It is completely dark outside. Children have been running on the sidewalks and cheerfully chirping and calling out to each other for the last hour. I have lost the humor and interest in seeing the little ghouls and goblins and no longer turn on my porch light to attract them to come to my door demanding candy.
Instead I sip a cup of steaming soup and read on in novel I’ve borrowed from the library while some tentacle of memory reaches back to bring forth my three year old son wearing a green backpack style turtle shell over his winter jacket or my daughter donned as a lady bug when she was about six.
I focus on the printed pages in front of me while images re-run from earlier in the week when at the office I go to twice a week where it now feels like I am employed only as a courtesy, but could easily be done without, celebrated my recent birthday with a chocolate sheet cake decorated with chocolate frosting and autumnal flora. The luncheon room was lined with the folks who always came to wish me well and stay for a portion of cake. As quickly as they came, they all went back to their business and the young lady who got, cut and handed out cake, cleared everything up, closed the remaining cake in its box and told me I could take it when I left, which I did to share with other friends on my home after Zumba class.
On the actual day of my birthday I met a couple of ladies at the Knights of Columbus Hall for the monthly dinner, which this time was chicken, green beans, rice and a handful of salad, a roll and a choice of lemonade, fruit punch or tea. The meal was better than the last one and was better than cooking myself.
Earlier in the day my cousin Theresa who sings for the opera in Austin, called and sang me the Happy Birthday song. 44 people on Face Book wished me Happy Birthday and I actually received three cards via snail mail.
While I was out the next day, an hour and a half at the office followed by water exercise at the recreation center, my sister called and left a message wishing me a happy belated birthday.
Yesterday, my cousin Maryann came over and drove us to one of our favorite little mom and pop restaurants where we had brunch and she presented me with a purple bag containing a number of things she thought I’d get a kick out of including a new coffee cup, which I do like.
The clamor outside has quieted down and I have arrived at page 130 in the novel.