July 13, 2011


It was in early September 1973 that the big yellow school bus stopped for the first time in front of the little mobile home surrounded by cow and horse pastures. Mom had walked with me out to the road, my sister Jennifer trailed along, her chance to get on the bus was still a couple of years away. My grandmother waved from the bedroom window in the house next door.

I walked up the stairs and made my way down to the first emergency exit row on the right, where my cousin once removed, Jill, motioned for me to sit. I was sitting across the row from my two other cousins once removed, Amy and Ann. Though my five year old brain was not quite grasping the concept, I was beginning a new chapter in life that first day of school. I was excited.

I mention it here because of the bus. My mind makes these odd connections. It was bus 43.

I turned 43 years old today.

Now that when asked my age I will respond with “I’m 43” for the next year, I feel like I’m in one of the best places I have ever been in my life. 43. It’s a good number. It’s the number of the first bus I rode, it’s the exit number for Kellogg Hill off of Interstate 81, which is where you can get off to see Talcott Falls, the falls I highlighted in a photo a couple of years ago. It’s an age I can easily remember my parents being and they seemed happy.

I know I’m happy. My life is good and in a multitude of ways, it feels like it’s just begun. I am surrounded by an immense amount of love.

And that rocks.

This photo was taken in 1978 at the local airport, undoubtedly on a Sunday afternoon during pilot lessons. Making sure I didn’t fall off the picnic table was a woman named LaVinia. We called her Vinnie. My mom made the cake and I’m sure it was delicious.

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