What Can't Be Changed

Posted by Sharon

Today is my birthday. That can't be changed. Not even if I wanted to. Which I do...
Not the day, just the number. But these are the facts:
  • I was born to rancher parents in the Coteau Hills of Saskatchewan.
  • The ranch was competely isolated in the winter, accessible only by horses - either riding or team and sleigh.
  • Mom's "due date" was in February - not a good time or the year to be having a baby - so our trusted Grey Team transported a very pregnant Mom to "the settlement" two weeks prior to my expected arrival.
  • I arrived as expected and Dad made the trip back to pick my mother and I up at what he calculated to be the right time - when I was about two weeks old.
None of the above could or can be changed. Even if I wanted to. Which I don't.

And so I spent the first years of my life on an isolated ranch. That could not changed either. Not even if I wanted to. Which I don't. My first birthdays I celebrated there, in the little ranch house in the hills, like the one in the photo below:

My first birthday - what was I looking at? Not the camera...
My birthday always falls on a winter day. That cannot be changed, either. Mom and Dad made the most of my day with a cake, candles and gifts, of course, but parties at the lake or parties at all (since we were snowed in) were out of the question. As I grew up, married and had children, I came to accept the fact that I could not change the date of my birthday just because I wanted to but one year I rebelled. I threw a 40-something Hawaiian birthday party complete with Hawaiian food, beach attire and surf boarding (in the snow!) in my snowed in mobile home in Saskatchewan. It was one of the best birthdays ever! Here's a photo from that party.

My Hawaiian- themed birthday party
I remember three times that I was surprised on my birthday - once in Crooked River Saskatchewan, when friends arrived unannounced with cake and gifts (I was overwhelmed) and last year when my friend, Crystal, arranged a surprise birthday luncheon with Chilcotin ladies. The third time was for my 50th birthday. 

I, like everyone else, expected something on my 50th but since my boyfriend and I were in Hawaii, I thought I had avoided it. Not so. A week later, after we were home, and in the middle of a Vern Sapergia reining clinic, my friends caught me off guard. When I was spiritied away on a useless errand, my house filled with people. The party was on.

Vern and I on my 50th Birthday
Ten years later, on my 60th birthday, I celebrated with my Samoyed, Kirby, by myself in the Kootenays. Maybe I gave in to what I could not change - celebrating my birthday in the snow!

Kirby and I on my 60th birthday - in the snow!
 This year it's just Mischa and me and it's a quiet day. I'm reminiscing a little, thinking back to as many birthdays as I can remember. Many I have forgotten. I can't change the number of birthdays I've had and I can't change the date but, if I try, I might be able to change what I take away from each one. Until next year...