These Happy Golden Years

Monday, September 7, 2009


Today was my last day of my 20s - and I spent the day coming down off the sugar high I was on from yesterday's sugar extravaganza while letting go of my 20s. Well, actually it wasn't so much letting go, as happily watching it leave. It was all I could do to keep from yelling, "You know what 20s, who needs you? You weren't that great anyway. And don't let the door hit you on the way out." And now I am ready to embrace my 30s, which I am convinced are going to be amazing. It truly baffles me how excited I am about something that seems to bother so many people. I guess I'm just a freak.

And now, let's travel back to my first birthday. Here I am, trying to be patient while my Mother insists on taking "Just one more picture" before I could open my presents.

See how I've always indulged my Mother on my birthday - posing for a million pictures, coordinating my clothes to the wrapping paper so it would make the pictures look better, pretending like I believe that the dog really drove to the store and bought a present for me. She denies that my sister and I indulge her in that regard - and so we pointed out that some people would object to having to pretend like they're really opening a present from a dog on their 30th birthday. Her response: What's wrong with getting a present from a dog?

But I guess I shouldn't expect any other response from a woman who can't understand why it's frustrating to go shopping with her and stand around and wait for the 17 minutes it takes her to get out of car and make it all the way inside the store. I get out of the car, I walk into the building like a regular person, and she still hasn't even opened the car door yet. And so I stand there and think What is she doing in there? How could it possibly take this long to get out of a car? I'm truly baffled. And when she finally emerges, I ask her what she was doing all that time, and she replies, "I had things to do." When I ask for elaboration she replies, "Well, I had to turn off the car." This was the point where I said, "Mom, people all over the world are turning off their cars and getting out of them, and somehow they all manage to do it without making it into a HUGE ordeal. How could it possibly be that difficult to turn off a car" Oh but that's just the Mom-ness that is Mom, and if she wasn't so Mom-ish I would have a lot less to write about on my blog.

Today's book, "Fifteen-year-old Laura lives apart from her family for the first time, teaching school in a claim shanty twelve miles from home. She is very homesick, but keeps at it so that she can help pay for her sister Mary's tuition at the college for the blind. During school vacations Laura has fun with her singing lessons, going on sleigh rides, and best of all, helping Almanzo Wilder drive his new buggy. Friendship soon turns to love for Laura and Almanzo in the romantic conclusion of this Little House book."

Shallow pre-birthday thoughts:

  • I'm pretty sure that anyone who has read my blog for longer than a week was expecting me to pick a Little House book this week. But the question still remained: Which one? I actually had a difficult time picking my favorite. I've always enjoyed the last half of the series better than the first half (with the exception of The First Four Years) - but narrowing it down to just one was difficult. I eventually settled on These Happy Golden Years because I've always felt invigorated by reading it. There's such a sense of the possibilities with this book - the town of Desmet is relatively new but growing by leaps and bounds, as Laura hovers just on the edge of adulthood - and there's that feeling that something wonderful is about to happen. Which is why I thought it would be the perfect book to read the day before my birthday. And the other reason why I decided to read this book today is that I really enjoy the irony of spending the last day of my 20s reading a ridiculously wholesome book that was originally intended for children.

  • The Little House books are so intertwined with my childhood that I begin to read one and I instantly feel eight years-old again - which is going to make for a really startling transition in a few hours. What? But how can I be turning thirty when I'm only eight? Since I spent most of the day being reminded of childhood, I decided to borrow a page from that time and stay up so that I can be awake for the exact moment when I turn 30. I was born at 1:02 a.m. so it normally wouldn't really require much effort to stay awake for that - but I'm still catching up from a week of very little sleep, so this might be just as difficult as when I was about to turn 10 and I desperately tried to stay awake in order to more fully experience the exact moment when I entered the double digits.

Please join me tomorrow dear readers, when I read my all-time favorite book. And, in the meantime, who wants to try to guess what my favorite book is?