The day started off like most with a few minor wrinkles. I think the term wrinkle is appropriate for this blog as it involves the passing of another year and a new crooked number is posted on life’s scoreboard.

The first few texts I received yesterday morning were from very dear friends reminding me of just how many candles this cake would require. You may have already heard me say this … “If I had another candle, I’ll need to have 911 on standby” … that being said the day itself was enjoyable.

You may remember me blogging months back about the importance of birthdays in the house. Holidays can come and go, but Bonnie is a true believer in the celebration of one’s birthday and if you happen to be lucky enough to be her husband you’re normally in for a surprise or two.

All week long the girls have been asking what I’d like to receive, and my response was repeated with the same response: “The Bruins game, some pizza and some beer” … I’m fortunate each year to have a Bruins (Boston) hockey game on my birthday. I was even more fortunate to attend a Bruins/Canadiens game live at the old Garden one year on my birthday. A true surprise that night was realizing it was also the Boston Garden’s birthday. Now 3500 miles away from the Hub of New England makes that possibility a true long shot.

As I was driving home yesterday, my childhood friend Patrick called me with his wishes and we shot the breeze for thirty minutes or so, all laughter – every time we talk it’s an amusing tale down memory lane. It’s strange as we converse now – where the details of our recklessness are not as sharp as the day we created them which can only mean one thing … we’re both getting older.

I walked into the house to be greeted with a pile of birthday cards from my loving daughters and wife, we watched the local news and I grabbed the remote to turn on the Bruins game. Perfect.

Bonnie mentioned something about a 7:PM reservation and I told her we are okay with just staying in for the evening, ordering some Mary’s Pizza and watching the remainder of the game. Yes it’s my birthday – but this was not happening. The guessing game began as we pulled out of the driveway and headed into the wet and wild weather we’ve become accustomed to here in Sonoma County – it has arrived. When Bonnie stated she had made reservations I knew immediately we weren’t heading to The Hideaway. I love my wife very much, and while equipped with the knowledge very few restaurants here in Petaluma require a reservation the guessing game became much easier.

As the hostess at Cucina Paradiso opened the door and welcomed us in we took our stools at the bar to enjoy a cocktail or two, shake off the dust of the day and settle in. This is nice. To watch my youngest daughter, in all her elegance as she develops into a beautiful girl, while seated next to my wife enjoying the juices of the local vineyard – what more can I guy ask for? Celebrating a birthday with this group is always an event particularly in November (three birthdays).

I suppose it was appropriate for the evening to end with three Italian waiters singing “Happy Birthday” and presenting their ever impressive tiramisu with one candle and a shot of tequila to seal the deal.

Tequila and tiramisu, a NY Jets loss, a Bruins victory and my lovely girls. Fifty what? Bring it on!

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