Most years, for my birthday, my in-laws send a gift check. The one stipulation they place on it (besides, you know, “cash it sometime this year, please!”) is that I use it for non-essentials. Most years, I hang onto it for a while, enjoying the feeling of it burning a hole in my pocket. Until I spend it, the opportunities seem limitless, and that, in itself, is a gift.
This year is a bit different, however. By the time the check arrived, I had a fair number of possibilities on my list. Even so, they are proving to have their own anticipatory pleasure built into them.
The first gift was a no-brainer. I’ve been waiting to buy local author, Heather Lende’s new book, Take Good Care of the Garden and the Dogs (ask at your local bookstore) since it came out this spring. This is one they will wholeheartedly approve. Dad, a published poet, and Mom met Heather at a reading of her first book, If You Lived Here I’d Know Your Name. I’m glad to have the book on my shelf, but I’m trying to finish two or three other books I’m currently reading before I get to it. With all the other stuff I’m up to lately, who knows when I’ll get to it?
I recently learned about Bruce Springsteen’s upcoming CD, The Promise (check your local music store, if you’ve got one). This is a really big deal to Springsteen fans like me! His Darkness on the Edge of Town, very important to me since high school, produced two extra CDs worth of music that didn’t “make the cut” till now. The extra songs from that recording session are legendary. I heard some of them on the satellite radio Springsteen channel while I was visiting Gustavus, and they’re great!
Loreena McKennitt, another favorite artist, will release a new CD, The Wind That Shakes The Barley on the same day. Both of these will be released sometime mid-November, so I’ll have to wait further for these. Anticipation!
I also bought another CD, which, while available now, won’t be heard until later this year, because it’s Christmas music. Anticipation again!
Inevitably, I will always spend some part of the gift on an “essential,” since my wants never seem to be that many. This year I’ll probably buy a pocket flashlight I’ve had my eye on. That decision has yet to be made.
Oscar Wilde once quipped, “The suspense is unbearable—I hope it lasts!”