February 7-A Time to Celebrate

Today is my friend’s birthday. If justice prevailed in our corner of the universe, she and her husband would rush down to Hot Springs Village so we could celebrate her successful attainment of a certain age. Alternatively, we would head north, arriving just in time to open a bottle or six of wine or champagne or excellent cognac or armagnac and present to her a charcuterie board that would rival those offered by the best French restaurants. This edible delight would be awash in sausage, ham, bacon, terrines, galantines, ballotines, pâtés, confit, and other dishes about which I have virtually no knowledge but for which I understand I should hunger because they represent the pièce de résistance of the world’s cuisine. Alas, this little corner of the world is rife with injustice. So, we’ll have to make it another time. And another meal.

In the meantime, let me explain a little something about this delightful friend of mine. As the image accompanying this post suggests, she is both complex and beautiful; a woman whose intellectual capacity and ability to engage in abstract thinking are stunning.  And her memory is astonishing—astounding. She remembers everything, from the smallest inconsequential detail about the color of the button’s on a family member’s shirt to the most crucial slice of information upon which humankind relies for survival. One can tell merely by looking at her that she is a work of art, an example of how art and intellect coalesce into something almost otherworldly.


Happy Birthday, by the way! When will we see you?


There are other friends, too. People like Steve and Rhonda and Patty and Ed and others. But only one, the woman pictured here, is eligible for birthday celebrations today. Which is not to say I will not think about the others. I will. Without question. But only one will be the intended recipient of today’s birthday wishes.  And there you go.


I may write more a little later in the day. Or I may not. We shall see. In the meantime, I will hope to be able to successfully maneuver patches of ice and refrozen snow so I can meet several contractors who may help convert the new house into a highly livable oasis.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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