Thursday, May 25, 2006

Happy Birthday To Me..

I suppose when one reaches 65 years of age it is a milestone worth celebrating. And celebrating I did. My Sweetie and number one fan arranged for a few of us to meet at our favorite restaurant in Lafayette, Louisiana on Saturday, May 6th. Actually, I share birthdays (May 8th) with my sister-in-law Joyce Schuyler (10 yrs younger) from Metairie, Louisiana, so Lafayette was a good half way point for us to get together. An added incentive is that the restaurant is operated by a friend of ours who wanted in on the action, Chef Wil Menard. He made sure that everything was perfect and that it would be a memorable experience. That it was.

Invitations were only sent to family members and two special friends I've known all my life: Emmilee Green and Carol Caprito. Emmilee and husband Joe live in Harrisonburg where we grew up. Carol and husband JT live just south of Lafayette in Franklin, Louisiana. Our friends and neighbors Pam & Tom Morris joined us and Tom did the driving when I tapped into the rum barrel. I'm pretty sure all had a good time.

Joyce and her husband Allen, asked their friends Liz and "Rat" to come help us celebrate. They came and from what I could tell, thoroughly enjoyed themselves too.

It was a good time, good food, good drink, good companions and good memories. Here are some favorite photos...

Allen and Joyce...

All smiles

Emmilee, Me and Carol

Just like old times

Tom, Pam, Rat and Liz

Thoughts of balloons...

Emmilee, Carol, Joe and JT

The start of a wave...

Leroy & Wil

We'll fatten you up some more Leroy...

Chef John Folse autograph

The Encyclopedia of Cajun & Creole Cuisine

Leroy holding official Chitlin Party Shirt

Chitlin eater next year...

My Sweetie and Me

Making life worthwhile every single day...

Friday, May 05, 2006

Turning 65

Where did all the time go? It seems that just yesterday I was in my 50's and only months ago I was in my 30's. All of a sudden I'm retired, on Social Security and Medicare, a member of AARP, and suffer from arthritis. Somewhere along the line I mellowed and realize I'm probably not going to change the world.

Time," it seems, is relative. To what extent I don't know, except that by human standards, there is a beginning and an end. We're born and we die. And until humans invented the clock and calendar, the length of the period in between didn't matter very much. You simply woke up and tried to survive the day. If you did survive, you did the same thing the next day, and the next. If you were lucky you could do this about 10,000 times before you died. I've now done it 23,725 times and I'm still going pretty strong. Or, if I measured my life in hours and minutes and seconds as many humans do, then I have lived 569,400 hours. Or 34,164,000 minutes. Or 2,049,840,000 seconds. A lot of them were wasted in so many ways.

You know that age-old question, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" Well, I'm now "grown up" and I still don't know what I want to be. I suppose I could answer by saying "rich" or "famous" or "handsome" or "smart" but I think the point of the question is more toward what profession I would have enjoyed as an adult. But all things interest me, none so much that I would want to do it day in and day out for thousands of hours or millions of minutes or billions of seconds. So the hidden answer to that ageless question, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" turns out to be, for me at least, "happy." Looking back, I think I have achieved it without ever knowing that it was my ultimate goal.