Birthday Memories

(I wrote of this memory a few years ago, but here it is, another year in the books).

Well, I am another year older. My age sounds impossible (at least to me)….. 46 years!!  Where does the time go???…………………. One thing, it has been 46 years of great memory creating times.

I am so thankful that when God created us, he gave us the ability to retain memories. Even though we do hold onto some memories that we would rather forget, but they are kept in there also for a reason, lessons learned, appreciation , or we don’t know why some bad things, causing bad memories happened, but all in his plan, his perfect plan, full of joy, love, peace, and also hurt. However, the good and great memories are placed lower on the shelf in your mind, they are easier to get too, let that top shelf get dusty, and don’t pull those bad ones down. 

   I can remember birthdays past, sitting in our kitchen at home, nose pressed against a cold winter chilled window, watching heavy snow fall from the sky, and plow trucks going by, attempting to make our small town country roads passable and safe. Most times this was my Dad, as he worked for Penn Dot, and was assigned the route all relatively close to our home. I always felt so very proud watching one go by, and knowing it was my Dad doing his job. In my mind there was a slight anxiety as to if he would be home in time for my “Birthday Party”. But also he was relieving anxiety of “will anyone else make it here on these roads?” By doing his job. The day would pass, evening would come, and friends and family would start to show up…….. what a feeling!!

   I can remember seeing Leroy, peeking through the kitchen window with his red plaid winter cap on, opening the door so gently being sure that Martha, his bride of nearly 60 years, got in off of the snow covered porch safely, already starting to pick and haggle us kids. 

  Then looking out the window, above the kitchen sink to see Gradma and Gradpap G. Making their way down the hill, that spanned the distance between our houses, through what seemed to me at the time as a tunnel, carved in the deep snow by Grandpap, and his snowblower, creating a walkable path from their front door, winding down the hill leading to ours. 

   All this time Mom would be going from one side of the kitchen to the other, and one room to the other, making sure everything was in place and ready for me, for my Birthday and the celebration to follow. I can Remember her reassuring me while watching out the window, that some will show up, even in the snow. 

   Uncle Bill, Aunt Teresa, Scott and Carrie would arrive, Leroy would start haggling on Scott. Uncle Bill would find a seat, and would be sitting talking to Grandpap G, I remember Uncle Bills laughs as he would move around talking to everyone, and poking fun as you would pass by him, he would always grab a hold of me, kinda like a wrestling bear hug, full of love, he was truly a Great Uncle.

   I can remember Grandma F. Coming in and being there but not sure as to who brought her, I do remember one Birthday for sure that her and Gradpap both came. What an awesome Grandmother, she was so tender and kind “Bless her heart” (that was Gram).  And Grandpap, always ready to talk about fishing, farming, or hunting. 

  Uncle Earl, and Aunt Joyce would come in, followed by the girls, and off the girls would go with my sister Kristi, off to do girl things, not sure what they played, but you could see the fun in my amazing sisters eyes, and hear it in their laughs. 

   Uncle Earl would be all involved with us boys, interested in anything and everything we were, if it was guns, RC cars, games, wrestling matches, or whatever, he always made us feel great in his presence, what an awesome blessing for God to give us an Uncle like this. Aunt Joyce would always laugh and smile as she walked by as if he was another one of us boys, you could tell then, and even more now looking back, that she knew what a blessing he was and is to us. 

   Uncle Pat, Aunt D, and Kids coming in, Aunt D and my Mom, they are just like their mother, they were then and even more evident now, always hugs, kisses, and hearts so soft and kind that they just make you feel good, no matter what. Uncle Pat would always flex his muscle, (it’s a boy thing) I can remember him making a muscle, and us boys punching him in the arm. Patrick would jump right into the boy things, (even though I cannot remember everything we were doing), 

  Jim B (my brother Gary’s friend) was always there so I know some of what the boys, and Uncle Earl were doing… probably the newest Nintendo game, some playing and the rest watching, patiently waiting their turn. Even though Jim was Gary’s friend, Gary always included me, we had some pretty good rumbles as kids, but he always had my back, could not have asked for a better best friend and brother. Same with Kristi, we had tumbles, but most of all she always had my back, and still does. It is possible to have more than one best friend, I have many!! 

   All of the lady’s standing around in the kitchen laughing, and talking (I can still hear each of their laughs and voices in my head), as they prepared snacks, cake and ice cream, for the “happy birthday” singing kickoff of my day.  The men sitting around in the dining room just talking, on chairs placed around the outside wall, creating a birthday gift opening arena for for pile of neatly wrapped packages placed in the middle of the arena floor. 

   Then as if all perfect timing, what my Mother had reassured me several times throughout the day leading to all of this, Dad would come in the door, taking of his worn wet leather work boots, making his way around the pile of wrapped packages, through the chair created arena to the old cook stove Woodburner. Placing his damp and cold gloves on the top shelf bread warmer of the woodburner, to dry and warm them for the next winter snow removal shift. He would fix the fire then join in with the men, sitting in a chair and talking, and sharing stories. 

   All complete, the party could now begin, cake and ice cream to eat, presents to open, laughs to be had, and memories to be made and stored away for such a day like this. 

I am so thankful, for family, friends, and memories!!!!

   I am beyond blessed! I have so many more, God gave us unlimited storage, so many memories still being created with ones mentioned above, ones being made with ones not mentioned above, and great ones being made with my amazing Wife Sara, and amazing children Isaac, Ian, and Alissa. 

Tim Gallaher

Bicentennial 200th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence.

All Quarters minted in 1976 where dated “1776-1976”

1976 Gerald Ford was the President.

1976 Gas was around .59 cents per gallon.

1976 A postage stamp was .13 cents

1976 A gallon of milk was $1.68

1976 A new car cost an average of $5450

1976 Top Country Song was “Good Hearted Woman” by Waylon & Willie

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