Punxatawney Phil saw no shadow yesterday, noting spring will be on its merry way and I occasioned the final birthday of my fifth decade. Although a creature of the road, a wandering gypsy at heart, I am a man of ingrained habit. My life has fixed points of immovable behavior. Often my daily schedule seems neurotic to the point of inertia. So the tawdry activities began punctual and sequential much like any other morning. Taking in the essence of freshly ground beans, savoring their taste while mentally kibitzing with the cast of The Early Show. A few stretching routines prepared aging muscles to handle the morning bicycling stint. And then back to ‘the Rev’ to fetch the rest of the crew. As Robin pointed out on our morning walk, today was the first birthday in four years that I am tumorless, sans cancer. My wish was for no gifts. A man of my years is beyond items of a material nature. I relish experiences in exchange for possessions. Erin presented me with herself. Giving up a day of work, paying for a round trip ticket from New Jersey for a working class girl was quite the sacrifice to spend time with her Dad. Ryan, in turn, presented me with a half day at the Pocono Speedway, learning and then driving Formula race cars, a la the Indy 500. Robin then alerted me that her contribution was a Zipline Safari in southern Florida. Apparently on the day of my choosing, I’ll “zip” among the trees from platform to platform along a system of seven high-tension cables. They couldn’t have chosen more exhiliarating experiences. Near twilight, I grilled a few burgers while Robin prepared baked sweet potatoes. The dining experience ended with Jerry and Barb pulling up in their dually. Out they came with Diane and around the rig came Paul and Fran. From the front emerged C. Joe and Sandy, our next door neighbors, along with Dick and Carol, hosts of the Friday night “rivertales”. They all came as a surprise celebration. Barb retrieved a chocolate fudge cake from the truck as we all consumed massive amounts of senseless calories. I can forgive almost any crime if a great story is left in its wake.