My birthday month begins…NOW!

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it before here on the blog, but next Sunday, I turn 50…

…and, as has become my custom, I celebrate my birthday not just for a day or a weekend or a week, I celebrate it…


That’s right. This year, I think with half a century in the rearview, it might just be worth the celebration. Throughout this month, I will share the party with my wife Kim (but of course), family, especially my parents (duh!), my sister, her family, and friends, especially all of you, with a giveaway of a few of my favorite books at the end of the month.

I am starting the month with breakfast today at my favorite breakfast place, Conspiracy Coffee, and lunch and dinner later with ribs that I will get there too. Unfortunately, my wife Kim won’t be able to join me since she worked a midnight shift this morning and then bookends it tonight with a 12-hour shift that goes into tomorrow. I am starting the month today with working at the library (hey, at least, I am with books) and then hoping to do all that stuff I crossed out in the previous sentence tomorrow. Then I’m starting off the week with a focus on my health:

  • on Monday, I’m going to physical therapy for my left knee that was bruised back in early March.
  • on Tuesday, I have an appointment with an orthopedic specialist to make sure that my knee is only a minor sprain/strain that the physical therapist and my nurse practitioner believe it is. Fingers crossed.

At the end of the week, we’re going to Smokin’ Summer Kickoff on the Seneca Lake Wine Trail, an event that pairs wine with food at 22 participating wineries, over three days, June 7 through June 9. Because I work Friday, we won’t be going up until Saturday morning, but we’ll actually be kicking off the weekend Friday night by watching Wine Country and Springsteen on Broadway. Even though we’ve read mixed reviews of Wine Country, we thought it would be appropriate to start with a movie about a group of women getting together to celebrate a friend’s 50th birthday. Whether or not the movie is good, we had t-shirts made, like the ones they have in the movie:

As for why we’re watching Springsteen on Broadway, Kim’s favorite musician is Bruce and we’re considering the weekend her birthday weekend too. Her birthday was in April, but she didn’t have the entire weekend off.

We already have our tickets for the wine event and are staying overnight Saturday night at The Gridley Inn in Waterloo at the top of the lake. Saturday morning, we’ll start from Catharine Valley Winery near the bottom of the lake, then wind our way up the east side of the lake to one non-participating winery, Three Brothers Wineries, which is one of our favorite wineries. On Sunday, we’ll start from Ventosa Vineyards still on the east side of the lake, then go down the west side of the lake, finishing at Lakewood Vineyards. Initially, I had planned for us to shuffle through playlists of our favorite musicians, a playlist of Springsteen’s first 12 albums on Saturday and then a playlist of U2’s first 12 albums on Sunday. But now I’ve made up a shorter playlist of some of our favorite albums, mostly from the last decade, with the playlist appropriately called “The Big 5-Oh”.

The weekend after my birthday is Father’s Day and I’m going to see my dad – and mom, of course, the people who…well…made my birth possible. That Sunday my sister, her family, and I are taking my dad to a Mopar Father’s Day Weekend Cruise-In at The Eagles Mere Air Museum and the Eagles Mere Auto Museum in Eagles Mere, Pa. The last two weekends? I’ll be honest I have nothing planned…well, at least as it relates to my birthday. On one of them, I’ll be going to my favorite breakfast place, Conspiracy Coffee, and then have lunch and dinner later with ribs that I will get there too. Unfortunately, my wife Kim won’t be able to join me since she works midnight shift Saturday morning and then a 12-hour shift that starts Saturday night and goes into Sunday. The other weekend? I don’t know yet.

In addition to the giveaway (details on how to enter, to be announced on my birthday), on the bookish front, I plan on continuing to read through the All Creatures Great and Small series by James Herriot. I’m on the fifth in the U.S. version of the series, The Lord God Made Them All, and hope to finish the sixth, Every Living Thing, by the end of the month, if not by the end of July. Also during the month, I want to delve into Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman and All of Us: The Collected Poems by Raymond Carver, two of my all-time favorite collections of poetry.

On my birthday next Sunday, I’ll be sharing photos throughout the day on Instagram via the hashtag #birthdayphotoanhour, started by @michelleerin and also done by @suzioregon and @florinda3rs, among a few others. Peek in on my celebration, if you like. Most likely I’ll be posting multiple photos every four hours instead of every hour on the hour as others have done. Less pressure to post and enjoy the day as much as possible.

30 thoughts on “My birthday month begins…NOW!

  1. Your plans for next weekend sound amazing!! Not sure if we’ve been to Three Brothers Winery (will make it a priority on the next tour) but have visited Ventosa (had an excellent lunch on their back porch) and Lakewood. I’ll look forward to your birthday photos!


    1. Three Brothers (has three different venues, a fancy winery, a redneck winery and a brewery that also has hard cider) just a little further down on 96. Definitely worth the trip and also Zugibe, which is another good one.


  2. Happy birthday, Bryan! When I turned fifty, I felt a huge feeling of release, letting go, suddenly knowing that I didn’t have anything to prove to anyone, that time was now gravy, that I would enjoy each day. And, though I’ve had a few back-to-the-old-anxious-me days in my sixties, for the most part, I have. I wish the same for you. It’s a marvelous feeling.

    The wine tour sounds like it will be lovely. I hope you will take pictures and share this adventure with us.

    I think I have seen trailers for Wine Country on tv. Netflix, maybe, or Amazon Prime. Perfect timing for your birthday.

    Here’s to a great fifty-ith season in your life. May it be filled with plenty of wine and good books and nice people.


    1. I hope I can get to where you feel about 50. But…I’m not there yet. I will be taking pictures and sharing the adventure of the wine trip via Instagram and I’m sure in a follow-up post.


  3. This sounds awesome Bryan! You share your birthday with my husband; he’ll be 68, so a tad older than you πŸ˜€
    I loved turning 50 and hope you have a similar experience!


  4. Happy Birthday month, Bryan! I think celebrating the entire month is an awesome idea. It sounds like you have some great things planned. I hope you enjoy the wine event! Many years ago, my husband and I toured a few wineries in the Napa Valley. I am not a drinker, although I found the history of the area and hearing about the wine making process interesting. I love the sound of your playlist. You can’t go wrong with Springsteen and U2.

    I am not sure what we will be doing for Father’s Day. I suppose I should think of something. Haha. I do have my husband’s gifts already. Just need to wrap them. And my daughter wants to make him a card. His birthday is this coming Friday and so our celebrations of both will likely run together a bit. He starts rehearsals for Don Quixote next weekend and I know that will keep him busy.

    Good luck with the doctor’s visit and physical therapy! Have a great week, Bryan–and an especially happy birthday month!


    1. So wait, I’m not the only celebrating a birthday this month? Craaazy. πŸ˜‰ The Springsteen and U2 playlists are on the back burner for this trip, but they’re still there for us to listen to later.


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