The Winter Solstice

8 Going On 49

My Birthday December 20, 2023

Today is the day I turn 49 years old.  

It’s going to be a great day!  

By the time many of you read this, I will have gone for a walk and plunged into my pool with my crazy plunger friends to celebrate the winter solstice.  This will be chased with a hot cup of coffee to take the chill off and maybe a piece of chocolate, too!

It will be the perfect way to kick off the shortest day of the year and my 50th year. (yikes)

I was asked recently what my best birthday ever was. A few come to mind. My 40th was a great day, and who can forget their 16th? Or 21st?  

However, one birthday always sticks out in my mind—and that was my 8th birthday.

I was in 2nd grade, the last day of school before winter vacation–the 21st of December. After a classroom holiday party, we went to the library. I was sitting at the big table in the center of the room.  Positioned on the corner, I was reading my book and realized there seemed to be a lot of murmuring around me.  

As I looked up to figure out what was going on, the entire library sang Happy Birthday as a clown walked toward me with a big bouquet of balloons.

I was so surprised.  So I sat there and cried. Yes, I really did. 🙂

When the clown made it over to me and handed me the balloons, I didn’t want them, so I gave them back like they were hot potatoes. I looked at the library doorway, where my favorite 2nd cousin Sally and my parents stood. 

They were confused and tried to smile as they sang the rest of the song. And the poor clown was just left hanging.

Needless to say, it was a complete disaster, and no one ever surprised me again. They were afraid I would cry! And probably before the age of 20 I would have.

I have come a long way since I turned 8… and I am already looking at a big 50th bash to celebrate a half-century.

I had many fun times with my cousin, Sal. But not on that day when I turned 8 years old. I am so sorry, Sally. I wish I could take that reaction back because you thought you were doing such a great thing. 🙂 And you were!

Here’s to 49! And to birthdays that were great and those that failed. We shall see what 49 brings. I think it will be my best year yet! I am blessed with my family, friends, the dog, and my health. What more could I want? I am so thankful for all of that!

And I can’t wait for my black midnight birthday cake!

With love,


P.S. See cousin Sally, below. So many fun times. Thank you, Sal!