The above is a picture of the car that brought me home from the hospital 3 days after my birth. Over the years as the story was told, there was always a bit of controversy and even contention that went along with it about whether my father purchased the car as a gift for my mother (after giving birth to me) or for me to have a carriage that would transport me in style. In any event, it was quite the car - brand new off the car lot. Luxurious. And bright shiny red.
For the first five years of my life, I was chauffered around in that car. Most all of it with the wind blowing in my face and my feet firmly planted on the front seat standing up (yep - standing) beside my mom as she drove us around.
(**as a side note: my carriage was traded in for a station wagon upon the birth of my first younger brother and I don't think I've ever gotten over my resentment.)
But anyhoos.....to me, that car is proof positive that I was born to be a queen, and most probably also the reason my favorite color has always been red, I have always loved the feel of the wind in my face and I have always had an affinity for convertibles. (Especially red ones.)
It’s also the reason my hub rented my dream car for me every year for my birth day week for five years running:
|be still my beating heart.......|
Until last year. When I told him not to rent it for me because it always (always) snows on my birthday and the car has ended up parked in the garage, and it was a waste of money. And because ok - I was pouting. (Just a little.) And because I was really counting on him saying, "Don't be ridiculous. There is NO WAY I am not getting you your car for your birthday - even if it does sit in the garage all week."
(**as a side note: do not kid yourself into believing you can tell a practical, analytic and frugal card carrying member of the man species something practical, analytical and frugal and expect him to suddenly switch sides and pull out the impractical because it's the romantic thing to do. No matter how much he loves you.)
And of course, there is another aspect to the story that I also need to mention: shortly before my mom died, she wrote me a letter and one of the paragraphs in the letter told me how she would send me signals each season after her passing; like for instance that each snowflake that fell would be tiny bits of frozen stardust she would send down from heaven to remind me she was still with me and loved me.
So how can I begrudge the 6 to 12 inches of snow that always comes the week of my offical birth day? Or ask her to send her love letter from heaven some other time during the month because I want to tool around town in a shiny red convertible? .Hmmm.
Taking a moment to ponder the situation.
I search out my busband.
Tell him I want the car put back on the top of my list again this year.
"But you know it's going to snow and it'll end up parked in the garage again - right?" he asks.
"I'll take my chances." I say.
He nods. (After 32 years, he knows my time in practical was bound to be short lived.)
I have a different plan this year. I'm going to drive around in my convertible, laughing out loud as I go, wherever I go until the snow comes. But this time when it comes, I'm not going to leave the car parked in the garage and pout about "not fair!". Nope. I’m going to go out to the garage, start the engine, crank up the tunes, put the top down and back that rented Mustang right on out of the garage and sit (contentedly) in the driveway as my mom sprinkles love in the form of snowflakes all around me. I might even stand up in the front seat and pretend I'm five years old again with the wind in my face and her beside me.
I won't always be in Wisconsin for my birthday - one day I'll be back home on the West Coast, amongst my peeps and in the land that I love the most; beside my ocean, basking in the sunshine and 70 degree Februarys. And I won't have to rent a convertible for a week because I'll have one of my own all year around. And it will be red. And I'll take my grandchildren to all the magical places one can go in a convertible with the wind in their faces.
Something tells me I'll miss those birthdays in Wisconsin with the promise of snow flakes swirling, so I'm going to treasure it now while I have it.