To the point week of 1-28-10

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I CELEBRATED A BIRTHDAY this week, and as I turn 49 and head toward 50, I find myself getting a little excited that I’m less than a year from getting my AARP card.

It’s really strange that I sit here and type this as a person who’s lived for nearly half a century. The old saying that “days drag by and years fly by” really has some meaning to me now, as I continue to reconnect with classmates from high school and college – who are just as old as I am.

Where did the time go?

My mother is fond of telling a story that when I was little I walked up the street to a neighbor’s house and told the lady that my grandfather was about to die.

Racing down the street to our house, our neighbor tried to be a comfort to my mother – except my mother had no idea what she was talking about.

After getting the story, I was called into the kitchen for an explanation as to why I would tell such a tale.

My reasoning? Grandpa was about to turn 50, and I assumed that meant he was ready to die.

That story comes with a little bit of sting as I head there now.

Isn’t it funny how memories remain so vivid, even with the passing of time? I can’t seem to remember to buy milk when I’m at the store, but I remember my locker combination from my freshman year of high school (31-13-26) and what the room looked like in my first class of college (World History with Dr. Trout – the man is an entire book all by himself).

I shared a story this past Monday about my eighth birthday, when my parents bought me a real, honest to goodness store-bought birthday cake, complete with my name in icing across the top.

That was a special cake, not only because it was store-bought, but it was also the last birthday that I would share with my Grandfather Lanman. When you’re eight you only think about nine, but sometimes life changes greatly over 12 months.

But my birthday is always remembered by my family for snow.

Lots of snow.

I was born on the coldest day of the decade, so cold that that tires of my dad’s car froze to the hospital parking lot. I don’t recall ever attending school on my birthday, it was always snowed out. My freshman year at Hanover? Classes canceled for snow. The Blizzard of 1978 that many of us remember? Started on January 25th - yep, you guessed it.

So we fast forward to this year, and on Sunday the temperature was balmy and it was rainy and nasty outside. Way too wet for any snow a day later.

I thought I was safe.

Then came Monday. About mid-afternoon you may have noticed that there were some flakes fluttering around; and by about 3 p.m., we were in the middle of a snow storm. The flakes were more like little ice pellets, but my birthday had struck again.

The good news is, we only have to live through that once a year.

Seriously, I was very humbled and honored by all of the people who shared birthday wishes for me. I love living here in Switzerland County, and can think of nowhere else I’d rather be. Thanks to everyone who thought of me and took the time to contact me.

I can only imagine what January 25th, 2011 will bring – 50 years of snow, perhaps?

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Thanks also to all of the people who responded to last week’s column and dropped off items for the relief efforts in Haiti at the newspaper office. Several large boxes and several checks and envelopes with cash were brought in by caring residents, and all of the items were delivered on Friday to the Rising Sun Church of Christ so that they could get them to the people who need them.