Friday, August 25, 2006

All I Ever Wanted

I have a lot of things running through my mind. I want to let you know that I've finished Witterings and just need to block and starch it (right now it looks like a bonnet) and add the ribbon to the inside. I finished it on my vacation--boy, that sewn bind off takes a very long time. I also knit two washcloths and taught a friend to knit. I'd show you a picture of him knitting, but I forgot to ask his permission.

Then, I want to tell you about everything we did in the UP. The Upper Peninsula of Michigan is one miraculous place. We swam in hidden pools that formed at the bottom of waterfalls; we hiked through woods; we ate German food (potato pancakes for me, yum); we ate good food (I credit this friend for teaching me how to cook without a cookbook--before him, I could only make French Toast--my specialty--hamburgers [when I ate meat], and oatmeal. Now, I can whip up something incredible with just the five ingredients in my kitchen) and a yummy carrot cake for my birthday; and we hiked through a virgin pine forest. That's not even half of it. This has become an annual trip, but this is only the second time it's fallen on my birthday. But I think I really want to talk about how my birthday has become special to me. I apologize for the lack of knitting content, but this is important.

Both my parents are deceased. I find it difficult to remember them on their individual birthdays or the anniversaries of their deaths. I don't take the time to celebrate them then like I should, nor do I want to dwell on it like that four times a year. I think about them, and I usually cry a little, but I don't really celebrate them as my parents.

On my thirtieth birthday I was afraid that my family would forget my big day because they were on a family vacation, and because they were surely only thinking about my Babci's 90th birthday the next month (I am so proud that my grandmother is 60 years older than me, and that one of my aunts is 30 years older than me. I like the symmetry of it--it makes me feel connected to them in a special way--and that year our ages made a 30/60/90 triangle). I had also recently broken up with the person I thought was the "one." To avoid the disappointment of getting no calls on my birthday, I decided to go away. The opportunity opened to join a friend in Traverse City, then drive up to Northwoods, a camp that my alma mater operates, to meet up with another friend from Hiram.

I flew to TC a few days before my birthday, we hopped in the car and drove the 7 or so hours to Northwoods. The three of us went hiking in Pictured Rocks, hung out in the lodge, and had a wonderful carrot cake for my birthday, topped with freshly picked berries. Each of my friends gave me a bowl (it wasn't planned). It was my best birthday.

Being that it was my thirtieth, I was thinking about where I was and how I'd gotten there. For as long as I could remember, our family vacations were almost always in the UP. We'd camp every year at the same park that had amazing cliffs and black sand. Even though we lived in the city and later the suburbs, my parents treated us to nature as much as they could, whether it be picking wild berries and mushrooms or traveling into Canada to bird watch. Spending time in the UP got me reminiscing about our yearly trips to that campground. None of us (my siblings or me) are sure where it is, though we all have our opinions.

It was then I decided that I would spend my birthday celebrating my parents by doing something they would have enjoyed. After all, they made me, both by giving life to me and by raising me. I couldn't be more thankful for that. So this is how I celebrated my birthday weekend this year:

By the way: EVERYone remembered my thirtieth birthday that year.


jennifer said...

Who took these pictures? Did you get a camera?

Happy Birthday, and see you soon.

aimee said...

i loved that. you really know how to link. heehee. [much easier on firefox than safari, i have finally realized.]

i don't think anyone is allowed to forget 30th birthdays. i love that my dad is exactly 30 years older than me, too.

now i want carrot cake. when i get back!!

Carrie K said...

Aw, that's so sweet. And I'm glad everyone remembered your birthday that year! Those are awesome pix.