I showed up at Taberna del Gallo for work as usual on Sunday - no reason I shouldn't just because it was my birthday after all - and was completely surprised by a party in my honor. I'm a little slow on the uptake - or maybe I can be excused by the interest several patrons showed in my recently released debut novel, but the fact that two couples I call friends just happened to be hanging out in the tavern didn't tip me off. Neither did the fact that both the men who work the tavern were on duty when usually it's just the one on a Sunday afternoon. Even when I spotted Jenny, who manages the place, I hurried after her to tell her something and it was only then that I discovered a party all laid out on the patio. It's amazing how single-mindedly blind I can be at times. There were all the usual accoutrements of a birthday party; good food, cake and ice cream, gifts and photos of course. One of my favorite musicians was there to play and my favorite pirate stopped by to wish me a happy day as well. What a lovely way to mark the passing of years (even when one might wish to slow them down.) I didn't get much work done, but no one seemed to mind. It turned out to be one of my best birthdays ever, but then, the folk who were there are the best ever. Thanks to Jenny, who I suspect organized it all, to Josh who picked out the perfect cake and always makes my Sundays fun, to Joel for the music, to Bill, Hazel, Bob, Ned, Greg and Reenie for setting aside part of your busy weekend to be there and to everyone else who stopped by to wish me a Happy Birthday. I love you all.