Home Interviews Mental Pause Monterey Peninsula Tours Speeches Welcome to Star Words by Susan Cantrell


Monterey Peninsula Tours

View Archives

Nature’s Birthday Card

Heaven has draped a comforting quilt of purple over jagged rocks and thirsty ground. Yes, it’s May again and Pacific Grove is in bloom, its resplendent ice plant attracting bumblebees and beckoning tourists with cameras to fall back onto its violet cushion.

I inhale waves of slightly musky sweetness as I plunder the trail along Ocean View Boulevard, camera in hand.

Pity the bus loads of people who have been disgorged for a 10 minute spree and ordered back indoors.

Artists are out en masse to capture the titillating landscape while I focus in on a sailboat, its sail like white underwear flapping on a line.

“Hold it right there. Oh, please, come closer,” I beg as I try to frame in the boat that pierces the ocean blue, background to the glorious floral fireworks.

Oops! Guess I won’t be using this one for my screen saver. The boat that got away . . .

My birthday is in one week and I like to think Mother Nature is celebrating with me. What a month to be born in!

My mind drifts to wish lists at various ages: First was the Chatty Cathy doll whose eyes still roll back in her head. I saved her and while her real hair is a matted mess, she still wears the little blue checkered pinafore my mother sewed.

My next “gotta have” was a little Bulova watch on a thin black stretch band with two diamonds on it, probably no more than 1/5 carats total but I felt like a princess wearing it.

I think the next “I’ll die if I don’t get it” was a silver wig of real died human hair. Yes, you heard it right. It was the Julie Christie era and silver bouffants with upturned ends were all the rage. However, in those days wigs didn’t breathe and I tossed it after my brain began to atrophy from suffocation.

The other years are a blur of boyfriends, husbands, jewelry, more “musts” and lavish parties (mom started it all by making our birthdays a very big deal).

And then, for my 50th birthday, I married myself but I have already posted an article describing it. And, no, Oprah! never did invite my friends and me to re-enact it on her show, although I pitched her PR person.

That same year I did splurge on my first BMW that was decimated two years ago. But I’ve already talked about that too.

Anyway, the purple carpet or “magic carpet” as the city calls it (P.G. was on the cover of “Life” because of it, you know) evokes these mental ponderings. I wonder how my 60th will be with two of the members of the “birthday club” absent. Tara died and Hattie is in a rest home.

There will be tears and fond stories told, such as the time I bought everyone a 5-layer triple chocolate suicide cake festooned with Reese’s chocolate cups and ate a huge portion of it before the guests arrived.

They were indignant. I had a smeared chocolate smile on my face and was hyper all night.

Oh! Now I remember. I think it was something like my 48th when a friend held it at her house. I begged her to let me have a pie throwing contest and she bought a mess of big lemon meringue pies. But she chickened out at the last minute, didn’t want her house messed up, so I was forced to smash one onto my own face. You should have heard the peals of laughter and see the pictures of me licking meringue off my snout.

These are bucket list things, OK? I’ve got mine and you can have yours.

Anyway, this year, as always, we will “ooh” and “aah” over the presents given me (most will have some kind of cat motif) and we’ll toast another year of friendship.

And, no doubt, we will comment on our luck at living in paradise even before we’ve taken a dirt nap . . .



2006-2014 - StarWords - Susan Cantrell. All Rights Reserved. Site Design: Byte Technology.
StarWords Enterprises
P.O. Box 221251, Carmel CA 93923
Call: (831) 372-2231