I’m not as excited about my first birthday as I am about my 55th. Maybe I’m dreaming of a trip to Portland here and now I’m actually in Portland!

Today is my birthday. I’m not in the habit of announcing milestones, but fifty-five seems like it’s worth noting.

  1. It’s still the speed limit on the straight sections of the two-lane roads around where I live, so I see “55” all the time.

    I wonder if I’ll feel so fondly about this birthday?

  2. Five used to be my lucky number until “three” managed some kind of a lucky number coup. I’m still scratching my head over that one.
  3. I feel better about myself at 55 than I did at 45, 35, and even 25. I felt really fine at 15, though. But who didn’t feel smokin’ hot in hip-hugger bell-bottom jeans and halter tops, except maybe 15 year-old boys?
  4. I’ve been told I don’t look far younger than 55 years old. And the people who’ve told me that weren’t just the ones who got their eyes dilated at the eye doctor or the ones about to ask me for a favor.

    Lorna, I swear, you look younger each time I can’t see you.

  5. I’m in Portland, Oregon and I’ve dreamed of living in the Northwest. It’s my kind of climate: cool and cloudy. What’s not to love for a cave-dweller like me?

    Yes, I think this hotel room will do nicely for my vacation.

That’s good, my list ended with 5 things. Take that, number 3!

Since you know so much about me (because over the last year and a half I’ve told you everything there is to know), I thought I’d share a few fun facts about November 14th. It’s a big-wiggy day in history and lots of hotshot people were born on this day, besides me.

On this day in history…

1666: Samuel Pepys tries the first blood transfusion. He uses two dogs. The two cats he wanted to experiment on looked at him and walked away in disgust.

Transfusion, yeah, right! I’m outta here. Come on Mr. Whiskers, let’s find some rats to torment.

1832: John Mason debuts the first streetcar in New York City. It was a horse-drawn streetcar. I wonder is the horse’s name was “Desire?”
1851: Moby Dick, by Melville, was published. This bodes well for my memoir. It’s not about a whale or an obsessed sea captain, but it could be if that would make it sell more copies.
1896: Power plant begins operation at Niagara Falls. Now it’s even less safe to joy-ride in a barrel down the falls, but this does not deter the suicidal  adventurous souls who determined to cash in their ticket to Splinterville.

There you have it, Folks, a barrel shaped coffin.

1906: Roosevelt becomes the first US President to visit a foreign country. You’d think he would pick a destination with great wine, food, and scenery like, say, Italy. But no. He goes to hot, humid Panama to watch the locals dig some trench. Okay, so they called it a canal. Big deal.
1910: Aviator Eugene Ely performs the aircraft takeoff from the deck of a ship–the USS Birmingham. If he didn’t make it, he became the first submarine pilot. Either way, he made history.

Did I mention that Eugene was young and fearless, making him the perfect pilot for this test flight/dive?

1940, 1941: WWII German shenanigans I’d rather not think about on my birthday. Just tune into the History Channel, sometimes called the Hitler Channel, for the details.
1957: Near Binghamton, NY, a meeting of high-level Mafia king-pins was raided by low enforcement. I know! What the heck were they doing in Binghamton? Anyway, a lot of mobsters got to start up their own businesses in State and Federal prisons, thus leaving the streets safer for people like white collar criminals and ordinary people.

Hey. Don’t get your pants in a knot, gentlemen. We’re, uh, reasonable men, ain’t we, guys? Yous let us keep our nice suits and hair products, and we’ll go wich yous guys peacably. Oh, and, we gotta keep the heat we’re packing, too. Yous guys don’t think we’re that happy to see you, do you?

1957: Lorna’s mom was making the best stew she ever concocted when I decided the world was ready for me.

There were some  high muck-a-mucks born on November 14, too.

Aaron Copeland (songwriter and conductor of music, not trains)
Robert Fulton (engineer and inventor)
Veronica Lake (actress and blonde who couldn’t keep her hair out of her face)
Joseph McCarthy (U.S. Senator and let’s forget about him)
Claude Monet (painter of pictures, not houses)
Prince Charles (prince and Mr. Diana Spencer)
Condoleezza Rice (government official and let’s forget about her for the moment, too)
McLean Stevenson (actor and totally realistic M.A.S.H. commander)
Yanni (long-haired musician and darned nice-looking man)
Lorna (writer, blogger, teacher, Buddhist, optimist)

What’s the common thread among us? We’re all performers in some way. Well, I don’t know about Mr. Fulton or Mr. Diana Spencer.  But the rest of us had/has an urgent need to express ourselves.

I happened to want to express my inner sizzle, swinger and glamour girl on that particular day. I was/am destined for something big. What? I have no clue.

So, with that in mind, have a listen to this video and think of me today. I don’t know how I’ll be celebrating my birthday, but I know I’ll be in Portland with the man of my dreams and I’ll be expressing myself all over that place! Maybe not quite in that Madonna over-the-top way, but I’ll be having fun. See you soon!