by Margaret Turley
I turned 53 yesterday. I got a call from my nieces and nephews all wishing me a happy birthday. One nephew shares my birthday – he turned 14 and will be ordained a teacher on Sunday. Next I was called by my mother. We had a pleasant conversation and planned for when she will return to the valley next week. Then my sister called and wished me the same. My daughter started my day off by having a beautiful bouquet of flowers on the table and a cute card. She cooked me a prime rib roast supper. She has promised me a day next week where I had to block out my whole day for her to “surprise” me. I’m looking forward to it. My co-workers and supervisor e-mailed birthday greetings to me. I spoke with my son, Kevin, the day before. All in all it was a good day – and not nearly as traumatic as when I turned 40 and knew I’d gone over the hill, was now too old to ever be young again.
Looking back on what I accomplished this past year makes me feel very grateful. Next month I’ll be back to work, full time for two years after having been off work for two years for medical reasons. That is a great accomplishment – to have a job I love and the health to do it with.
I’ve completed two writing classes since January and am signed up for another starting August 6th. Though I didn’t get any contracts for publication this year, I submitted to several publishers and agents. Three different short stories were submitted to contests. I wrote poems and lyrics for different holidays at work and received notes of thanks. I finally feel like the writing juices are flowing again.
Two trips to Illinois this spring filled in my schedule beautifully. I’m so happy to be a grandma and proud of my granddaughters. It was wonderful to be present for the birth of the third one in March. Nothing feels as good as hugging your grandchild. It also did my heart a great favor to see my son sing and read to his daughters along with his lovely wife Laura. I was so proud of him when he graduated with his Master’s in May. These are not my personal accomplishments – but very special moments I got to share.
My mother came down to Mesa to serve a family history mission. It’s been great to be able to visit with her a couple times a week and share in her excitement as she helps others and continues to have amazing success with her genealogy.
I have attended two writer’s conferences and once again was able to go to the ANWA retreat, after missing that for a few years due to health. It was so nice to share that couple of days with so many sisters that have similar goals. It was great to visit with old friends and make new ones. Now I feel like I’ll be able to recognize who the person is I’m reading submissions for on the critique line. Yeah!
Thanks to all of you for your support. I hope we have another great year together.