Sunday, January 10, 2010

Birthday parties and sparklers...

What do we do in the cold Midwest during January?

The other night I was invited to Mackenzie's 15th birthday party. She is my neighbor, friend, and fellow writer. The party was dinner and a sharing of stories and poetry, everyone being asked to bring their favorite winter piece to share in the warm home she shares with her sisters and dad. With dinner cooking on the stove and glasses of milk (wine for the grown ups) in hand, we sat around the kitchen table sharing stories and poems. Most were of the winter season as the wind and snow blew around this old house. I took my beloved copy of "A Child's Christmas In Wales"by Dylan Thomas. Other poetry pieces included Mark Twain's letter to his daughter about Santa Claus, "The Mending Wall" by Robert Frost. The conversation also shifted to Wendall Berry, Donald Hall and Scott Sanders...all writers and poets.

The evening included singing all the words to "Fiddler on the Roof" from an old LP album that Lee has collected on his small suitcase style player. The girls had never heart "Matchmaker" so it wasn't long before we had our head covered with scarves and were singing to the top of our lungs.

Following the red velvet birthday cake, we presented Mackenzie with her gifts. I gave her a box of sparklers. Yes, an unusual gift, but perfect for a snowy night in January. At midnight we gathered up all our snow gear and headed outside to end the perfect party. Will she ever forget her 15th birthday? I think not.

So the cold winds blow, and I conclude that sparklers are wasted on the July 4th celebrations. Indeed they should be shared on a cold winter's night in January in the north country!

Lou Ann