My birthday Christmas in March.

My birthday hasn’t yet arrived, but since I’m unlikely to see any of my children on the proper day, the family I was with just a few days ago gave me a celebration. (Soldier had planned to come here from Colorado with Liam day, but he wisely cancelled that trip.) Presumably we’ll all be holed up apart from one another when I cross over to a new age.

The first special thing Pippin did was to drive me and the children to a succulent farm she’d been wanting to visit. We took a picnic and ate on the way; it took us a while, as it’s in Fort Jones, sort of in the middle of “nowhere,” and not a place that succulents would grow naturally, but the whole operation is in greenhouses. Maybe some of you have ordered from Mountain Crest Gardens. If you like succulents, you would have feasted your eyes on the long rows of charming species and collections.

One of them I did not find charming, only strange:

Pippin wanted to get me a few for my birthday and I chose these that are different from anything I already have:

I put them in my car to keep them safe, and I checked on them one day to see that they weren’t getting too cold. I didn’t notice then that the one on the right had evidently gotten too cold, and no wonder. My car looked like this one of those mornings.

I knew I wouldn’t be keeping that plant outdoors in the winter here, and I don’t know why I didn’t have more sense about how cold it would get in my car. At least, it is only damaged, not killed. Scout also came home with a little succulent, and Ivy collected various leaves and stems off the greenhouse floor which I told her were likely to grow into plants if they were in dirt, so she put them all together in one pot when she came home.

The second birthday surprise was nothing anyone could have planned: a big snowfall of the powderiest sort, followed by a morning when we could easily walk down the road a few paces to a good spot for sledding. That day Jamie had looked out the window and beamed, “It feels like Christmas!” and when I asked why, he said because of the snow.

I realized then how special a treat it was, after their relatively dry winter, that this dumping of perfectly fun snow should happen while I was there, and actually, on the perfect day. I had tried to make my visit other weeks that should have been more wintry. Now, in the middle of March, came my birthday gift from God.

If not for the children, I’d have been happy to look at the snow through the window, but being able to accompany them and watch them literally throw themselves into it was the joy and the gift.

They were thankful for this late snow because when it was Christmas on the calendar their family had just returned from my house and collapsed sick. They couldn’t even eat their Christmas cookies that had been laid by.

As we were pulling on our snow boots and rummaging around for the bibs and gloves, Scout said, “When we come back we can have tea with leftover Christmas cookies!”

Jamie broke trail heading for the little hill alongside the railroad track, and soon the children had smoothed out a sledding run. But after a while they all seemed to like as well merely rolling down the railroad embankment, or in the case of Ivy, just diving and splashing around in the snow, eating it.

Two days before, I had walked through the forest with the children, trying to identify species of lichens, and noticing stages of manzanita growth or death. This day the manzanita blooms were set in fluffy white.

On the embankment next to where freight trains run many times a day, snowballs form on their own, maybe from the wind of the train rushing past?

We did go home and eat those Christmas cookies and drink our tea. The Professor blew a path through the snow for me to walk on back to where I was sleeping, in a sort of guest cottage across the street. The next morning  the scene showed my tracks with no new snow.

Too many of my children have moved to where the winters are cold and snow is common, and the older I get, the more I try to avoid visiting them during the winter. I should try to remember that every visit I have had in snowy weather has been fun; remember the last time when I taught Liam and Laddie to make snowballs? This week’s snow made good snowballs, too! It was another blessed birthday to remember. ❤

 

13 thoughts on “My birthday Christmas in March.

  1. You have no idea how much joy this blog post gave me. To see the perfect white snow crowning those trees, to see children laughing and smiling, to see such beauty and strangeness from the succulents (I like the ugly one best!) was a joy!!! I am glad your birthday, though celebrated early, was a fun one. Sending you love! Take care of yourself.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Anne! I always appreciate having the remembrances stretch over days or weeks, whether some are early or late or both. To remember and be thankful for only one day puts a lot of pressure on that one!

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  2. This looks like the most delightful birthday ever! You were surrounded by those you love, you had a weather surprise but found it to be beautiful and joyful. I love the succulents and hope your chilled one will revive. What fine memories these will be of a terrific birthday.

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  3. How wonderful that you were with your loved ones when the late snowfall occurred. Lovely memories for all I’m sure.

    I like succulents and the selection you pictured is so varied. I like the one that looks like garlic fiddleheads!! I hope the three you chose will live and flourish.

    Happy early birthday!!

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  4. What contrasts here between the succulents and the snow. But what a warm and wonderful thread connecting them: joy in life in all its forms, and delight in its surprises. Happy early birthday to you — perhaps the day itself will bring even more marvels.

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    1. Thank you, Linda! Each day seems to present some *marvel,* as you suggest. That is a word I think I want to use more! It is surprising how the soul can be warmed by snow — even when the feet are starting to get numb. 😉

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  5. Well! The snow certainly added to the Christmas-y feel! Succulents are very hard to resist when they’re so cute and (relatively) inexpensive— until you have two dozen in your basket and no immediate planting plans.

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    1. I’m so glad – and my succulent babies are even gladder – that you commented about them today, because I have been forgetting day after day that they are in the greenhouse where the rain doesn’t fall, and still in their tiny pots with not much dirt per plant. You made me remember them, and I went right away and gave them a drink. 🙂

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