“Do you know," Peter asked, "why swallows build in the eaves of houses? It is to listen to the stories.” ~ J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan


56 / Day 1

It smelled like spring when I left work Friday night, and I was a bit early in my leaving so there was still a hint of leftover lighter blue sky, and it had that feel of spring coming on - you know, that first evening you walk out into a spring evening and know it isn't all that far away anymore - but of course, it is fall and it was just an autumn tease, when the temperatures head back into the high 70s and for a moment you forget it isn't spring, but only for a moment because within seconds the night is atop you and the smell is now that of Christmas around the corner, and you are driving in the dark, listening to the radio for a just a minute and then back into silence, saying your goodbyes to this false spring and this true summer because you always wait until the last second, and after all, you are wearing flipflops today. but you say your goodbyes halfheartedly and you pass by the orange walls of Sunshine Records, closed for the night; the doors to the next door blue boxing gym/arena open to the cooling evening air, but never mind, you are out to buy flowers, no time for remembering that the gym was once an ice cream shop when you were a little girl, and your memories of that are springtime and summer memories, a child's memories of times long past, you are busy now, you are an adult, there are deadlines to be met, commitments to be kept, and even those you want to keep, are more than happy to keep, seem overwhelming, this false spring putting you in the mood to just keep driving and see where you end up.

But you don't, you buy the flowers, you spend Saturday doing what must be done and then Sunday arrives, your birthday, a birthday full of cards and gifts and bracelets all arriving early, and you bought yourself lemon donuts yesterday, because you have long past the age where a cake is part of the celebration, and, besides, it is a day you know you must spend alone, so much still to do today, that deadline still looming, and it is okay, you were quite a beast yesterday, and feel sorry for anyone who had the misfortune to speak to you, and time alone feels okay, really it does, you tell yourself, but deep in your heart, when you are honest with yourself, you know that what you'd like is an impossible-to-do-at-this-time-of-year day off, two days off, to finish these photos you must finish, playing cat and mouse with the sun these past few weeks, waiting for light which has at last shown up - you'd really like that time off, and you'd really like a surprise bouquet of flowers at the door, and maybe a cake, a small celebration for you, it seems so little, but you know it won't come, that this work awaits, so you are up a bit early on a Sunday morning, just like the Sunday morning you were born, and you find this image from earlier in the season, Maggie in your lap, Katie checking her Facebook - a familiar scene, the tv is probably on and we were no doubt gossiping while watching an old movie. An out of focus phone shot, but a reminder of this year, of a good friend, of a much loved cat still with me.

So my birthday begins with yellow leaves falling from the trees - they are piling against the curb - and Maggie impatiently waiting for me to finish typing so she can jump in my lap, Vivien Leigh in black & white walking down a curved staircase on the television, and me wondering what I've learned this year, how I've changed, knowing first and foremost that I have learned, once again - it is always an awakening of an old knowledge - that grief takes its own path and nothing you do can change it or the speed it travels down that path. I have learned there are people out there who really like my art, and people who really like my writing. I have learned to be more honest, and I was pretty honest to begin with. It has been a tough year, one filled with loss and recognition, with changes everywhere I look, and I welcome its end, I welcome the beginning of 56, though, to be honest, I cried myself to sleep last night - 56! I sobbed! Ah well, 56 it is. Glad to see it, even the bad days. Day one - so far, so good. :)


  1. Happy Happy Birthday!! 56 is still young! So PLAY!!

  2. Somehow the years that have passed don't match up with how we feel on the inside.....do they? As I am staring down the barrel of 48 I am thinking 56 looks pretty darn good.

  3. In keeping with our kindred dance, I, too, shed some tears the night before my birthday. It is a solemn and complicated business being a scorpio woman. We gather the years and do our best to gather more light and shine it outward. But still, there are some dark nights that creep in, always some more things to let go of.

    But 56, oh, glorious 56! Numerologically, it adds to an 11. A highly spiritual number. It is going to be a good year, Debi. A ripe and beautiful, darn good year. I will keep track of you. Actually, I will be the bird calls outside your window.

    Happy Birthday, Beautiful.

    xo, Graciel

  4. Why is that almost all my favourite people were born at this time of the year? How does that gel so well with my Gemini instincts?

    Although I can hardly say I know you, I enjoy each post I linger on or read through in a rush meaning to comment but don't. There are changes afoot in my little world, I should do better, but at least I made it today. Your birthday.

    Have a lovely one.


  5. Oh you're still so young in body mind and spirit! Happy Happy Birthday Dear One!

  6. lemon doughnuts go well at my table

    sending happy wishes and encouragement from there...elk

  7. Sheila - Touche'. You sneaky girl. :)

    SMC - It is always astounding when I realize how old I am. I think there's been a mistake made somewhere, I tell myself. LOL! Thanks so much for stopping by.

    Eilandkind - Thank you so much! I was in such feeling-sorry-for-myself mood this morning - indeed, even yesterday. And it has been a fine day. Thank you again.

    Graciel - OH1 This sounds good! What a baby I was being - I left for a while this afternoon and came home to find a birthday cake, roses and candy left by a certain someone with a key to both my little place and to my heart. I just read your blog and want you to know I am thinking of you and yours. Thank you for taking the time from your day to visit. xoxo

    DD - Thank you so much. It seems so true that there are tons of women bloggers who are Scorpios - almost as many as live in Oregon! :) I am glad to have you here to read, whether you comment or not - I do the same myself. :)

    Liz - Well, at least mind! :) But tomorrow, after a long massage, my body will catch up. Thank you!

    elk - I visited your lovely table, and found poetry & birds waiting there. Pretty wonderful - muchas gracias!!

    Thank you to all for putting up with a bit of whining. It was a lonesome morning, better now.

    :) Debi

  8. My dear friend~ Happy birthday to you!!!
    Your heart sings a tune, I love so dearly.
    You are appreciated.
    I think I would love a lemon doughnut... to share with you, of course.

  9. Happy Birthday, mi amor... yellow leaves falling at your feet, what a wondrous birthday gift, yes?

    Yes, I smell Christmas, too and wrapped in periwinkle skies, and golden trees...



  10. *knock knock*
    It's me at your door, holding a little cake with pretty icing and one glowing candle in the middle...to make a most magical wish for this coming year.
    Keep it a secret, and see what happens.
    *I wish I could do this for real*

    Love to you and Happy Birthday Gorgeous!

  11. Happy belated birthday!

    I have to admit that when I lived in TX, I wore flipflops all year long, even in the winter. (Although I added toe socks to keep my feet somewhat warm) Occasionally, I still attempt to wear flipflops out into the Spokane winter... It's ridiculous, but after almost 7 years, I am still in denial about WA weather.

  12. Our birthdays are at the most perfect time of the year, don't you think?
    Happy Birthday!

  13. oh belated happy birthday

    you are a scorpio as well?

    :) we are so kindred

    beautiful photo ...and time is
    timeless ultimately

    artists are forever young

  14. i am on day 174. you are on day 16. and i am so happy to have you as a traveling companion down this year of 56. what a steep road it seems to me... steep downhill i mean.

    i hope you have also learned how loved you are, deeply, truly and through thick and thin loved. from those who know you in person and some who are still waiting for that day.

    god you describe that mix of grief and gratitude and acceptance in the most perfect words. i love/hate my birthday. it can't be a simple 'happy birthday'. inside it is filled with so many complex feelings that i cannot even begin to articulate. But that's really ok since you have done a pretty good job here even though they are your words, your experience i share them in some small and big ways.

    please step into the vanishing cabinet so that i can give you your belated, ever belated present... actually that should be plural since now there are three now, one getting dusty and forlorn another just perfectly fresh and another in process. don't hate me for not mailing them yet. it is my perpetual flaw to hold back on completing art.

    have a 'feeling loved' 56th year!


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