Happy birthday!

Today I begin the 58th year of my existence on earth.  This is how I look.
Birthdays are a big deal. As a child, I always looked forward to November because it meant gifts, a cake and spareribs and sauerkraut for dinner. (I know – I cringed when I read that, too.) It was a pretty simple thing, and “gifts” should not be plural.  We – my siblings and me – got one gift for our birthdays, but it was always the best gift we could possibly ever get.  One year, back in the 60’s when  such things were deemed to be OK for kids, my parents gave me a machine gun.  Of course it was plastic and didn’t shoot anything, but it made machine gun sounds and had a  small red cylinder coming out of the muzzle that moved in and out when I pulled the trigger, giving the impression that bullets were being fired.  It had a bipod attached to the stock, just like the ones we would see in the WWII movies we watched on Saturday afternoons at the Garden Theater in South Milwaukee.  I am sure I killed thousands of Nazi’s with that thing.
I have two siblings who have birthdays in November, too.  Bill was born on the 14th and Kathi on the 23rd.  I never had to share a cake or parties with them, though, because Bill was out of the house by the time I knew what was happening in the world, and Kathi’s was more than 2 weeks distant, which, at that time in my life, might as well have been 2 years.  Then in 1983, my daughter Brianna was born on November 5th.  My birthday took a back seat, which is just fine, because I loved having her around and would gladly give her top billing.
Today it’s back to just me on the 7th.  Brianna is a (great!) mom, and she celebrates her birthday with her family.  Oh, we all get together for cake and ice cream to celebrate both birthdays, but it’s not the same.  I also don’t need a gift to tell me it’s my day, as I receive gifts every single day in the love of Sherry, my wife, and that of Brianna, her sister Chandra and their families.  Our two – Sherry and me – has grown to 10, and I could never receive anything greater than that.
The beginning of my 58th year is cause for celebration, and kudos to my Mom and Dad for having me. I have lived an incredible life, and I am eternally grateful to God and my family for making it that way.
Today I also begin this little project.  Ahead of me are 364 days of writing and photos.  It is my plan to add to this blog each day.  I hope you’ll follow along and let me know what you think.  I know people who plan things far in advance and have a file full of blog and Facebook posts just waiting to go on a specified day.  That would not be me, by the way.  I may try that, but I have a feeling it will be a little more spontaneous than planned.
Here we go.20151106-IMG_1049


3 Responses to “Happy birthday!”

  1. Linda Says:

    Great memories. Beautiful family. You are blessed. A living miracle. A testament to God’s love. A dear friend. Yes to life and love! Happy Birthday to a Beloved of God!


  2. denisewyo Says:

    Love all your posts so far, Matt. What a great project and aspiration to improve writing/photography. Can’t wait to see what this year brings you!!


  3. Poetry | Matt's 365 Project Says:

    […] had asked for it for my birthday.  Yes, this is the same child who was also thrilled to receive a machine gun for his birthday.  (That statement may say more about me than I wish to […]


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