Happy 87th Birthday!

While on my book tour, I celebrated another birthday and was lucky enough to spend it with family and friends. Following Friday night’s signing, we had a small family party at my dad’s house, and since it was nearing the eleventh hour, we were all in rare form–well, not rare for Blackadars, I guess.

Well, there was cake. There were presents. And there was this card–which my dad picked out himself. It was a lovely card with flowers and a very sweet sentiment, and up in the right hand corner, it had a very small dial-a-birthday window. The year was set on “87,” and even though my father is known to present us with birthday anachronisms, he actually did not notice the very small window. This, of course, made the joke even funnier.

Needless to say, many jokes were told about my age…and the laughter followed us to our next destination on Saturday night: my older brother’s house. My brother is good at many things–but keeping secrets is not one of them.  He asked me to go to the store with him, and while we were picking up some prosciutto from the deli, he leans over and says, “We were here earlier…to get your cake.” He smiles in a sly, sinister fashion. “I think you’ll like what they wrote on it.” It took willpower that he didn’t have to keep from telling me. And before we left the store, my brother went to find a Mother’s Day card for his wife–you know one that played “Who Let the Dog’s Out” or some other “appropriate” tune. Well, we found lots of nice ones: “Wind Beneath my Wings” and “You’re Still the One.”  He settled on “Ladies Night,” and after several plays, laughter, and Blackadar shuffles in the card aisle, we left the store.

That night, after a scrumptious meal, my brother carried the cake to me. His smile said it all, and I read the top: “Happy 87th Birthday!” I laughed again and looked around the room at both of our families together, and I knew this was one birthday that I would never forget…

…And someday, if I’m lucky enough, I’ll turn 87 (for real), and on that day, I’ll look up to heaven and say, “Thanks for a great birthday, Dad!”

I love my family: They have given me enough memories to provide me with a lifetime of laughter. 🙂

Christmas Traditions

Most families have traditions–especially around the holidays, and tonight my family gathered for one of ours. Every year, as my two children unpack their ornaments, I explain who gave them each one, and with cups of egg nog and fresh-baked goodies to snack on, I videotape my children as they hang the ornaments on the tree.  

This year, though, marked a milestone for both of them, since no one needed any help hanging the ornaments on the tree. So with a sad sigh, I hit rewind and go back a few years, watching as each child–with the help of a parent–hangs their first ornament on the tree. 

Yes, Christmases go by so quickly, and after all the busyness of the season, we are just left with those memories. So for me and my family, the annual ornament video is the way we capture each passing year. 

Happy Holidays to you, and I hope you find a way to capture the spirit of the season with your family…