Debra Prinzing

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Happy birthday to me

February 28th, 2009

Celebrating my first birthday, February 28, 1960, with my mother, Anita

Celebrating my first birthday, February 28, 1960, with my mother, Anita

It pains me to admit it, but I was born 50 years ago today.

But one of my hip, young friends told me she thought I was 41, so I totally love her for that.

The hardest thing about turning 50 is that my mother can’t quite believe she has a 50-year-old child.

My mother is the youngest person I know. She is an artist and a writer and she has more curiosity about life than I will ever have. She also has patience, kindness, empathy and incredible courage.

I think today is more about celebrating Anita Louise Ford Prinzing than anything else. Thank you, Mom. You are the best. (Thank you, Dad, too. You are also the best!)

My husband has turned the five-year birthday mark into an art form. When I turned 40, our boys were 2 and 7. Bruce surprised me by flying my mother to Seattle to take care of them so we could go to Palm Springs for the weekend.

When I turned 45, he flew me on Business Class to London and arranged for me to spend 5 days visiting the Chelsea Flower Show and other awesome gardens (including Wisley, Great Dixter, and Sissinghurst). A magical, unforgettable trip. The pressure was on for turning 50.

But I decided to take matters into my own hands to plan my 50th b-day and also Bruce’s and my 25th wedding anniversary (which is in August). So I booked two weeks at Villa Maddalena, a magical and ancient villa that our friend Marcia has renovated. It is situated in a small Tuscan village called Montisi. At the end of October, I will get to spend one week there with many of my girlfriends. And then, the following week, Bruce and my sons will come for a family vacation – to celebrate our 25th anniversary.

When I invited my girlfriends to make the trip, I wrote something a little carefree (careless?).

Live large, people. The economy is in the toilet; the publishing world is spiraling into a ghost of its former self. Oh well. What’s left to do but eat pasta and drink Chianti?  

This kind of cavalier attitude might be what gets us through the current malaise of life. Many of us are in a waiting pattern. . . waiting for life to get back on track, waiting for things in Washington to sort themselves out, waiting for a job, waiting for the housing market to rebound. We have to find the joy, the surprise, the spontaneity. Birthdays allow us to do just that. We have one day every year to be self-indulgent and frivolous. Oh, but there’s one problem. I have two story deadlines today. UGH.

Even so. . . it will be a day of laughter, family, friends, and celebration – as I think about that Tuscany trip in October.

16 Responses to “Happy birthday to me”

  1. Helen Yoest Says:

    Happy Birthday Debra!


  2. Carol, May Dreams Gardens Says:

    Happy 50th! I turned 50 in January and it was a lot of fun, very liberating. Have a great day.

    Carol, May Dreams Gardens’s last blog post..Instant Gratification: Radishes

  3. Tatyana Says:

    Happy Birthday to you, happy birthday to you… Welcome to the club!

  4. HelenJ Says:

    Happy Birthday! I hope you have had a really nice day.

    HelenJ’s last blog post..Månadens bild – februari

  5. gail Says:

    Happy Birthday…loved the post…especially the invite to your friends! gail

    gail’s last blog post..I’ve been Stalking…… The Nurseries

  6. Dee/reddirtramblings Says:

    My darling, Debra. It sounds divine. Happy, happy birthday! You *don’t* look a day over 41 my dear. I hope your birthday was a special one. We should all thank our mothers for without them, we wouldn’t be anything more than a gleam in our daddys’ eyes. XOXO~~Dee

    Dee/reddirtramblings’s last blog post..Lessons from across the pond

  7. Kathy from Cold Climate Gardening Says:

    Well, I’m one of those people who thought you had at least 5 or 6 years until the big five-oh. Welcome to the club. We’re rewriting the rules.

    Kathy from Cold Climate Gardening’s last blog post..Garden Bloggers Bloom Day January 2009

  8. Theresa/GardenFreshLiving Says:

    Happy…Happy….Happy birthday. You don’t look 50…Honesty! You do not. I am shocked. Must be all that clean living or gardening or combo of both. You go girl!

    Theresa/GardenFreshLiving’s last blog post..National Children & Youth Garden Symposium

  9. Lydia Plunk Says:

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Fifty is magical. Go for it!

  10. Mr. McGregor's Daughter Says:

    Happy Birthday! I’d be hard pressed to come up with a better way to celebrate turning 50 than hanging out at a villa in Tuscany. I totally support your philosophy of eat past, drink Chianti, and don’t worry about it.

    Mr. McGregor’s Daughter’s last blog post..March (to war): Garden Bloggers’ Muse Day

  11. Daniel Mount Says:

    Debra Happy Birthday! I would have said you were much younger too. So nice you get to prolong the celebration into the fall. I turned 50 last year and I had no qualms about traveling all year in celebration. I’m so glad I stumbled on your blog today.

  12. Lorene Says:

    Happy Birthday dear friend. The joy, the carefree, the bliss and the love do not come from jobs, houses, back accounts or security…not that those don’t ease us through these very scary times! All the above are found in ABUNDANT measure in the love and support of good friends like yourself and what you add to this world. I look forward to your next 50 – and an amazing time in Tuscany!!!
    oxoxo Lorene

  13. David Says:

    Fifty brings permission.
    Fifty makes boldness less difficult to justify.
    Fifty delivers keys to a reservoir of strength that has up until then been just out of reach,
    but there
    and always yours.
    Fifty says you get to take ownership
    in even greater measure.
    Fifty will be magical.
    Just watch.

  14. Susan AH Says:

    Hope you’re still enjoying your birthday glow. Actually, can’t imagine you NOT glowing, Debra.

  15. Huy Says:

    Hi Aunt Debbie, sorry we missed your birthday. I forgot that you are a Pisces! We Pisceans are awesome! You definitely don’t look anything like 50. Thank you for all the wisdom and encouragement you’ve given. I learn a lot from you. And you were a very cute baby!

    Huy’s last blog post..JN40: The standard depressing birthday reflection on mortality and the meaning of life

  16. Diane Carter Says:

    If you have any cancellations for your Tuscany trip…..let me know! I would love to celebrate with you!

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