So many delights made birthday 73 just wonderful


The Good Lord knows that when one gets to the point of having more candles on his or her birthday cake than there are stars in a small portion of the night sky, he or she is not going to be able to blow all those candles out. Therefore, He planted the idea in someone’s mind to make candles in the shape of numbers to take the place of all those candles. Take 73, for instance. 

Not only would one have to make sure a fire extinguisher was handy for that many lighted candles, the average 73-year-old could not huff and puff enough to blow all of those candles out. Two candles, one in the shape of a seven and one a three, solves the problem. Because those two numbers sat atop my lovely birthday cake I was able to blow my candles out, no problem. Good food, unique and thoughtful gifts, and fellowship made my 73rd birthday on January 17 absolutely delightful. 

Daughter Dawn and Grandson Kennedy called before school with sweet wishes and Kennedy even added a compliment. He said, “GranVale, we should just turn those numbers around because you look much more like you are 37 than 73!” I think that is what is known as a “smooth talker” but I relished the compliment anyway. Daughter Michelle made her famous French toast for me as a breakfast treat, and what a treat it was! A really big surprise came around 9 a.m. when my phone rang and Dawn asked me to listen to something special. Immediately, I heard the precious voices of her first grade class singing Happy Birthday to me. 

Just when it seemed the day couldn’t get any better, Granddaughter Anna, who doesn’t have classes on Friday, came to spend part of the day with me – delightful! Throughout the day there were calls. All were so appreciated but one was especially welcomed. My friend, Jane, who has had some really big health problems for the past couple of years, was unable to call me last year on my birthday. She made up for it this year. It was so good to hear her laugh and remember some of the fun times we had in our growing up years. Those times included working as waitresses our senior year in school. Oh, the things we recalled. Some say it isn’t good to spend time remembering “back when.” I think it is wonderful to remember and laugh. How can we know where we’re going if we don’t look back at where we’ve been? We can enjoy the “land of used-to-be” without pining to live there. I know Jane and I surely enjoyed our “used-to-be” visit on my birthday.

Laughter is a wonderful thing for health and happiness, especially on one’s birthday. Jane won’t celebrate her 73rd birthday until June. I reminded her to get two candles rather than 73 of them. I also told her what Kennedy said about turning them around so they would say 37. Fact is, if we didn’t enjoy life at 37, most likely we aren’t going to enjoy it at 73, and vice-versa. 

My birthday was topped off by a wonderful supper prepared by Dawn with my favorite “green” birthday cake for dessert. How blessed I am! God has blessed me so through the years. Even when heartaches have come calling from time to time I have made it though because I know The One Above who watches out for us all – no matter how many candles are on our birthday cake.

LaVale Mills is Publisher Emeritus of The Red Bay News.