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Thursday, April 19, 2007


Much like the dreaded tax day for wage earners, April holds an icy grip on my life. This mournful month is often accused of providing rain for the following flowery month, but seldom told is the story of how a measly flip of the calender page tosses me into another year of my life.

This Twilight Zone type of symbolism is, in laymen’s term, is referred to as a birthday. Some cultures, I am told, start with the day of conception which would make me just three months away from the dreaded *0, so with a sigh of relief I can sit back and start the countdown of 365 days until that *0'th birthday.

Please, dear readers, tell me how this day has befallen me. I feel like only yesterday I was given a piece of paper informing the world this gal was legal to drive on all highways, both gravel and super-four-lanes, then a thousand and ten years later was handed a diploma stating I fulfilled the requirements by the State of Ohio to no longer attend public school.

Now in the twinkling of an eye my life slid at an incalculable rate to the unspeakable age of *9. In that twinkling of an eye I moved from crank phones, outdoor potties, to cell phones and bidets with Muzak.

Truth be known, I grew up in an environmental cataclysm in our industrialized nation where air was dirty and the water smelled like death and one drink would satisfy that request. The Cuyahoga River burned like the doors of hell were thrown open and acid rain fell on our car finishes which would destroy in 30 minutes what Earl Scheib would take all day to paint.

So what is all the yammering about. Do I feel neglected? Not really. The gray hair–neatly hidden and wrinkles, also neatly hidden are badges of courage. I don’t have carpel tunnel from my youthful days of cranking grandmas phone in that little farmhouse in Iowa, nor did anyone ever have to dig me out of the backhouse sludge, which was a horrid fear of any child forced to take the long walk to relive oneself.

I also survived the worse climatological era since WWII. Alvin Gore has nothing, absolutely nothing to hold a card to in today’s pristine environment. If the icecaps survived the 50's and 60's, believe me, they will survive our present age.

Still that is not what this day is about. For once it is about me and nobody else. Today I don’t have to celebrate anyone else’s life or achievements. I survived many wars, both cold and hot. I survived polio, mumps, whooping cough, scarlet fever and all other childhood diseases, almost unheard of nowadays that came through my neighborhood. Some laid me low for a season, others never touched me

There were other disasters that I somehow avoided or came out on the winning side of. This essay is not about listing Micheala's disasters. You may also notice an abundant use of the "I" factor in this article. Why not, it is my birthday and I (there we go again) will use me, or "I" as much as I (there we go again) want. After all I (sigh) survived *9 years and dagnabit, it is a good thing.

Perhaps when I am *9, ten years from now I will rewrite his little ditty. So forgive my use of the little astrik (*) throughout this page, after all a computer never tells a woman’s age.


Hawkeye® said...

Hmmmmmm. Is TODAY your birthday? I have it on the calendar as tomorrow, April 20th. Did I get bad info or what?

P.S.-- Happy Birthday Micheala! Whatever day it is. May God Bless you with health, happiness and prosperity in the year ahead... (especially health). You gave us all a good scare there once or twice this past year.

(:D) Regards...

The trotting Possum said...

I am so glad you are a survivor. I don't care a damn about the "I" factor. I, too, have seen wars and terrible things. We keep on keepin' on, and you do that better than me.

I think it really does get better with age.

Whiteacres said...

Happy Birthday! I am so glad that you are around and kicking. I enjoy your posts.
Many Happy Returns!

Beerme said...


You Rock!
Get down wit' ya bad self.
Go Shelly, get busy, it's ya birthday, get busy!

Seriously, though, Happy Birthday and don't ever quit writing. You have a gift and its for sharing.

Ms. Inkslinger said...

Hawkeye and others

The 20th is my birthday. I was just getting an early start. I think that is only fair :-)

Ms. Inkslinger said...

And, by the way I am using a new name on this blog. Same dame, different name

camojack said...

"Now in the twinkling of an eye my life slid at an uncalculatable (word made up) rate to the unspeakable age of *9."

I think that the word you're looking for is incalculable, there, mon cherie...

Ms. Inkslinger said...


Thanks and correction made.

Other readers may notice the new mame Ms Inkslinger from the Paul Bunyan tales. I thought that my essay page desrved a differnt name. Why not. An old, er young gal from Minnesota needs to get back to her roots.

mig said...

Happy Birthday Ms. Inkslinger.... I look forward to seeing your pretty *9 self at the ScrappleFest. Bring cookies!

Barb(prettyold) said...

Oh come on ,now , turning 30 isn't so bad. I've done it twice now. so you can surely do it once . Have a wonderfully Happy Birthdayand at least *0 more.

Ms Inkslinger said...


I think you hit it just about on the button. This cryptic message has thrown everyone off the trail.

Okay, so I just turned 59. sigh. I know I don't act my age though my body feels twice my years and double that again.

All my fiends who are younger and nearly the same age act like they have a right to be old fuddy duds. Not me--I lived long and hard and will continue to--best of my abilities