The List

Today is my birthday. Or depending when I finish this, it might be more accurate to say yesterday was my birthday.

Add this to the list of firsts in Guatemala. My first birthday in Guatemala, and it is rainy season, so it is raining. It has most of this weekend.

Back in Joplin, August 4 usually is hot and dry. But thanks to Facebook memories, I know it rained one year. And also the one time I went to Silver Dollar City on my birthday, it poured on my new bride and me.

Over the years, my approach has changed to my birthday. For many years, it meant my sister Nan made homemade ravioli. That alone was good enough as far as presents. (We have moved this event to my wife's birthday in November, when the weather isn't so sticky.)

My birthday has also held some moments of note in my life. It was during one of the ravioli dinners that I received a call that I had been hired by KFC. It was also almost two years ago that my wife and I headed to Guatemala where I met so many of my friends with PROVEE.

For several years, my family was into making lists of what we wanted for birthday/Christmas presents. I remember one year I got nearly everything I placed on the list. It was historic because I got my first disc golf starter pack. That changed my life. But I also remember that birthday because it was spent at my other sister's house, and we had a great time.

Over the years, that list got shorter. So short that it doesn't exist anymore. I don't know if it's because I have what I need and can't think of things to put on a list. I don't know if that's something that happens when you hit a certain age, but I do know it's harder to shop for people as they hit certain ages. For instance we just give our college-age children cash.

Another thing that's happened the past eight years or so (since the F5 tornado took so much of our "stuff") is I'm not so materialistic. If you want proof of this, Tabitha and I came to Guatemala with three suitcases of mostly clothes and not much else. And we haven't bought a whole lot here, either.

If I were to make a list now of things I want for my birthday, it would be a bit different. I just like to spend time with people - mostly with my wife. I also liked reading all the birthday wishes this year. Mainly because I don't see most of the people on a regular basis, so just thinking of y'all is enough to bring a smile to my face.

Finally, I will say that I will thoroughly enjoy my last year in my 40s. Mainly because my sisters are not in their 40s anymore.

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