A Birthday to Remember

Since my yesterday's post was rather dark, I decided to lighten things up a bit today with a post for "Memories on Mondays" about one of my favorite birthday celebrations...

I've noted before that my high school days were no picnic. I wasn't part of the "in-crowd" and I pretty much marched to the tune of my own drummer, which wasn't highly thought of in the small Midwest town where I grew up.

One of the few classes I totally enjoyed was the Humanities class that I took in my senior year. It was composed of a small group of students... maybe ten, and two instructors. There, along with learning interesting things about art, architecture, music, and such, we were allowed to express our individuality through projects such as pottery and candle making, and changing up the decor of the classroom to include hand tie-died curtains (in purple of course), and each one of us designing our own pillow for floor seating in a circle. This being the early 1970's we thought we were a pretty cool bunch. Class size was limited and other students were pretty envious of our unique learning environment. I'm sure they envisioned us smoking strange substances behind the closed door... though we weren't.

By the very nature of the small class which included lots of discussion, we became a close knit group of individuals who actually had very little in common and likely would not have been friends otherwise. One of the instructors was just a few years older than we were, and some of us often gathered at the apartment where she and her husband lived in the evenings for more music and esoteric conversation.

Birthdays were always a big deal at my house growing up, my Mom made sure they were. That didn't mean large parties, huge expenditures, or a big pile of gifts. It did mean a special gift and a few smaller things, all wrapped up pretty, balloons and streamers hanging from the ceiling, supper of choice, and always a beautiful homemade cake. When we were small there were parties, as we got older it became slumber parties or doing something special with a friend or two.

I had very few close friends as I reached my eighteenth birthday, but I wanted to mark the occasion in some special way. I secured my Mom's approval to invite my Humanities Class over for a homemade spaghetti supper, served with Boone's Farm Apple Wine. (Anybody old enough to remember this stuff?) Afterwards we went to a movie at little theater in our town, and then somewhere after 10 PM, decided that we really needed to get the toboggan sled out of our garage and head out to the hill north of town for a little sledding in the moonlight on that cold February night. We had a blast!

Nearly everyone in the class attended the party, which surprised me greatly, and I can honestly say a good time was had by all. It remains one of the few truly happy memories of my high school days.

(Years later my parents shuddered when they realized that they had, without really considering it, served alcohol to a bunch of minors! :-)

How about sharing one of your memories with us at Memories on Mondays?


  1. Wine is only alcohol if nothing else is available.

  2. haha -- Wine is only alcohol.

    And if that party was in February -- you must have a 'big day' coming up soon!

    Do tell!

  3. What wonderful birthday memories :).

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  4. You told this SO well. I'm happy that you have this wonderful memory.

    I wasn't one of the popular girls in high school, but I was friends with everyone. I didn't realize at the time how lucky I was to have had a great high school experience.

    We're probably around the same age. And I do remember Boone's Farm!

  5. Loved your comment Frank! For sure that was a cheap drunk back then. But we thought we were just ultra cool! I also remember Strawberry Hill. Then came Tyrolia and Spanada. All made great hippie candle holders when empty! :-))

  6. Thank you Robin, it really is a happy spot in my memory album! It was a nice coming of age marker.

  7. That's my buddy Frank, Louise, he's quite a character and I love him for it! Check out his blog sometime. Some pretty cool serious stuff there too!

    Yup, my birthday is Feb 7th. I'll be 57 and darn proud of it! I always celebrate my birthday as another year survived, a year when life didn't get the best of me! :-)

  8. Thank you Cheryl, I'm finding the writing down of memories kind fun, once I get rolling it all comes back. I think my kids might enjoy reading them someday down the road. (My blog is off limits for them presently, my claim to the right of privacy. :-)

    I know you are good bit younger than me, so I love that you also remember Boone's Farm. Some of my coworkers did today too!

  9. Cool. I was around in those days too, but being from another part of the world the names were all different. If you drank Spumante as a kid you certainly wouldn't touch it as an adult, and February, your birthday is slap dab in the middle of the hottest month of the year here.

  10. Hi Llindylou, thank you for dropping by! I'm betting that Spumante was just about as "high class" as Boone's Farm. :-) It would sure seem different to have a heat wave on my birthday, growing up it always meant cold and snow and one more week to Valentine's Day! :-)

  11. Sounds like a real highlight. I would have enjoyed that very much. It is so much fun to remember all the good times.

  12. It definitely was, Selma. I'm not one for big fancy affairs and calling lots of attention to myself. This was just simply enjoyable, and evening I hope we all look back on and smile!


Your comments are always appreciated... they make me smile! :-)