Saturday, April 19, 2008

Aha: Birthday Lane

Tomorrow is my birthday--I'm not going to say which one . . . and hope to goodness my pastor doesn't ask when I (finally agree to) join the "birthday & anniversary" altar gathering tomorrow morning. I think you could get divinely zapped for fibbing up there. I've not been much on making a big deal of my birthdays, but I have had a few memorable (or infamous, as the case may be) celebrations. Like:
1) My 21st. A surprise party at my parents' house in Sacramento. I was a nursing school student and newly engaged, and remember that I was wearing this polyester pantsuit printed with polka dots and red butterflies. (A fact which undoubtedly gives a clue to my age). I wasn't even blonde then, but I remember walking in--seeing all these people and humongous mounds of potato salad--and gushing something like, "How cool that you all showed up to visit at the same time!" Um . . . seriously.
2) 26th. 8 months pregnant with my first baby--haven't a clue how we celebrated the birthday. Probably by propping my puffy feet up and practicing LaMaze breathing . . . "hee hee hee, paaaah . . . "
3) 4oth. Another surprise party. And the year my husband gave me one of the most unique gifts I've ever received: Moving our Manure Pile. Seriously, backhoe and all--I loved it. You had to be there to understand. I have photos.
4) 46th: Skydiving! I have a video of this one, by a company aptly called Gravity Works.
Although there is something decidedly unglamorous about the way free-falling flared my nostrils out. Should have used a stunt double.
I started to add another milestone, but decided that would spoil my pastor's scoop on announcing my age to the world. Instead, I'll go backward to one more memorable birthday:
Age 8.
The year my parents treated my friends and me to a party at the Sacramento Zoo. I remember wearing a pink gingham-check shorts outfit, braids with ribbons--birthday girl, Princess for a day. All of us us giggling and gathering around the monkey compound . . . where one of the chimps took a drink of water, puffed out his furry cheeks, and launched it in a stream right down my shirt! Eee-w!
Tomorrow we're going low-key. Hubby promised. No manure piles, no skydiving, no monkey spit, definitely no Lamaze. Maybe potato salad . . . and I might still have that polka dot pantsuit somewhere. Vintage,Retro, Pop . . . strangely, it could be back in style.
Then Monday I'm back at work--I've reached the "AHA MOMENT" in THE HEALER'S HEART. That point near the end of the story, when our hero and heroine have struggled through doom and hopelessness and doubt, and finally discover a great truth about themselves . . . and their faith, that gives them hope and a future. I'm already getting goosebumps for them. It's kind of like discovering that the polyester pantsuit, the Lamaze, the skydiving, the Manure Pile, the monkey business, the great times, the really tough times . . . were all part of one Great Plan plan to help this humble author learn and grow--and empathize--so I can write stories that touch my readers' hearts. I love it.
Pass the birthday cake, please!


MJFredrick said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! I hope it's great, even low-key ;)

CandaceCalvert said...

Thank you, Mary--and happy birthday to another April baby as well! :-)

L M Gonzalez said...

Happy Belated Birthday, Candy!

Memorable birthdays, huh?

My 1st birthday was at my aunt's house because we'd recently moved from Ft. Stockton to Big Spring, Texas so we didn't have a house yet. I'm sitting on a blanket in the grass with a birthday cake beside me and the shadow of my Dad in the picture as he took the b/w photo.

After that, I know my mom invited neighborhood kids to my birthday parties, but I don't really remember them. I don't remember my 1st birthday, but there's a picture.

At 15, my mom asked me if a I wanted a quinceanera (debut), but I told her no. I was very shy growing up. I think both of us were relieved I said no.

The next birthday I do remember is my
20th, again, more so because there's a picture. I'm sitting on my mom's lap. I think it was because she was lamenting the fact that I was all grown up. I was in college, still at home, but about to transfer to a college 90 miles away. For both my mom and I that was like 9000 miles away!!

At 23, I was pregnant with my first son. Thankfully, I managed to enjoy my birthday without throwing up because all throughout the pregnancy I threw up anything I ate or drank. The good thing about this is that I was able to regain my "girlish" figure after this. :)

My 31st was my first birthday in San Antonio and I was living with my sister with my son and had left my husband. I became pregnant with my 2nd son in a failed attempt at reconciliation. Starting a whole new chapter of my life.

My 40th! I dreaded this birthday from the time I turned 38! On the actual day I celebrated for three days - first with my family - the dining out part, then with my friends at a club, then my Dad and sister came down from West Texas and we celebrated again.

Now, I don't dread birthdays. I'm just glad to celebrate another one. The last one I celebrated was the big 5 - 0! And it didn't hurt. Especially since my first book was digitally published two months later and will be in print in the next two months. What could be better than that?

Oh, I know - being a bestselling author before I celebrate the big 6 - 0!


L M Gonzalez said...

Oh Candy, congratulations on almost finishing your newest book. Though I'll miss Darcy and Marie, I'm looking forward to your new ones


CandaceCalvert said...

Lupe--thank you for sharing your birthday memories, and I love it that each one has moved you forward toward better times. Many congratulations on your book! Now, on that NYT list!