Laura Haley-McNeil

2/26/17, Happy Birthday!

Hello, Everyone!

I hope you had a wonderful week, and that, even though it’s February, you were able to enjoy some wonderful weather. Colorado is a fickle state weather wise, no matter what time of year. This week has been unseasonably warm, but we’re due for some cold weather soon. We have friends who live on a ranch on the western slope. One year, on the fourth of July, a terrible blizzard hit that section of Colorado and that night one of their mares foaled. I can’t remember what they named the colt but it was something appropriate, like Fourth of July. That’s a story I’ll never forget, and I hope to use it in one of my books one day. And speaking of February, the days, weeks and months are slipping by firmly entrenching us into the year of 2017. One day I’ll look back on this blog and think, “2017, but that was ages ago.”

My family celebrates two birthdays in February – that of my niece and her now two-year-old son. He was born the day before her birthday. My niece’s mother, my sister, held the birthday party at her house. A few friends came. Birthdays are so exciting for children. And for adults. What’s more exciting than unwrapping presents? I think the wrapped presents held more excitement for my grandnephew than the actual gift, though his face glowed when he sat in front of his birthday cake and everyone sang “Happy Birthday” to him. Children always seem so amazed when someone sings that song to them. It’s a special song with special meaning. Every child knows that the birthday boy or girl is special at least for one day. My two-year-old grandnephew and his two-year-old friends were too young to play games so it was more of a playtime for them, with the adults visiting and eating. There’s always so much good food at these parties. I enjoy these times because it’s a chance to visit with family and see how the grandnieces and nephews are doing. They’re ecstatic to see each other and play hard. They’re running through the house looking for toys or games.

The other attraction at the birthday party is my one-month-old nephew. The last time I saw him he was only a week old. It’s amazing how quickly they change. He has chubby cheeks and legs. The activity buzzing around him amazed him. He was trying to watch everything at once. What truly mesmerized him was the skylight. He just stared and stared and stared. He has two older sisters that love to hold him. He’ll never be lacking attention. Of course, when he starts moving around and getting into things, his sisters’ attitudes may change.

Winter is a good time to celebrate birthdays. During the summer, we all have so many activities that it’s sometimes hard to squeeze those birthdays in between swim classes and tennis lessons and vacations. My husband and I always start discussing summer vacations after Christmas. Summer arrives before you know it and if the vacation isn’t planned, it’s usually skipped. We’re still busy remolding our house, now a two year project, and with the expense that has accumulated, we may limit our vacation to a weekend in the mountains, which is fine with me. It’s quiet and relaxing and nothing is more beautiful than the mountains in the summertime. One year, we were on a hike and we passed through meadows filled with yellow crocus. It was so lovely. I took pictures, but of course they’re never as pretty as actually seeing the flowers.

I hope you had a wonderful February, maybe a romantic dinner on Valentine’s Day or a 3day weekend over Presidents’ Day. March doesn’t hold any holidays, but something important. Springtime! Warmer weather! Longer days! That means it’s time for me to start cleaning out the garden and get ready so I can start planting. I hope you have something special planned this week, but whatever your plans are, I hope your week is wonderful!