Dear Diary, (Birthday 2000) sound clip: My Next 30 (um . . . 40) Years by Tim McGraw

Wednesday, December 6 was a good day. I wanted to mark this momentous birthday with a relaxing day at home and that's what I got. Westi gave me Barbara Kingsolver's new book. Steve fixed the plumbing, made me a bamboo ladder (fixed my old one too), and picked out a gorgeous $40 bouquet of flowers (subsidized by mom). Then he let me spend a good chunk of the day reading in bed with my Tuxedo kitty for company. As my mom and my sister's email cards both read: A perfect birthday... a day off, a bed, a book, and a cat. And speaking of cats, one of the nicest parts of all was that Kiely came home! What an amazing sense of timing!

Probably no other woman in the world got a bamboo ladder, handmade by her husband, for her 40th birthday... Lots of people get surprise parties though and, whadayano, I got one of those too! It was days later so I was already well past 40 and not on my guard. Under the guise of rescuing Westi from a broken down car, we landed at my friend Ray's house. Not even a glimmer of suspicion arose in my mind as I mused how strange it was that Westi was at a party at Ray's house. Not till I saw my friend Diane across the room as the door swung open did I figure it out. Boy... voted most gullible in my class once upon a time... I guess some things just don't change. It was great. Thank you Westi. Thank you Steve. Thank you all.



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