Monday, March 4, 2013

A Birthday Memory

Recently, I came across a birthday letter I sent to my two brothers five years ago. I guess I was getting nostalgic as usual around this time because so much has changed over the years. Or maybe it was because I wasn't interested in the "Hallmark" birthday card greeting that doesn't seem really that personal all too often. Or was it both?
I celebrate my birthday same time as do my two half-brothers, Dwight and Harvey. I was born on Harvey's special day 18 years later, and two days before Dwight's, he's 21 years older than I am. We can't forget each other's birthday. Each year as long as I can remember, the cards cross paths in the mail from each of our states – to Massachusetts, or to Illinois, or to Montana – during the beginning of March, reaching out to say "Happy Birthday" on the 8th and the 10th.
The other day, I was thinking about the birthday dinners we shared when I was very young. Those days were very exciting for me. I knew we would have spaghetti. Mom would have the sauce on the stove early. I got to taste it from the big wooden spoon. She would open the “Red Cross” brand LONG spaghetti noodles in that blue-paper package. I would help put them into the boiling water... very carefully not to splash the hot water on me.  
We would get out the white table cloth for the big dining room table, set the table and wait for my brothers to come over. That wait was the longest. I would go to the bay window to look... it seemed you two would NEVER get here! It would mean - when you got here, we could EAT! Most of all though, we could have the slurp-up-the-spaghetti noodle races.  And that was the most fun of all. Everyone would be laughing. Mom tried her hardest not to laugh, but couldn’t help herself. She must have been thinking about the job she would probably have getting the sauce out of my blouse and the tablecloth when our shenanigans were over. Grandma Porteous never understood. 
So, in honor of those days long past, I will eat spaghetti on the 8th and I will be thinking of my brothers.
I did have spaghetti on my birthday that year, 2008. And I plan to have spaghetti on this birthday, too. I don't know how many spaghetti birthday dinners I have had over the years, less than 68 that's for sure. 

The 8th falls on a Friday this year, I'll be spending it out with friends to a great Italian restaurant. My two half-brothers won't be with me (they live too far away from Illinois), but my memories will be there. I'll be thinking of those times as I'll slurp up a spaghetti noodle just for fun.

Happy birthday 89, 86 and 68!

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