We have had a few birthdays since shelter-in-place began. Mine was especially fun.
There were signs
The Thirteen-Year-Old conspired with the cat to hang up birthday signs all over the house. This one, which she hung on the inside of my bedroom door the night before while I was sleeping, was my favorite.
That sign is super cute, but what was really great was every single time I opened my bedroom door I found this guy waiting for me behind it.
I honestly don’t know how The Thirteen-Year-Old managed it. I suspect it involved a lot of hurried cat transport up and down stairs. And treats. Canelo has gained half a pound since last month’s weigh-in, so I can’t rule out treats. Still, it was clearly a birthday-only thing, because it hasn’t happened since.
There were surprise visitors
My sister and brother-in-law stopped by for a driveway chat. Since they normally live in Texas, this was kind of a big deal. Thanks, y’all.
There was an impromptu birthday experiment, because science
My brother Paul and I have been playing backgammon over video calls this summer. I’m surprised how well it works, actually. He sets up a board on his end, I set up my board on mine. We train our web cams on our respective boards and then mirror each other’s moves.
For folks who don’t play backgammon, the object of the game is to take all of your pieces safely off the board before your opponent. Doing so requires a mix of good luck (getting good rolls of the dice) and strategy in making the most of whatever dice roll you actually end up with.
Since our birthdays are close together, we decided to do a little experiment to see whether birthday luck is a factor in backgammon. To test it, we played a couple of games on his birthday, and a couple of games on mine.
Verdict: More testing required
Paul won both games on his birthday, but that’s par for the course for him. It’s hard to say whether birthday luck was a factor or not.
I won one of the two games on my birthday, but it was a gammon, which I don’t do very often. (When someone gammons, that means they’ve gotten all of their pieces safely off before their opponent manages to get even one of theirs off. Gammons are worth two points, instead of the usual one.)
Birthday luck may have been a factor for me. Not a very powerful one, though, because Paul promptly won the next game.
There was some crafting
Crafting then broke out for a while, while Michael took care of all of the things that keep our house running smoothly on a daily basis (kitchen cleaning, tweenage entertainment, cooking, cleaning up presents from the cat who may or may not have been struggling to digest all those treats, etc.).
As you know, one of my pandemic goals has been to use up all the random yarn I have lying around the house. I wanted an afternoon-sized project, so I made a bunny.
And of course, there was food
Remember that bit about my husband cooking? While I was crafting, Michael made me a lovely birthday dinner, complete with a from-scratch chocolate cake, all of which was ravaged before I remembered to take a picture of it.
Fortunately, a day or so later, a friend of mine dropped off a belated, but delicious blueberry birthday cake, which I did remember to take a picture of.
Clearly, I do not have a future in Instagram Food Photography. Still the cake was perfect, even if my picture of it isn’t.
My birthday looked pretty different this year, but I still loved every minute of it
Drive-by visits, video calls, and having friends drop off food rather than staying to help me eat it, felt weird and wonderful at the same time. This year is so very different, but it has its good parts nonetheless.
Home. Food. Friends and Family. This year, those feel especially important and not at all guaranteed. I’m grateful for every phone call, video visit, email, text, drive-by visit, and birthday card from family and friends scattered across the nation. Thank you all. It’s always such a joy to hear from you, but it was especially meaningful this year.
I hope any shelter-in-place birthdays you have this year are also filled with lots of love and your favorite shelter-in-place type things, whatever they may be.
- More Pandemic Diaries on Caterpickles