By Mary Guenther – Warman, Sask.
Birthdays have always been very special to me. When I was about 11 or 12, I lived 1-1⁄2 miles from the country school I attended – to which I usually walked if the weather permitted.
My close friend, Alina, lived about 3 miles from the school and she’d also walk when the roads and weather were good, but she and her brother took the horse and buggy in inclement weather.
Her birthday was on May 23, a school day, and because she invited me, I was eager to attend her birthday party, but the distance was a disadvantage for me. Even if I walked with her, how would I get back to my house in the evening?
I approached my dad after I came home from school and persuaded him to pick me up after the party was over. So, with an enthusiastic attitude, I went to school the next morning to tell Alina that I could come.
It was an exciting day but I don’t remember whether we got any work done.
As soon as school was out, we started our 3 mile walk to Alina’s house. We stopped at 2 places on our way there so Alina could pick up her birthday gift and another friend joined us.
We kept on walking until we reached her home. I’d never been to her house before so it was all new to me. When we entered the home, Alina’s mother greeted us warmly and said there was another surprise for her and out jumped her little cousin from behind the door. He came to celebrate her birthday too.
There were more of her friends from the neighbourhood who joined us and we had a wonderful time. All too soon my dad was there with our Model-A Ford to pick me up.
It was a birthday party that was very precious to me and I wanted Alina to promise me to come to my birthday party too which was in August during the summer holidays.
Our activities were most usually done together, even though we weren’t in the same grade. School came to an end and summer holidays began. I didn’t get to see Alina during the holidays because of the distance between us but as my birthday drew nearer I was wondering if Alina would remember the promise she made to come to my birthday party.
My cousin from just a quarter-mile across the pasture came and another cousin who lived close to the school also came and we enjoyed our time together but I was thinking of my friend wondering, would she come?
As I looked up, I saw a horse and buggy coming along our driveway. It was Alina. She hadn’t forgotten!
How my heart was thrilled to see her come for my birthday. The joy was just as great as when I went to her birthday.
There were years when we drifted farther apart but in the last years we’ve gotten in touch again and I’m hoping that we’ll be able to move into the same apartment block where she lives so we can share our last years on earth together again.