Donna C. Terrell

I Was Just Thinkin'

What Is It?


These are the guesses I got–

an aerial view of a mountain range


the Grand Canyon

Nope! This is frost and ice on the top of my car! Cool, huh? The swirls and patterns are amazing! I also sent this image to the local news weather guy, and it was shown on the air that night and in the newspaper the next day on the weather page!


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The Best Birthday Ever


Happy Birthday to me! October 16th was my birthday. I was in a real good mood as I wrote this. I am not the kind of woman who gets depressed on birthdays because of age. I think that’s stupid.  I remember the year we turned 30 and the letter I got from my cousin asking how I felt about it. I wrote her back—turn 30 or die at midnight. Today I got to thinking about birthdays past.

The first birthday in my conscious memory is little number 4. I had a party and some of the kids on the block came. I remember the cake and the candles, and that I got a purple sweater. That sweater totally stands out. It was the best birthday ever!

My first grade birthday, age 6, also was pretty cool. Kids from my class came to my party, and notably, Alfred. I had a crush on Alfred. He gave me a really cool gift. It was some kind of Bambi-in-the-forest thing. I remember that it had these little reusable sticker things that you could place in the forest wherever you wanted. I remember my little crush on Alfred abruptly ended when he threw up in class one day soon after. But my party was the best ever cause he showed up!

When I turned 8, I got a bike and a Spirograph for my birthday. I came home from school and my mother told me to look inside the garage. I opened the garage door and there was this red and white 3-speed bike with a banana seat! How cool was that! My father hooked it all up before he went to work. Best birthday ever!

When you’re a little kid, you always get the chicken leg. I was getting sick of those drumsticks. I wanted my father’s piece—the breast. So on my 9th birthday, my mother fried me a chicken breast! She also fixed me some rice, which I promptly drowned in butter and sugar. Best birthday ever!

I guess subsequent birthdays don’t stand out as much for various reasons—by my 10th birthday I had lost my sweet mother. I got gifts and stuff on birthdays, but as I write this and reflect, I feel like a whole decade of birthdays are lost. Hmmm…?

But by my 20th birthday, I was a popular college student, and I got accolades from everybody from my sorority sisters and the frat guys to the cafeteria ladies! I remember my phone ringing off the hook with well-wishes! My best friend Donna and her little sisters threw me a small party. The kitchen was decorated, and little Bridgette and Crystal had drawn pictures. It was just us, eating cake and ice cream. Best birthday ever!

I spent considerable time (years, actually—but that’s another post!) in a relationship with a man who had a quite the gift for giving gifts and planning dates. Friends were just as excited as I was to see what Boyfriend was going to do that year. On my birthdays, he would shower me with gifts and we would go to really nice restaurants and do cool stuff. One time he decorated his entire basement for me. There were balloons, confetti, streamers and a cake. Very romantic, and best birthday ever!

When I got engaged, I know my husband had some help in planning that particular birthday. (Maybe he consulted with Boyfriend.) He came over with balloons and Chinese food in tow and two really nice cards. We watched the Bears on Monday Night Football. They were losing pitifully. Just as he pulled out the ring and popped the question, the Bears started winning! Engagement and a big Bears win! Best birthday ever!

Today, I’m at work—thank God for a job! They’re bringing in pizza for lunch! (That has nothing to do with my birthday.) I feel great and I’m in the best shape of my life. I have a wonderful family and fantastic friends. I don’t take any of this stuff for granted. As I walk to work from the train everyday, I see the same down-on-their-luck folks that I’ve been seeing for years. God’s grace and mercy is awe-inspiring. Later I get to teach a Football for Ladies class. Getting paid to talk about football? How cool is that! I have no complaints. Best. Birthday. Ever.


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