So today is my birthday. Whoop-de-doo. Surely seemed like a much bigger deal when I was a kid. I remember the excitement, the anticipation of the party and the cake and the presents!
There were basically three possibilities for my actual birthday party: a picnic at Eyre Park, a gathering at home of family or of my classmates. Each of these variations had its own appeal. Eyre Park was a tiny oasis of trees, water and sand in between my parents’ farm and my maternal grandparents’ farm, about six or seven miles from each farm. Oh we kids thought it was great to get to Eyre. We could swim (in a big slough), climb trees (and get a million mosquito bites) cook food outdoors (burned dropped wieners and scorched smoking marshmallows) jump off the big sand dunes (and bite clean through our tongues upon landing as one poor unfortunate cousin did) and generally forget for the hours that we were there that we lived on the dry dusty and hot Prairies. We kids really thought it an oasis, a little piece of magic where we could pretend that we were really on a vacation. Fifty years later, I marvel at what Eyre Park really looks like. Was it always that small, that bare, with a dried up slough and surrounded by stunted prairie wind-blown trees? Oh through the eyes of a child!
Usually just before or just after the birthday meal, Mom would line us up in a straight line outdoors for the customary birthday ‘snaps’. Those pictures are treasures today even if I cannot singlehandedly identify all of the faces.
|My birthday at Eyre Park (double click for more detail)|