Friday, January 25, 2008

Birthday Wishes or What I Want To Be When I Grow Up

Forgive me a little introspection, but today is my birthday. I turn 51. Yikes! It's a little scary to even type that. For years at a time in my 30's and 40's, I never really knew how old I was. I know that sounds silly, but if you had asked me my age ten years ago, I would have had to stop and think a minute. Age didn't seem all that important. Now, suddenly, it does.

For the past year, I have seen my in-laws practically age before my eyes, and that has been a sobering sight. I lost my own parents when I was still too young to consider their deaths a memento mori. That will not be the case with my in-laws.

And now, of course, there are the incontrovertible signs of age. I guess part of it is the graying hair, and the much fought-against weight gain. My daughter got her driver's permit on Wednesday -- God, do I feel old! And the menopause thing is such a barrel of laughs, too.

So, to celebrate my birthday, I have decided to self-medicate with Hershey's Kisses. Lots of them. And to compile a list of things I'd like to be when I grow up. :) So here goes:

  1. An astronaut. No, not really, but I would like to learn more about the stars. Be able to identify some constellations in the night sky.

  2. An architect. Well, at least enough of one to help make our Little Red House a bit more functional and slightly bigger.

  3. A fashion designer or a crazy bag lady. I'm a little conflicted on this one. Some days I wish I could put together a decent outfit. Other days (and there are many more of these) I wish I lived in a place where everyone wears sweatpants.

  4. A gardener. In a beautiful English country garden. I don't want to be in charge; just one of the many minions who pull weeds and make compost. There is something so comforting in the thought of working out-of-doors with the seasons, in the midst of such beauty. Lovely.

  5. A chef. Or at least someone who does not panic at the prospect of getting dinner on the table every night.

  6. An author. Of something slightly longer than a blog! :)

Well, I think that's enough of a list to be getting on with. Excuse me while I go get some more Hershey's Kisses.

Edited to add: Today is also Amanda's birthday. Please go visit her and wish her a happy day!


  1. Happy Birthday to you
    Happy Birthday to you
    Happy Birthday Dear Mary
    Happy Birthday to you
    Age is just a number, just pretend you can't read it.
    So many things you want to be when you grow up.
    Lucky you haven't grown up yet, so you don't have to decide on one of them yet.
    Have fun eating those Hershey Kisses

  2. Happy Birthday 'wishes' to you!!!...what better way to celebrate, than with chocolate!!!...I'm 53 so, I'm dealing with all the same 'signs', too!!!..I guess that's part of 'growing up'!!!. Lacy...BTW...I picked up 'An Affair with a House' WANT TO BE BUNNY WILLIAMS!!!...have a great day!!!

  3. Happy birthday Mary! I turn 50 in May and I know how you feel, I struggle with all the same things that you do. You know, some day you will be 80 (God willing) and you will look back at 51 and remember how you felt and looked so good! I love the idea of self-medicating with chocolate, have some for me. And have a great birthday!

  4. Happy Birthday, Mary! Nothing like chocolate to celebrate!
    Thanks for your kind words about my blogging, I'm truly having a great time and you know how much you inspire me--on your birthday and everyday! Enjoy yourself!
    :0) Tara

  5. Happy Birthday Mary!! You don't sound a day over 35! I love your list. Think I might have to create one.


  6. Happy Birthday to you Mary!!!!

    Chocolate is great, i say the more the merrier!!!! You could be anything on your list. You can do it. It's never too late. I always enjoy your blog. You would be a great photographer too. Love all the warm cozy pictures.
    Isn't 50's the NEW 30's and 40's the new 20's. That's what i want to believe. Enjoy and have a wonderful birthday, Janie

  7. Happy Birthday Mary. Enjoy your special day and remember I will always be six years older than you!! I am going to be an Architectural Historian or a Preservation Architect when I grow up, not sure when that will be.


  8. Happy Birthday, Dear Mary!

    1957 was a good year....I'll be 51 in May and fightIng your same battles. They tell me we'll get through it! HA....

    I would love to join you in the gardening job. I keep asking my husband if I can call the landscapers in the area to see if they just need someone to weed and lay mulch. It's a great way to meditate :-)

    Have the Best of all Birthdays........Rosie

  9. Happy Birthday Dear Mary!
    It is a lovely day for a Birthday.. a party perhaps? We can invite Neil Armstrong, Frank Lloyd Wright, Coco Channel, Giada De Laurentiis, and a gardener... (I don't know any famous weed pullers..) I think it would be a smashing party and the conversation would be very enlightening!
    I ho peyou ahve a beautiful day and enjoy your kisses!


  10. Happy Birthday! And remember, 51's better than being dead. :)I'm impressed with anyone who can use "memento mori" in a sentence without sounding pretentious, so you've got that brainy Mrs. Robinson vibe going on for you, too. 51 is the new 32, I hear!


    51 is still a very young age. I do understand, however, how, all at once, things start happening that never "happened" before. The very best advice I can give you is that each time you think, "oh, my gosh, I'm getting old..I'm past 50 now" just be thankful you aren't passed 60!!!!!!!!!!
    So, cheer up, COULD be worse!! lol
    Now, go have another Hershey Kiss!
    hugs on your 51st.....

  12. I'm delurking to say Happy Birthday.

    I think I will have some Kisses to share in your experience! :)

  13. Happy Birthday, dear Mary! Of all the ways to self medicate, Kisses sounds the sweetest:)

    When you grow up and become a gardener let me know...I'd happily pull weeds right beside you!

    Enjoy your day!!!

    Love ya,

  14. Happy Birthday Mary!
    I am looking over your list and I think you are well on your way to just about all of them - the English garden might be a bit tricky, but the others - shoot fire - you should be able to tick those off, one by one over the next fifty one years with little to no trouble at all! I am looking forward to your book. I want an autographed copy. God bless you today! Rechelle

  15. Happy Birthday Mary!! I'm with ya, I'll celebrate with chocolate too in honor of your day. I hope your day is wonderful..

    Eat cake!

    Birthday Hugs,

  16. Happy Birthday Mary!
    I wrote you before to remark how well you wrote. I think you are well on your way to being an author!

  17. Happy Birthday, fellow birthday girl! You are ever so close to all of those amazing things! I am still secretly dreaming of becoming Princess Grace! And what a lovely day for chocolate. I had chocolate cake for breakfast to celebrate this morning, as well!

    May all of your birthday wishes come true!


  18. A very happy birthday to the gentle lady in the red house.

    The decade of the 50's is the best, I will guarantee you. Get the matches ready because as I've said before it's when the madwoman comes down from the attic and burns the house down. Meaning?? You come into your own and claim your life......if you haven't already.

  19. Happy birthday dear Mary. Celebrate the day. I'm turning 61 this year and it sounds so old when I say it. The best thing to do is to find some friends who are older than you and they will constantly be remarking on how young you are. Oh and don't forget to enjoy it every time someone says to you, "You sure don't look like you're 51." Let me be the first to say it!
    I had a friend named Sally who was over 80 when I knew her . One day someone was saying how they didn't like getting their picture taken because they looked so old. Sally had a great attitude. She said "I'm always happy to have my picture taken because when I look at it 5 years from now I know I'll think, Boy I looked good then!" She never grew up and I loved her for that.
    Have a happy happy day.
    Rhondi xo

  20. Sending Happy Birthday Wishes your way! Today is also my daughter Kate's birthday :-}
    Enjoy your special day Mary!!

  21. Sending you Happy Birthday wishes Mary! You are a lovely warm person and I think you look FABULOUS in your picture! I hope you have a wonderful day!


  22. Happy Birthday to you....
    Hope you have a wonderful day.

    "Age is the state of mind."...Think young and you'll be young. I'll be 59 on my next birthday but I try real hard to think young, stay updated on "younger things" and be young. I don't mean go "under the knife" just think young.

    My mother-in-law is only 10 years older than me (I robbed the cradle and she had my husband when she was 16)... She thinks old, acts old and if you didn't know, you'd think she was well into her 80's.

    Anyhow...enjoy YOUR day and I believe I'll go hunt for some chocolate to help you celebrate...

  23. Happy Happy Birthday!!!!!!!!

    Eat as much chocolate as you want!!

  24. Happy birthday Mary, fellow Aquarian. I'm older then you are and I'm still fighting growing up :) They say to act your shoe size once in awhile.. or better yet, turn the number of your age around (only if if makes you younger of course).
    It's a beautiful day in NJ, go and celebrate your special day. Hope you do some fun and frivolous things. Happy chocolating.

  25. Happy birthday to you, dear friend. It only hurts when you think about it! Hershey's Kisses do help ease the pain - you're doing the right thing. Hope you have a wonderful day and a year full of blessings and health ahead. ~Adrienne~

  26. Happy Birthday, Mary! There are a lot of people in our generation that don't know what they want to be when they grow up...will I finally find out at retirement age?
    Enjoy those Hersey Kisses...

  27. Oh Mary, Happy happy birthday to you! Enjoy those wonderful 50's, my friend, and savor life for what it has giving you!

    "It is only when we truly know and understand that we have a limited time on earth and that we have no way of knowing when our time is up that we will begin to live each day to the fullest, as if it were the only one we had." (Elizabeth Kubler-Ross)

    Have a happy day!


  28. Happy Birthday to you!!!!! I hope that you have a very beautiful day today Mary. Celebrate with chocolates and play with dishes and linger in a good book and indulge in all of the things that make you happy :)

    Huge hugs,

  29. Happy Birthday dear Mary! I remember when 50 was looming for me...I was down in the dumps for almost the whole year before I turned 50! At work, my co-workers had "Elvis" visit me...what a sight that was! Anyway, I had already begun having some of the menopause symptons and thought I was really old...but boy was I wrong. I turned 50 in September and the next February I met my now husband. Little did I know that turning 50 was not such a bad thing, in fact, I've been having the time of my life! Got re-married at 52, grandmother at 53, can't get any better! While I HATE the weight gain and other things that go along with menopause, I wouldn't trade this time in my life for anything. Girl, we are still just "girls" only better!
    Have a wonderful birthday! Judy
    P.S. I'm now 56 (don't tell anyone- ha ha)!

  30. 51 is the new 31. Happy Birthday Mary, may your wishes come true. I just turned 39.

  31. I just landed on your blog for the first time today. Happy Birthday. Today is my 54th birthday.


  32. Happy Birthday!! I hope you have a wonderful birthday, and do enjoy the chocolate! :-) And btw. my mom always says she does'nt get older only better, like a good wine ;-)

  33. A Big Happy Birthday to you Mary!!! Chocolate sounds like a great way to celebrate it! Loved your list of things to be when you grow up, I'd love to be some of those too!
    Hope you have a fabulous day!

  34. I too will be 51 on my next birthday (in April). I understand completely your feelings. How did this happen? I still think of my Mom as being 50ish, but somehow she has become 70ish! Happy Birthday. I enjoy reading your blog and looking at your pictures.

  35. Happy Birthday Mary~
    You look terrific for 51! I am turning 50this year and am proud! I will probably have to pinch myself because I feel it is a milestone. I have lost quite a few friends and family members at a young age. Your as young as you feel and you seem to have a young heart!~God Bless~Rosemary

  36. Happy Birthday!
    There is nothing better than Hersey Kisses on your Birthday.
    I hope you have had a wonderful day.

  37. Happy Birthday!
    There is nothing better than Hersey Kisses on your Birthday.
    I hope you have had a wonderful day.

  38. Happy Birthday dear Mary!! I too have heard that 50 is the new 40!
    Age is only a number. I had to think how old I was going to be last Sept. I am 52. What a great way to celebrate, with chocolate!

    Debbie xxoo

  39. Chocolate is a good way to start any day! But I wish you a day filled with all the people and things that you love surrounding you. Blessings in bunches, have a wonderful birthday. 50 is FABULOUS, now so are you!( AS IF you weren't already!) Have a truly scruptious birthday & weekend!

  40. Happy Birthday sweetheart! May the next stage of your life be full of love, laughter, good health, and the courage and opportunity to do all that you dream of! Here's to an awesome life being lived to the full by an amazing lady.
    Amanda (aka Cottage Contessa)

    Hope your day was super :)
    Have a wonderful weekend too!

  42. Happy Birthday to one awsome lady.You maybe 51 in age,but I can tell you are very young at heart.

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  44. Hope your day has been marvelous! I really like your birthday list and may adopt it for my own. :>

  45. Happy Birthday to someone who brightens my every day.

    You are just a young thang! Yes you are!

    Eat a hand full of chocolate kisses for me, please.

  46. Happy Birthday to you! I am also 51 (turning 52 in May) and I am mom to two of my boys is 34 (and I am the proud grandmother of a granddaughter & grandson), and my youngest boy is 19 months old....yes, 19 months, and he is my biological son, my greatest surprise!I spent my 50th birthday getting an ultrasound, 2 weeks before my son was born. I was widowed when he was only 5 months old, so he is my greatest gift. I can't let myself think "old", I have a little one to raise!! So if I can be a new mom at 51, you can be whatever you choose to be when you grow up!! Best wishes,

  47. Happy birthday to you! Hope the Hershey's helped!!

  48. What a lovely post!
    When I turned 30 I wrote a list of "40 things to do before I turn 40". Some serious (like finishing my degree) and others flippant (attending the naked Korean massage and bathhouse -- nothing naughty here, it's all traditional). Perhaps a list of 50 things to do before you turn 60 would be in order!

  49. Happy Birthday Mary! Hershey's Kisses are a wonderful medication that helps most problems. Of course, it can "broaden" other problems, and I can attest to that myself, but mostly it is a good thing! Of course, almond bark has a calming effect and other healing properties too.....


  50. Hi Mary! First I want to wish you a Happy Birthday! You go girl and enjoy those hershey kisses! Also, I hope your husband is feeling better. Next, I want to say I almost bidded against you on that tray! haa! I had that on my watch list but got busy with kids...I am glad it went to another tole lover and a great home. I just adore your blog and beautiful pictures. I check every couple days when the kids give me some time. Also, if YOU get the time, make your way on over to RMS, I have reposted some of my rooms with hopefully some improvements, only I am "DecoratingFantic2" (long story!)and would love for you to visit it me! Take care. ~Laurie p.s. I still can't get this blogging thing right, I can't keep track of passwords! :)

  51. Hello Mary
    I send my congratulations to you over "the pond", in order to wish you a correctly lucky new year!
    My age is soon 55year... one cannot it not stop, but all complaints with a laughter displace
    all love wish you Barbara

  52. I know how you feel. Many of the "kids" I work with weren't even born when I graduated from college.
    I don't feel my age but suddenly I'm seeing signs of my mother. That's not all bad but............
    Wonder where the years went? What if I had taken a different career path? I find myself lying about my age on surveys of all things. Why?

  53. Happy Birthday Mary!

    I found you through Penny and decided to stop in. I'm so glad I did. Wow, we have a lot in common! I'll check in often ~ your blog is wonderfully warm and charming.

    XO Suzanne

  54. Many brightest and happiest blessings on your birthday -- and many returns on the Day!

    Jan at Rosemary Cottage who turns 50 in August .....

  55. Belated wishes for your birthday. May God grant you many more happy birthdays!

  56. Happy Belated Birthday to you...sorry it's late, we've been away for a few days.....Betty

  57. I'm behind in reading blogs and I've missed your birthday! Happy belated birthday! And WOW, you had 56 peopel wishing you a happy birthday! I bet you didn't have 56 people wishing you a birthday last year!

  58. Oh, I am so sorry that I am late to wish you a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! But I do - and I hope that you had a wonderful day! And Mary, many of us are in the same boat with this age thing and you know what? The best has just begun! If you can dream it - you can do it! I wish for you nothing but sweet happiness and dream-come-true-days ahead for you!



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