Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: They Say It’s Your Birthday…

…It’s my birthday, too!

In my family, we have clusters of birthdays in August and in late March/early April. It provides the opportunity to get several households together at one time for a joint party. I love it when we’re all crowded into the kitchen, cooking together, sipping something, laughing, and singing. We tend to break into song for no particular reason. We also love to dance, and we happen to have a music producer/DJ in the family, so dance parties with a house bass beat add to the celebration. I’ve been taking photos of birthdays for more than 30 years now. The difference is that my kids don’t want to have their faces in these photos anymore. Still, I have enough material to offer a gallery of birthday ambience and celebration. I hope you enjoy it!

Here’s a birthday photo I didn’t take. It’s my third birthday, and I’m at my grandmother’s beach cottage on Lake Michigan. At that age, the most important part of the day was that I got to eat chocolate cake! (Some things haven’t changed much…)

Our host for this photo challenge party is Johnbo. Visit his site HERE.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Celebrating – Family!

“Rejoice with your family in the beautiful
land of life.” – Albert Einstein

“What can you do to promote world peace?
Go home and love your family.” – Mother Teresa

As we enter a season of celebration, I wish you all the joy of family love, through blood or affiliation, and the time and place to be with each other safely and happily. Thanks to Amy for hosting our challenge this week and posting an international selection of celebrations. Click HERE to see her fun post and instructions for participation.

An august gathering of birthdays

If you ask around, you may find that families sometimes have uncanny clusters of birthdays.  For my family, that cluster occurs in August.  Both my maternal grandparents had their birthdays in August, although I don’t remember the exact days.  My brother’s birthday is today; mine is on Thursday.  My brother-in-law John’s is the 25th; Steve’s brother-in-law Dan’s is the 22nd.  My husband Jim’s birthday was August 26.  What could be the reason for all these babies being born this week? 

Gotta be Thanksgiving.  We are the product of grateful coupling, I suppose — cold nights and tryptophan relaxation.  Why not?  The harvest is in.  Be fruitful and make babies. 

As a child, my end-of-the-summer birthday precluded school parties and peer recognition.  I was content with family gatherings that included spare ribs, corn-on-the-cob and chocolate cake (my frequently requested birthday dinner).  My children introduced new birthday traditions, like Hoops & Yo-yo cards…

hoops-and-yoyo-hoops-and-48396f48c66ec-gifand this hysterical Birthday song by the Arrogant Worms (click to see youtube version w/lyrics) often sung over the phone by my oldest, Susan. 

Lately, I’ve been giving myself year-end treats.  I started this blog to mark my 50th year.  The next year, I bought myself a digital camera to replace the Canon AE-1 that my husband had given me 33 years earlier.  This year, I bought plane tickets for me & Steve to travel to California to visit my mother, my siblings, the family grave site (where my sister, my husband and my dad are buried), giant redwoods, tide pools, pinnacles and a winery.  I am looking forward to unwrapping that gift slowly over 6 days.  I want to savor it as much as I can. 

At the piano in the old homestead.  Photo by my sister DKK.

At the piano in the old homestead. Photo by my sister DKK.

Today, though, I’m wishing my brother a happy birthday!  He was a gift brought home from the hospital on my 11th birthday.  He helped me grow up in a million ways — first by taking my place as the baby.  As adults, we’ve always had miles and miles between us keeping us apart.  I’m hoping that when that distance is bridged, we’ll find much to connect us again. 

photo credit: Josh Galasso

photo credit: Josh Galasso