|Happy birthday Jed and Mom|
A pair of memories
August is something special to me. True, it’s unique for many reasons - fog over dew-covered grass in the morning, hot, punchy afternoon sun, and the sound of crickets on cool evenings - but there’s more to it than that.
In my family, August is the month we have two birthdays to celebrate: my mom’s on the seventh and my brother Jed’s on the 19th. That’s only 12 days apart…talk about a cake marathon.
This year my mom is a sprite 39 years of age (that’s what we’re still going with, right ma?). My brother Jed has reached the surprisingly (not) important age of 22. Only a few more years until your car insurance goes down, brother. That’s something to look forward too, right?
In the case of my mom, I have one particular birthday party memory that stands out. It was Flambeau Rama weekend some years ago and all of my friends and their friends and her friends were home. Everyone was always invited to stay at the house - whether that meant camping in the yard or on a couch - and get brunch the next morning.
Well, one particular year mom decided since Rama fell only a few days before her birthday, and so many people she loved were already gathered at one place, that it was a perfect time to celebrate...
Everyone was there: my sister, my brothers, all their friends, all my friends, some of mom's friends. We had an absolute blast eating carnival food, dancing, playing games, and singing along to music. I’m pretty sure we tried to marinate a hot-dog in ketchup, and I know for sure there was a lot of Boston.
The birthday celebration I remember best of Jed’s was much different. He must have been about 10, and all of his little buddies were invited over to the house for an army themed birthday. I remember having to set up portions of the obstacle course in the yard. There were tires and limbo sticks and something to crawl under I think (maybe the picnic table?). The kids showed up dressed in camouflage and they left covered in sticks and dirt.
I recall my mom panicking when I told her I was going to leave early for a friend’s house right after Kool Aid had been dispersed amongst the mass of miniatures. “You can’t leave me here alone with all of them!” she cried out. At that point one of the kids pulled out a cap gun and nearly dropped it in the fire pit. I conceded and stayed.
Both of those birthdays were years ago now, but they’re part of me today. As a family does, we enjoy laughing hard when those stories come up, and for that I am thankful. I guess that’s really what I’m after when I think of a birthday celebration - some good old fashioned, gut-bursting laughter.
Happy birthday to both my mom and my brother this month! It’s been one heck of a journey so far and I pray there is much more yet to come.
See you out there,
A woodsman in training.