January 28 is both the coldest, most god-forsaken day of the year...and my birthday.
I was born in Toledo, Ohio, in the middle of a snowstorm. The guy who helped me out was, no kidding, Dr. Bills. The omens weren't good, I must admit, but I've made it to 36. There is still some breathing room before the big four-oh (which is also the year Ellie will become a teenager).
At birthdays I like to take stock of aspirations and expectations. We had a Superman-themed birthday cake (which was cool). I had asked for--and received--presents that I'll use on my summer road trip down the Santa Fe Trail: hiking shoes, digital voice recorder, maps and books. Ellie goofed around, rearranging the numbers on my cake to read "63" insead of "36." We had a great time.
But if 36 is a waymark, what is it to me? Looking at the picture above, I'm heavier than I'd like to be, but with more hair than I expected to keep. My three kids are beautiful, simply beautiful, and my bride is still as gorgeous as she was the day I married her.
It's good to be here at 36, I guess.