Today is my born day anniversary. Many years ago on August 9th I was born, and my parents happily named me Xenia Cecilia. From that day forward, my life has been a very interesting succession of experiences. It certainly has never been dull. I am quite sentimental by nature, and on my birthday I tend to get especially misty eyed as I look upon the years of my life that have already gone by. I remember the day the picture of me above was taken by my father. I remember very well my mother getting me all bundled up in my snowsuit (it was red) so that my father could take me out to play. This was during my first Christmas in the United States. My family lived in an apartment building directly across from this park and playground. As a matter of fact it was in full view from our living-room and kitchen windows.
As I look at that picture I am fascinated at how easy it is to entertainment people when they are little. I was so happy just climbing up on this thingy and sliding down. When I reached the bottom I turned around to climb back up and do it all over again, and again, and again. That is what joy looks like when you are a child. When you are a child you simply live in the moment and the world is there for you to enjoy. For a long time I did not have any sense of time passing by. A week was no different from a month or a year. I never kept track of how old I was, so I always had to ask my parents how old I was on each birthday until I was about 6 or 7. It just was not important to me, and did not mean much, but I did know that when I reached a certain age I would be considered grown up.
This picture of me on the swing got a little damaged when I tried to lift it out of an old album that it was glued into. Back in the day many photo albums were the scrapbook type, and you had to glue the pictures onto the pages. Anyway, this is the same playground across the street from where we lived.
In this picture I was 5 years old. I was little tall for a 5-year-old, so my parents thought I was going to be very tall. Instead I stopped growing at just slightly under 5’6″. My sister who is 9 years younger than I am is over 6 feet tall. In this picture my family was visiting some cousins I had in Pleasantville, New Jersey. I loved visiting them from Brooklyn. In those days Pleasantville was a very tiny town with few people. There were no tall buildings and homes had front porches. It felt like I was visiting Mayberry where Opie and Aunt Bea lived. I so much-loved my growing up years. Life was so wonderful and carefree. We only had 13 channels to watch on TV. Every Sunday we watched the Ed Sullivan Show. It was the only night of the week I was allowed to stay up past 8:30pm. A bag of potato chips was only a nickel. It was 20 cents to ride the subway when I came to America. All stores were closed on Sunday, so the streets were deserted on that day . The only thing you left your house to do on Sunday was to go to church. After that you returned home and it was family day. Malls did not exist. Some telephone numbers started with letters of the alphabet. Guys did not walk around with their underwear showing. My $5.00 a week allowance covered the price of my favorite teen magazine and a few slices of pizza. I would not change being born when I was born for anything in the world. Everything about the good old days were not good, but most people stressed less and enjoyed life more. Adults could pay their rent or mortgage with only one week’s paycheck ,and save more than enough to go on family vacations every year. It was a time before genetically modified foods existed and big corporations sending jobs overseas in order to put more money into their pockets. Space exploration was in full swing and very exciting. You could buy a house for $30k, and a brand new car for $6k. I remember my father paying $125.00 a month for our 7 room apartment and it is huge. Those were certainly the days of wine and roses.
You should be familiar with this photo of me since it is on my “about Xenia” page. This photo was taken in April 2012. I really need to update my photo. I am however, no longer fond of posing for pictures. When I was younger I LOVED POSING for pictures. Now a person has to BEG me to do it.
I have been home all day. I spent my birthday covering the few gray hairs in the front with henna this morning, and then doing some house cleaning. I am not complaining too much about the gray hairs. Compared to many people I started getting gray hair late in life. The gray hairs “problem” did not start for me until about four years ago. I only have to henna the front for now. Henna turns gray hair red, which I do not care for on me, so I have to put indigo in my hair after I rinse out the henna. It is a messy and long process, but I am not ready for gray hair. I still have very smooth skin, so I just think I would look weird with the gray hair. I do have a friend who has very smooth skin too, and she has been gray since she was 17. She looks absolutely GORGEOUS with it though. Her hair is thick and white, and her skin tone is darker than mine. The contrast is stunning!
I want to thank Ann Marie for the lovely birthday flowers that she sent to me. They are so beautiful and are now gracing my dining room table. Blogging has connected me with so many wonderful people, and I am so grateful to all of YOU.