Friday, January 04, 2008

slide show

The above picture was taken just shy of 42 years ago. How can I be so certain as to its date? It was snapped in the living room of my childhood home, shortly after I was born (I'm the one sporting the swaddling wrap). Today is my 42nd birthday.

I have no great insight to share. No deep, meaningful wisdom culled from my four-plus decades on Earth. No sage advice to impart. Just a little then-and-now slide show. Above, from left to right, are my sister Cathy, and brothers Gerry, Chris, and Sean. Below, current pictures of each, in order oldest to youngest.

This is Gerry. He's lived in California for almost 30 years. He's an adaptive physical education teacher, and he climbs anything vertical (hence the rock in the background). He's game to try anything -- surfing, cycling, astronomy, geocaching, drumming, spelunking... you name it, and if he hasn't already tried it, he probably will.

This is Chris. He bought the house next door to the one we grew up in, and has been there making extensive home improvements and raising a family ever since. He's a database administrator for a truly massive corporation, and spends his spare time as a Boy Scout leader and watching any vehicle that comfortably goes 200 miles per hour. He and Shirley will celebrate their 21st anniversary this summer.

This is Sean. Also one who stayed relatively close to home (a mere five miles away from the homestead), he is a science/health teacher and athletic trainer for a rival high school (though he still has the good conscience to be conflicted when they play our alma mater). His kids keep him elbow deep in activities like camping, maintaining their personal wildlife preserve, and rooting on the Red Sox and Patriots. He and Debbi celebrated their 25th anniversary last summer with an Alaskan adventure.

This is Cathy. She's the first in the family with two kids in college and the third on the cusp. Cathy lives a bit further from home base, in a house that bears remarkable resemblance to our Grandma Cox's house (right down to the attic accessed through a miniature door in a bedroom, and a cold shed behind the kitchen). She manages a large call center for an insurance company, and is very involved in her church community which, of late, is working to acclimate several families of Congolese refugees to life in very cold New Hampshire. Cathy and Tim will celebrate their 23rd anniversary this year.

Words can't really describe how much I love these people. And not just because their my siblings and I'm obligated to say that. I guess the difference is that I not only love them, I really like them.

With that, I need to do some work for the store before I go to bed. Happy birthday to me. One more shot. Wasn't I cute?

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