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Turning forty

I think it was at christmas holidays when I decided to have a birthday party when I'll turn forty in the summer. Not only because I'm happy to be alive, but mostly because I'm so glad to have wonderful friends. I also decided to have a "Birthday tour" - first having a small party at my place, then going to Naantali and to Helsinki to meet the relatives and friends there. Also, I was born in Helsinki, so it pretty much makes sense to go there to celebrate my birthday. So, I told my friends that they are welcome to my place, and that I'm also coming to Helsinki myself.

Two days before the party I didn't know for sure how many of my friends are actually coming to my place. Maybe six, I thought. My son, and Sami and Tuukka came already the night before. And two of my friends came in the morning. Soon we had the whole yard full of cozy preparations; we did the ground oven, we built a garden table and benches out of wide planks, we peeled potatoes, smoked fish and meat - and when my neighbours came, we had everything ready on the table. After the neighbours left we prepared some more food and again put everything ready for there were more of my friends coming. In the evening we had twelve people gathered around the table, a lot of food made of self-grown and local ingredients, stories told and a lot of laughing.

Sami and Tuukka started to play a DJ set, and people were dancing on the yard. As soon as I started to dance I realized that I've been drinking more alcohol than was my intention =) But even when drunk, a little voice in my head keeps on reflecting on my own behavior. I said to myself: "Look, Erkka, you have had a habit of being anxious to take care of people visiting you, spending so much time doing the dishes and heating the sauna and preparing places to sleep at, so that you sometimes forget to enjoy. And on its worst the anxiety comes with a feeling that if you lose your control then something bad will happen. But now look at yourself - you are all drunk but still able to dance, so just let it go and leap around. Sure the other people will take care of themselves". And that was what happened, people prepared beds, heated the sauna, danced, took care of the food, bathed and danced and enjoyed. Ah, and late in the evening I fetched the bottle of vintage rum we got from an ukrainian friend. We poured a shot for everybody and raised our glasses for people of Ukraine, for Peace and for Friendship. (later on my friends took care of me, seeing that I safely reach my bed.)

Well, thinking of it afterwards, I really did enjoy the day when we were working together, and the morning with black coffee and friendly talking. I know that I would've enjoyed the dancing a lot more if I weren't that drunken. But I don't regret - it was a good party anyhow =)

After resting for a couple of days I left for Naantali. My son came with me, we met my mother and first we visited Livonsaari, a countryside place where people are building ecological houses. I remember the times when they started to plan that project, and I know some people living there, so it was extremely nice to see the place. Many of my cousins live in Naantali, so I had thought that it would be nice to see them, but I haven't made any strict plans. So, when we returned from Livonsaari, my mother suggested we take a walk to the old town of Naantali. I suspected they had arranged something with my cousins... We walked along a beautiful path near the sea, and picked a fine restaurant near a small harbour. As soon as I entered the restauran hall, I was met with people singing "Happy Birthday to you, Dear Erkka!" - many of my cousins and their families were there waiting for me. We ate and discussed together, which was nice.

Helsinki was rather pleasant as well - one of my old friends played a beautiful piece (containing improvisation) with cello, we had food and philosophical discussions and casual chatting. And later on in the evening we were in a pub, drinking some more alcohol, telling jokes and laughing a lot.

It was such a nice birthday tour - thank you very much for everybody!

EDIT: One little detail. The day after my party some of my friends told that in the night they saw my roosters leaving the yard, obviously going out to visit neighbours. At this time of the year sun rises at around 3:30 AM, and for the roosters that is a valid time to start the day... And the next day I woke up at 6 AM, one of my neighbours called me saying the the roosters are at his yard. Luckily he was not angry at me, he just wanted to tell that it was nice to wake up to the sound of the roosters, and that he gave them food. Oh my, I thought to myself that it is not very good if they develop a habit of walking around the local road, visiting neighbours early in the morning. That way they are likely to get themselves eaten by a fox, sooner or later. So, instead of keeping them enclosed in a small area, I felt that maybe it is best to finish them off. As I anyhow can't keep them for winter, I don't have a warm room for them, so their autumn just arrived early. Now I have two cleaned and skinned roosters in my freezer. Maybe I should have an another party later on in the summer, so we can eat the meat together with my friends...

"I'm so glad to see you all here"
"I'm so glad to see you all here"
friends
friends
dancing
dancing
and the party goes on...
and the party goes on...
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Comments

Happy birthday man! You make it sound as if it was great time for all. I spot some ginger pale ale...

I'm sure the roosters will be put to good use! I wish I had something to give.

Thank you Tom!

I think it was my son who brought the ginger ale. Heck, in a strange way I'm so glad to be forty and having a party with my adult son =) Rock on!

Happy birthday Erkka!Can't imagine a 40-year-old man so handsome like you!

The house and the grass is beautiful.Do most Northern Europeans so rich like that?

And, An adult son...Eh, strange, it make me generate some weird guesses.

No need to make guesses - if I'm 40 and in August my son will be 21, anyone can do the math =) See, I've always been a rebel, willing to break all the expectations. I never wanted to enter "the system", I only wanted to have a small house in the woods and a little family of my own - it felt like an impossible dream, but not willing to give up, I threw myself to that direction. And didn't regret for a second. Being a father has always been the best thing in my life.

I guess my income is about the average of lower-paid working class. It is just what to do with ones little money - I was lucky to find this old little house in need of renovation. The house and the yard cost me about 20% the price of a modern house. With the money I paid one could get maybe a small non-heated storage room in a city. But I feel rich with everything I got =)

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