Now, it's April 8th as I write, but April 3rd is my birthday, and as I've been needing a bit of a break from the computer, and also been under the weather, I didn't get around to posting that day, or much at all recently.
April 3rd, I woke up with a sore throat, which has progressed through other symptoms, but not yet disappeared. Gibbie's had it too, so much so that we stayed home from church, and have spent days and days now doing not much other than sitting on the couch, cuddling and holding and reading. Poor Ezra; We've been a boring lot.
I had a very happy birthday anyway. I visited a friend in the morning, one of my favorite things and favorite people. I hadn't advertised the occasion of my birth this year, (other than agonized pre-processing, reconciling my party-dreams with the week's capacity, thanks Wendy!) so I surprised Christy. When she found out, she insisted on giving me a lovely kid's cookbook that I'm so excited about. Then we ate fresh brownies from my favorite recipe.
Coming home, I was tired and sore-throated and about to wilt but dear Wendy had send flowers and a gift! Then I noticed how beautiful the day and, as Ezra was asleep in the car, I set up a little basket bed for him in the corner of the yard so we could stay outside. Then I set up our recently rediscovered hammock in the yard, and Paul came home with a bursting bouquet of flowers also! So I read in that hammock, which I have so long anticipated reading in, while Paul played with the kids. Mom and Dad brought dinner over, which was lovely and a god-send as well, as what with one thing and another this week, we kept doing and doing the dishes, and lo-they never get done! So that was just great to have dinner, and company, and help watching the kids so I could clean the kitchen. (they offered to clean up, but sometimes, it's more of a relief to work than entertain.)
Natalie gave me the most wonderful handmade bag, and there was another handmade gift from my mother (pictures maybe later) and luxe shampoo and conditioner that I love but am too cheap to buy for myself!
My sister is taking Paul and I to Sense and Sensibility, which Cromulent Shakespeare is putting on at the beloved Black Forest Inn, later in April. Hence, Paul and I have abandoned Tess of the D'Ubervilles. We didn't need much of an excuse to leave poor Tess, we're sorry dear girl, for Austin's Elinor and Marianne, to get it all read in time for the show. After that, we just may tackle something great--dare I say it? I've been thirsting for poetry and beauty, and content, and building up in truth. We have a nicely annotated, but not ponderously heavy copy of Paradise Lost on the shelf. Ahh, Milton, I do hope we are up to loving you! More than a year ago, a friend of ours, of the professorly type, strongly recommended we read Paradise Regained. He said that everyone reads Paradise Lost and stops there, and cried it was a pity as the whole reason to read Paradise Lost is to get to Paradise Regained. Kind of like life itself, so there you have it. Milton's stated aim in the first volume being to "justify the ways of God to men," in heroic couplets built as up into a palace of verse, beautiful and true, well, I just don't think we can resist. Any one want to join us?
Back to the birthday. I was also amazed with phone calls from far-away and much-loved friends; one from the Eastern Hemisphere, and one in the Southern. What gifts, friends who care so well!
What's more, who remember one's birthday! I myself am pretty rotten at remembering birthdays, and so am especially grateful to friends who remember mine and friends who tell everyone it is their birthday in case they don't remember. Hmmm... maybe I'll start doing that! Still enjoying my flowers, tulips and daisies--what a lucky one I am!