Well, tomorrow is my birthday…the years keep rolling by…I plan to celebrate! But it brings to mind this much-loved song from my childhood (well, a little before, but I heard it a lot as a kid):
You load sixteen tons, what do you get?
Another day older and deeper in debt
Saint Peter don’t you call me ’cause I can’t go
I owe my soul to the company store
— music and lyrics by Merle Travis
Well, whatever else may rain down on me, at least I’m not a coal miner. I know those who built their lives around the mines are often profoundly loyal, literally to a point of death, but from my lofty vantage point, there’s little return for the workers.
When I worked part-time at a department store, I used to joke I “owed my soul to the company store.” Hey, my full-time job, at least in theory, paid the bills, so that was extra cash to spend as I pleased…and I did. I kept track, and about half of what I earned there went straight back to the company coffers.
Thirty years later, I still have some of the Marimekko dishes I purchased, one place setting at a time, always on sale, until I had nine settings (eight, plus a spare). So not everything was thrown away on clothes and makeup. The first setting I got on my birthday from my sister, Beth, who thankfully has good taste.
But I digress from my original point. Where was I going with this? Oh yes! Tomorrow is my birthday! Yup, another year older…but not really deeper in debt. Except for the debts of gratitude I owe so many people in my life.
- My mom, who is always there for me in every way. She will sacrifice just about anything to help me. I would give her the moon if I could (although cash may be more practical).
- My brother, who has proven his love and commitment to me in ways I can never repay. He has shown me the value of family, and more importantly, myself.
- My dad, who is so in tune with my thinking (or I suppose it should be stated the other way around since I’m his offspring) and never fails to surprise me with just the right support when I need it most.
- My friends Beverly and Bill, who, like family, gave me emotional and practical support, often at personal expense.
- My best friend from college, Laurie, who “gets me” like few others — and still loves me!
- My friend Deb, who thinks nothing of putting others before herself and finding the right gifts on any day of the year.
- My blogging buddies, for all the support you’ve given me in the past two years, as well as the gift of your friendship…and blogs!!!
So many others, but I’ll keep the list concise so it doesn’t lose meaning.
Thank you, everyone of you, and have a piece of chocolate cake (or whatever) this Saturday — it’s my birthday, and I want to celebrate with you!
Another year older, and deeper in debt — to all who have given me love and support.
Make yourself smile today with this catchy tune from Tennessee Ernie Ford, which spent a combined 16 weeks at the top of the Billboard Top 100 and Top Country hits lists back in 1955-56. (And if you want a good laugh, look up the “Go-Go Version” on YouTube.)
Photo Credits: (Department Store) © torsakarin – Fotolia; (Birthday Cupcake) © Studio KIVI – Fotolia