I realized I wrote another blog post years ago with the same title. Okay, two best birthdays ever. I am blessed.
At midnight on the day of my birthday, Arielle and Liana jumped up on the bed and shouted "Happy Birthday!" Fred gave me a sentimental card with pink hearts and just the right words. He told me he and Arielle had arranged a special day. We would go to an orchard to pick apples and then walk around a quaint town nearby and then go out to dinner. The weather was perfect, sunny and warm. October--it's the best, isn't it? The glorious colors, the tilt of the sun that makes the earth glow with that golden light. The orchard was near Steven's house so Arielle invited him to come along. He said he had yard work to do but would meet up with us later.
The girls, Fred, and I rode out to the orchard in a truck packed tight with others enjoying this gorgeous day. The trees were loaded with fruit, Fuji and Pink Lady apples. We were allowed to sample first and stood among the trees eating, juice dripping off our hands. We filled our bag and then waited for the truck to return, the girls taking the opportunity for a photo shoot. Of course.
After returning to pay for the pumpkin we chose in the field next to the apples, there was Steven with two bouquets of flowers in his hands. Yellow roses for Arielle and a colorful orange fall mix for me--some kind of daisies, sunflowers and mums. Chocolates too! I was stunned. Arielle was delighted. I carried my flowers around feeling like a homecoming queen. A clerk asked what was the occasion? My birthday!
We headed to town, explored the old record store again, and just enjoyed the beautiful late afternoon. Time for dinner. We decided to head back to our area and discovered a new Mexican restaurant that serves the best tacos--my favorite food! Could this day be any better? We laughed all evening and enjoyed these kids. At home Liana gave me a pencil sketch with a Bible verse and Arielle wrote me the loveliest of notes. Who told me years ago that I would have so much trouble with teenage girls? My daughters are an absolute joy!
My mother called and sent great books to read, as she always does. My boys remembered me with gifts and calls. My heart is full. What did I do to deserve this? Nothing. Nothing at all. God's grace--it's the only way to explain it. He has given me this wonderful family and I am forever grateful. I'm thankful for another year of life.