On Saturday I marked another trip around the sun. I'd been looking forward to simply relaxing on Saturday, even more than any celebration. We've experienced several days of warm Spring-like weather with temps in the 70's and 80's this week, until Saturday when the thermometer barely cracked 50°. Disappointing but tolerable. The need for social distancing as our country deals with the Chinese virus pandemic would not be allowed to add more than a minor inconvenience to the day.
The morning started off as usual, with breakfast followed by some yard chores. After lunch, we made use of the local Starbuck's drive-thru to take advantage of my free birthday coffee, this time with extra espresso added. Retiring to the screen porch I enjoyed the coffee, some light reading, and a Rocky Patel Vintage 1992.
It got a little chilly in the shade of the porch, but the sun would intermittently pop through the clouds to take the edge off. Once the smoke was finished, I took some time to prep the fire pit for use later in the day. Time around the fire pit was on my short list of birthday plans, and would be unaffected by isolation.
Typically, we dine out for birthday celebrations, but that would not be possible this year. We did the next best thing, and placed a to go order at one of our favorite restaurants. We are making an effort to support them during this crisis, and I joked with the manager that we'll probably be eating their food more than we do during "normal" times!
A couple months ago I had picked up a bottle of Woodford Reserve Double Oaked Bourbon. This is one of my favorite whiskeys, but one that's reserved for special occasions. I had also reserved a favorite cigar for this celebration, a Fratello Navetta Inverso. The cigar had been resting in my humidor since last fall, also for just the right time and whiskey pairing.
Soon, the trio of the fire, the bourbon, and the cigar was providing copious warmth, both externally and internally. Colleen joined me fireside and we enjoyed a few hours of relaxation, conversation, and simply forgetting the concerns of the rest of the world.
Eventually, I let the fire die down. It was a tough decision to call it quits, but another treat was in store for the evening. We had some Irish Whiskey Bread and Butter Pudding left from our combination St. Patrick and St. Joseph Feast Days celebrations earlier in the week. This is another one of my favorite celebratory pleasures.
World pandemics aside, it could not have been a more enjoyable celebration. Birthdays these days seem all the more treasured. In these times of "social media" and "social distancing" even those Facebook and text messages from friends were treasured. For one day at least, the demands of work and plummeting 401k's seem just a little more distant.
And it's officially Spring, so brighter days are coming soon!