I love April - always have (the fact that I have an April birthday might have something to do with that), but my appreciation for the month has grown since moving to the Fort. There is a rhythm to April in our city that I find tremendously satisfying.
The Main Street Arts Festival always falls within a few days of my birthday, taking the place of Round-Up. For those unfamiliar with the idiosyncracies of undergraduate life at the University of Texas, Round-Up is sort of like homecoming, but it's held in the fall instead of in the spring, and it usually coincides with a baseball game rather than a football game. In other words, it's like Homecoming Bizarro World. Homecoming is kind of a non-event at UT and has been that way for years. How do I know this? I co-chaired homecoming the first year that the Texas Ex-Students' Association attempted to bring back the fall tradition. The phrase "pulling teeth" comes to mind. Oh, well - looked good on my resume.
Instead, we had Round-Up. Fraternities threw huge parties on both Friday and Saturday nights and, as luck would have it, most of my birthdays in college fell on the weekend, meaning that at some point in the evening whatever band was playing would serendade me with the birthday song, and a bunch of people who I barely knew would sing along. (I vaguely recollect a Sunday birthday. That was the best birthday, because the band struck up "Happy Birthday" for me at the stroke of midnight.
Also as luck would have it - the birthday that DIDN'T coincide with Round-Up Weekend was - wait for it - my 21st birthday. That one fell, with a thud, on a Monday. Ever been to Sixth Street in Austin on a weekend while school is in session? Pretty hopping, right? Okay, imagine Sixth Street as a Western ghost town. That's Sixth Street on a Monday. Although we ended up celebrating the following weekend, I was bound and determined to have a (legal) drink ON MY ACTUAL BIRTHDAY, so three of my best (already legal) friends stepped up to accompany me to the Ghost Town after our respective sorority chapter meetings. We had drinks at a bar with a rooftop fire fountain (a bar the name of which I cannot remember, notwithstanding that it was the center of the Sixth Street universe at the time, and I can't find evidence of it on the Internet - two signs that I have done gotten OLD). We considered taking in the one live-music show that was scheduled ON A MONDAY - "A Night with Chris de Burgh." You know, the guy that sang "Don't Pay the Ferryman" and . . . "Don't Pay the Ferryman." We decided that that was too pathetic. So we stayed at whatever-the-name-of-the-bar-was, and one of my friends got a little too intoxicated (that, and/or the warmth of the fire fountain proved to be too comforting) and took a little nap on the wrought iron patio table. I have a picture of her with the grill marks on her cheek. The remainder of my 21st birthday Monday was spent ministering to Grill-Faced Girl. Fortunately, I thought it amusingly ironic that she got drunk on my 21st birthday, and since she was a funny drunk, I considered her performance part of my birthday present.
So now Main Street Arts Festival marks my birthday. Also marking my birthday: the annual Haltom's Jewelry sale. I'm fairly sure that the Haltoms scheduled the sale to coincide with Main Street (and the attendant throngs of shoppers), but I choose to think that it's all for me. And the Haltom's folks have made some sales to my husband during sale-slash-birthday week, to be sure.
I saw the Mary Haltom's sale sign when I was driving down Hulen last weekend, heading for Hobby Lobby and Michael's, and, again, I was comforted by the rhythm of things. The Haltom's sale begets my birthday, which begets Main Street, which begets Race for the Cure, which begets the Junior Woman's Club golf tournament and after-party, which begets my best college friend's birthday, and before you know it it's the first week of May, which means Mayfest, and at that point you can just smell summer vacation approaching.
My best college friend's birthday was the reason for my Hobby Lobby/Michael's pilgrimage. I am helping throw her a Fort Worth-centric 40th birthday party (she lives in Austin now, but she hails from these parts, so she is having two parties), and in connection therewith I needed to procure (among other items) paint, rhinestones, mulberry paper flowers, bandannas and lollipop sticks. I promise that that list is internally cohesive but will wait until another post (after-party) to prove it to you.
The lollipop sticks were a multipurpose purchase. Last Sunday was the JWC Easter tea, and my contribution to the food table was "Spinach-Mushroom Lollipops." What are Spinach-Mushroom Lollipops? They are what results when you are challenged to come up with a food item to represent the song "Lollipop," and you want that food item to be a savory rather than a sweet, so you make a batch of spinach balls and stick lollipop sticks in them.
Like Pete Schweddy, I'm kind of famous for my balls. But my balls have spinach in them.
Added bonus that Easter is in April this year. And double bonus that it is in late April (seriously, how did THAT happen?). This means that we can participate in multiple Easter-related activities (JWC Easter tea, TCU alum Easter egg hunt, and Ridglea Country Club Easter egg hunt) that typically fall right on top of each other. I predict that the kids will come down from their sugar high at some point in mid-June . . . .