My birthday dawned bright and beautiful, shining with hope that I would get the best birthday present of all: internet in my house!

Getting internet when you live in what my late, lamented stepmother used to call “the back of beyond” in her rich, plummy voice with an accent like the Queen’s, is not a simple thing. You don’t just call the internet company and get it switched on. Here’s what you do (or at least what I did):

  1. Make appointment for internet guy to come out and see if there is a good tree to house the receptor.
  2. Get stood up by guy after waiting for two hours.
  3. Make another date and hope he shows up.
  4. Guy shows up on second try. I am favorably impressed by this, and he is favorably impressed by the size and quality of the redwoods surrounding my new house.
  5. Call a couple of tree climbers. Find one who is available on the same day as the internet guy, which happens to be my birthday. Fortunately I had already taken that day and the following day off from work.

My new landlord Danielle was also interested in getting the internet service, which is far superior to and less expensive than the satellite service she was currently suffering. Satellite internet in my experience is both expensive and crappy. What’s not to hate?

When the guys arrived, she pretty much took over. It’s her place and I could see she was used to running the show. The guys chose a tree and the climber went up to place the internet receptor. I later asked him how high he had to go and he said 120 feet, observing that that after 50 feet you’re going to die if you fall anyway so it doesn’t really matter how high you go after that.

The internet guy got Danielle hooked up first and then me. So I was back in touch with the outside world in time for dinner, which was bruschetta, salad, and penne alla vodka from Luna, along with some pink champagne in a pretty glass. It was a great birthday.

A YEAR AGO: A sad and tragic birthday.

FIVE YEARS AGO: Another birthday tinged with the shadow of loss. I just realized I will never see Yellow Dog again now that I moved. I will miss his sweet, old face. I still think he misses Schatzi. We all do.

TEN YEARS AGO: A pretty good birthday average.

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