If you see the fighter-pilot header and/or the title of this post is black, click on the title to view the featured image for this post.
I can’t remember the last time I got excited about a birthday. Probably sometime during my pre-teen years. Don’t know why, except to guess that maybe I didn’t have enough of them behind me to think much about how many I had remaining. But now, with the sunset of life visible on the horizon, that’s changed to the point of my preferring that birthdays pass by unnoticed.
Which is not to say I don’t appreciate the greetings received yesterday, August 24, 2014, in acknowledgment of my reaching the age of 72. Or the fact that the Novel In Progress Group of Austin surprised me at our Sunday meeting with cake and a more than passable rendition of “Happy Birthday to You.”
One member of the group brought a gift. Chad Wall handed me a bottle of wine in one of those special bags, but the card wasn’t made out. I asked him about it, and his reply was something to the effect of, “I wanted you to be able to give it to someone else if it’s not a wine you like.” Hardly a chance of that, however. He picked it because the protagonist in the Pilot Error series likes Sauvignon Blanc from the Marlborough area of New Zealand. I mean, how else would Nick Phillips acquire a taste for any particular wine except through me?
Then last evening, my wife Ann and I had dinner with two of our favorite people, Dr. Sue Ellen Young and her husband, Dr. Guy Knolle. They gifted me with a bottle of Pinot Noir to go with Ann’s gift of another New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. I made out like a bandit in the wine department. Ann also bought me a new Sonicare toothbrush. You probably can’t even begin to imagine the looks I got from nearby diners when I unwrapped it at the table.
“Yew! I hope he doesn’t use it after dinner.”
Sue designed a custom birthday card that I have to share. I’ve inserted images below of the front, inside top and bottom, and the back. You can click on any image for a larger view and return to this page with your browser’s back button.