Monday, May 27, 2013

Happy Birthday to me!

Two new beauties

Yesterday was my birthday! It was great to be home to share it with my son and many friends in the neighborhood. My son and I hosted a potluck in the backyard, and it turned out to be a lovely day for it. Earlier in the day, I walked downtown for a free gourmet coffee, a treat that is offered by a local business, Liberty Hall. According to them. having a birthday entitles anyone to free coffee, free admission to a movie,  free popocorn and soda, and a free DVD rental. Can't beat that! I've missed out on this bonanza for two years, so wanted to make sure to take advantage of it this year.

HUGE clematis blossoms in my yard!
My son gave me the gift of flowers, (or actually, money to buy them), so I bought several orchids and a red rose bush that will grow to be as tall as I am someday. He also gave me a lovely blown glass vase made by a local artist. He always seems to find the perfect gifts for me!

Last year I was in Padova on my birthday, and the year before that, I was in Firenze:  Firenze: A Birthday Surprise!  For some reason, I didn't write a post about last year, but I remember that Marisa, the mother of a friend, who I was staying with at the time, made me a special shrimp dinner and bought some elegant pastries to mark the event. I was rushing around Italy at this time last year, and my stay in Padova was especially hurried, culminating with earthquakes that stopped the trains running and delayed my return to Zagarolo for the last week of my stay.

But getting back to this year: walking downtown made me aware of how lovely our town is at this time of year. Kansas often gets a bad rap as being a conservative state, flat and boring,  but Lawrence does not fit that image. The presence of the University allows for a cosmopolitan, artsy culture, with well-educated and liberal-minded citizens, and the landscape offers rolling hills filled with trees. On my walk, I enjoyed being able to see that many yards were filled with blooming flowers, especially rose bushes, loaded down with bright blooms. Vegetable gardens were also in abundance. A cool, wet spring has generated a boom in beauty all over the city. Our city is charming, lovely and a great place to live!

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