons that they were certain I didn’t hear come flooding back to me now, and have become the rule book by which I live my life. Even though they have been gone for thirty six years, they are with me each and every day of my life. They gave me life, and they gave me unending love. That is what I will be celebrating tomorrow.
Barbara Bennett Parsons, 57 years old! And still going strong as manager of the Grays harbor Public Market, located at 1958 Riverside in Hoquiam. Open 5 days a week, Wed. Thru Sunday ,538-9747.