Helen Hamsa, Age 70
Tomorrow I will be 70. I’m the happiest I’ve ever been at a decade birthday. In celebration, my son and his family took me to Silver Lake and South Lake Tahoe last August. My daughter and her dog came, too, and we stayed at an Air BNB house on one of the Canals at Tahoe. My daughter-in-law said it was the first vacation she would be taking with an Animal, but Benji was a Good Dog, lying in the back seat of my son’s car, between my 2 granddaughters.
Silver Lake near Carson’s Pass is where my mother spent her summers while growing up, in a cabin built by her dad. I hadn’t been there for over 60 yrs.
Tomorrow, Dec 5, I will go to CuriOdyssey for the annual volunteer brunch. CuriOdyssey is a nature-science museum at Coyote Point Recreation Area, near my home in San Mateo. After brunch, I might bring out an animal to share with the visitors – probably Goodrich the male rubber boa. I missed one of my required monthly animal-handling sessions last month because of my travels.
I’ve invited my granddaughters over tomorrow afternoon to paint clay animals from India for our Christmas stockings. I got the clay animals in Rajasthan India on a trip with my daughter in 2005. And on Sunday the 6th we’ll celebrate my birthday with dinner at my son’s house. I am a lucky mom!
On my 60th birthday, I awoke in my daughter’s apartment in New York City. She was a sad sack, hating her law job and unhappy that her bank balance was growing too fast(!). As I took the train back to Washington DC that morning, the snow fell and fell, reaching a level that caused us to cancel the birthday dinner with friends from work, but it was a fine day anyway. Later that month I celebrated 60 at my son’s house in San Francisco and got black pearls from my son and his wife.
On my 50th birthday, I hosted a holiday party for neighbor friends in Isla Vista. I had a bakery cake with red icing poinsettias on it. My then-husband had wanted to bake me a cake, but I wanted a special cake for my 50th. It was a fun party.
On my 40th birthday, I bought an old Singer sewing machine table at a little store in a back street of downtown Goleta. I injured my back getting it in and out of the trunk of the car and later saw a chiropractor who treated me by putting funny little shoes on my feet. I refinished the sewing machine table and it is a treasure. My son got his 5th grade student-of-the-month award on my 40th birthday, but I didn’t go to the assembly that year. I think I was feeling mothered-out, underemployed with 2 young children.
My 30th birthday is vague in my mind. Maybe my then-husband and I went out to dinner and a movie.
I would have spent my 20th birthday at college, where we were usually involved in finals and sometimes went outside the dorms singing Christmas carols.
My mother was sick on my 10th birthday with a breast infection. She was trying to nurse my 3-month-old baby brother. I think she was in bed and that I had a birthday cake from the bakery.