A Birthday in the Age of COVID-19

As I wrote the title of this post, I thought about books like The Diary of Samuel Pepys, excerpts of which I read back in the Dark of Ages in my undergraduate years (Da Vinci was one of my classmates; that guy knew his way around a painting), A Journal of the Plague Year by Daniel Defoe, which I also read at some point, and Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez which I have not read, but probably will someday. Others have probably mentioned these books lately, particularly those by Pepys and Defoe, who wrote about the Bubonic plague back in the seventeenth century (though Defoe’s book was historical fiction).

So anyway, this is how I celebrated my birthday this past Sunday in these days of social distancing. First, my fellow island villagers threw a surprise birthday party for me in the video game Animal Crossing: New Horizons, which I’m playing on the Nintendo Switch Lite. I just wish my character had been allowed to change out of her night wear before the festivities began. Oh well. Back in college, birthday ambushes with me stuck in pajamas used to happen every year. But in these social distancing days, many people are using the game to have birthday parties, not just with NPCs (non-player characters, if you’re not into gaming but were curious) but with real-life friends who visit their islands to celebrate.


That was just one way of celebrating the day. Before I get to the rest of the Sunday festivities, let me add that the day before, friends dropped off breakfast, lunch, and dessert. There’s nothing like someone showing up in a mask to hand you a cup of coffee and a restaurant meal that says, “Celebrate good times, come on!” (By the way, the knight’s helm-looking hat on the sign in the first photo above is one I’ve worn while heading out in the world. The visor fits over my nose and mouth perfectly.)


Back to Sunday, I received a phone call from a friend (one of the pastors at church) who instructed me to come outside. Days earlier, she’d told me she wanted to drop something off, so not suspecting anything, I went out, expecting to see her standing by the front door. Instead, I was greeted by a line of people in cars honking their horns and shrieking “Happy birthday!” These are just a few.


So that’s how birthdays are celebrated in these virus days. I received some great gifts, part of the tradition of celebrating. Here are a few:



One of the above books was given by a friend who showed up with dinner on my birthday (not pictured due to having been eaten before I remembered that I needed to take a picture). The other came from my brother and sister-in-law. Speaking of books, one of the gifts I received that was not pictured was an Amazon card which I promptly used to purchase the book below, which is a must-have for the socially conscious person, especially parents looking to enhance their children’s understanding of classroom etiquette.

Why am I telling you all of this? Because you can receive what I received—a tradition around this blog. I can’t show up at your house even with a mask on to hand you a meal. But I can celebrate you, even if it’s not your birthday. So I am giving away TWO $25 Amazon cards or the rough equivalent at Amazon UK (easier to email).

That’s right:

Two $25 Amazon gift cards!

Comment below to be entered in the drawing.

Photos by L. Marie.

37 thoughts on “A Birthday in the Age of COVID-19

  1. Lately, I’ve seen so many first responders celebrating children’s birthday with parades, we’ve even had a few in our neighborhood. How great that your friends did the same for you, L. Marie. I’m happy you had a special day. You deserve, my friend! ❤

    • Thanks, Jill! What a lovely thing for first responders to do. It probably made their day to do that for the children. It so reminds me of the old stories we read when we were kids when fire fighters would take time to stop for a kid. Nice to see a return to that.

  2. You are LOVED, L. Marie, so evident in the birthday bashes you mention. You deserve being on the receiving end at least one day a year; you are such a giving person.

    I smiled reading that you ate your birthday dinner before you got a chance to take a photo of it: ha ha! Books, and plants, and food and a PARADE. Yay for you. May you have many more happy birthdays. By the way, if my name is drawn in the “lottery,” I’ll defer to someone else. (You blessed me recently with a crocheted meme, you remember!)

    • Thanks, Marian. I am grateful for all that God brought about on my birthday. It was a wonderful day!
      I had boiled eggs today. As I cracked them, I thought of your recent post. 😉

  3. Happy belated birthday. Looks like you had fun surprises. Been seeing the parade idea a lot. Yesterday, they had one for the fire chief who lives on our block. Complete with all the fire trucks, so the kids got a loud, fun show.

  4. I’m glad your birthday was special, our family loved honoring you in this small way. You will never know how important you have been in my life and the lives of all my family. We could never repay you enough for all you have done for us and meant to us over the years. Hopefully this will all be over soon and we can get back to having dinner together on a regular basis.

  5. Happy belated Birthday!
    Looks like you had a glorious day – both love-wise and weather-wise (not to be taken for granted in ChiTown for sure!!!!).
    Thanks for sharing the celebration with us here.

  6. Happy, happy birthday! A nice way full of good moments in which to celebrate your special day, L. Marie.

    Our granddaughter turned 10 in March and was treated to a birthday parade as well. She loved it and said it was a very good birthday.

    Before they were called first responders, back in the dark ages when I was in grade (elementary) school, we walked to school and back every day, coming home for lunch. Many of us walked past the firehouse (it was a long time ago when that is what it was called). There was often a fireman or two sitting on chair in front of the station. They would always say hello, mentioning our names, and on very good days they would give us a big, long pretzel.

    Take care, enjoy this new year ahead of you, and here’s to many more. Penny

    • Thank you, Penny!
      I also walked to school way back when. Back in the penny candy days! Sounds so Leave It to Beaver now. But that was life! We didn’t live close to a fire station. But they used to visit my elementary school days to teach us about fire safety.

      • Ahhh . . . I leaved those times and those pretzels were, indeed, penny candy. We’d collect pop bottles when they were glass and turn them in at the corner store (2 doors down from the fire stations) and buy candy. 🙂

  7. Oh Linda, I’m so glad that your friends and family found a way to celebrate you on your special day. They did this down our street with a firetruck for someone’s birthday on Monday. This makes me sad though, that we can’t give our loved ones a real hug for their birthdays.

    Anyway, I’m sending you a virtual hug for a belated happy birthday. I’m glad you’re staying well and getting some good eats from those who love you. 💗🤗

    • Thanks, Lori! 😀 I’m still enjoying the meals that friends delivered.

      I used to take hugs and other contact from people for granted. Social distancing has caused such a paradigm shift! Just hearing bird calls causes the tears to well up in my eyes. Such a spark of life!

  8. Special occasions during this time are difficult. We can’t do the “drawing together” that is so instinctive at times of great joy or sadness. It looks like you made the best of it – and that’s pretty much all that you can do!

  9. Happy Birthday! It looks like you had a good time, considering.

    [Do you like your Nintendo Switch Lite? I’ve thought about getting one, but am not a gamer. Are there games that aren’t violent on it?]

    • I did! Thank you, Ally!

      I love the Nintendo Switch Lite. It is $100 cheaper than the Switch because it can’t be hooked up to a TV. Same great graphics. I usually play games kids can play like Animal Crossing and Pokémon. They are around $59 each. Many adults are playing Animal Crossing, because it is such a stress-free game.

  10. Happy Birthday! I’m glad folks came up with creative ways of celebrating it. My daughter’s birthday was yesterday, and even though she had to stay at home, teaching her first graders online, the families put on a lovely celebration for her. I’ll tell her about We Don’t Eat Our Classmates, because she received a bookstore gift card too.

  11. I witnessed such a convoy of birthday greeters just this week, for one of two sisters who have recently moved into a flat opposite our house.
    And though I wished it you on FB, another ‘Happy Birthday’ to you! 🥳

    • Thank, Andy! 😀 Birthday parades seem to be the thing nowadays. I wonder if they will continue after the virus has passed. I hope so. Such a lovely thing to do.

  12. Happy belated Birthday, L. Marie! Sounds like you had a great day with all your friends despite the social distancing! Hopefully next year things will be back to normal, but I bet this is one birthday you’ll always remember. 😀

  13. Happy Belated Birthday, Linda! What wonderful friends you have! They drop off FOOD! Can’t get better than that 😉 (Although that drive-by parade sounds pretty special too.) Here’s to many more birthdays 🙂

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