band · celebrations · clarinet · Huntsville, AL

Happy Birthday

Today is my 56th birthday and what a good birthday I’ve had!  This may be my best birthday since high school when a group of my friends got together and painted a banner that said something to the effect of “The MCHS Band wishes Dorinna Dreier a Happy Birthday” and put it on the outside of a bus that was scheduled to take us to a band competition!  That has always been the gold standard of birthday celebrations!

This year, my birthday revolved around my clarinet!  I’m seeing a theme in what makes me happy on my birthday!  I started by going to a Kite Festival that was being held here in the Huntsville AL area.  A couple of clarinet players from the Huntsville Concert Band got together to play duets and trios in order to help inform the community about our band.  I was there from about 10:30 to 2:30 playing and walking around to see the other vendors.  It was music each of us brought from what we had at home so we were pretty much sight reading the music just for the sheer fun of playing.  I couldn’t have asked for something I would enjoy more on my birthday!

Then, at 2:30, I left to go to rehearsal for the Madison Clarinet Choir.  This was our first rehearsal in awhile and I certainly didn’t want to miss it!  My embouchure was a bit tired after playing the Kite Festival but we got such fun music and I’m so glad I went!

Once all my music obligations were complete, I picked up my youngest daughter and we went to eat at Mellow Mushroom – yum!  My oldest daughter was working and my son is in Auburn but I knew they were thinking of me as well.  Keegan actually called me to wish me a Happy Birthday; that meant so much to me as he is a quiet fellow and doesn’t like making phone calls.  Kaileigh called as well even though I didn’t hear my phone ring.  Happily, I saw her later in the evening when she got off work.  She brought me a clarinet book of solos that I have been wanting for months!  She doesn’t always like to hear me practice so I was really touched that she was supporting my favorite hobby!

Birthdays at 56 are so different from birthdays in my younger years.  When younger, I wanted to see who would remember my birthday and I would end up getting hurt when it didn’t seem as important to others as it was to me.  It took me some time to realize that with the busy lives that people lead, another person’s birthday is not necessarily the kind of thing that alerts their radar.  But if they know it is your birthday, they are always happy to send their best wishes your way!  So I don’t keep my birthday secret; I share it because I enjoy hearing the good wishes.  I feel that good feelings that are shared with others more than doubles those good feelings.  I never really understood that people want to help; they want to share in other people’s lives.  Age has given me perspective on walking a mile in someone’s shoes.  I’ve always believed in the goodness of others but now I find it easier not to assign feelings to others based on my life experiences…..

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