It’s not every year that you celebrate a milestone birthday. My dear friend James decided to celebrate 50 in his own unique way. (You may recall Mr. Bowman from this post and the movie 300 post). Not only was his birthday a personal milestone, it also happened in a leap year, so he may not be as old as you think. Depends on how you count birthdays when leap years are involved.
James celebrated with two parties. One in Oregon at the Lone Oak Farm (where he currently resides) and another in Seattle with his closest friends. I attended both parties and did my best to embarrass my friend in an appropriate fashion. The Seattle trip was especially fond as we both journeyed down memory lane with old friends that we haven’t seen in years and dined at our favorite restaurants.
As a quick aside for all you photographers. All of these images were taken with my trusty Canon PowerShot. On to the photographs. This is the lone oak from which the farm draws its name. It’s inspired much conversation and many hours of contemplation. Trees are a lot like people, just ask James and you’ll see trees in a new way.
James has a great laugh. Hearty and robust. It rises above the chatter in any room and instantly makes you smile. A laugh so warm and genuine that you will do anything to hear James laugh.
Having spent most of my life in Seattle, it’s always a mixture of feelings to be walking the streets again. Familiar smells, even the quality of light is different there. This is the corner of a building in Ballard that I captured while walking with friends.
There is peace in your soul in the company of friends. Anne and James have shared many years of memories with me. Our Seattle weekend started with breakfast at Vera’s. A little restaurant, tucked in the heart of Ballard, it’s one of the few things that haven’t been touched by change in Seattle. It’s nice when the day slows down enough to be in the moment with friends at place that’s exactly as you remembered.
Anne has become quite the cupcake connoisseur in the past few years. After breakfast, we walked across the street to Cupcake Royale for a sample of their award winning Lavender cupcake. Typical Ballard sense of humor as seen in this sign. They also call their cupcake designers frostitutues. Think about it…
Anne was inspired to create her own red velvet cupcakes with a velvety meringue frosting while James and I sipped Irish Whiskey and laughed till our faces hurt.
Did I mention how great it is to hear James laugh?
Another aside…this is the only image that was NOT taken with my PowerShot. I was inspired with the quality of light streaming through the window of Anne’s townhouse and grabbed her Canon Rebel for my birthday portrait of James, au naturale (meaning no artificial light was used in the making of this portrait).
Happy Birthday James! It was great seeing old friends (Julie and Kevin, Tom, Anne, Steve and Suzanne, Pat and Linda) and share gourmet handmade pizza and lots and lots of wine and a tremendous backyard bonfire. My face and sides still hurt from all the laughter. We shared a rubbish pint of Guinness, but a very proper shot of Irish Whiskey. In the end we were left with great memories and the knowledge that this is what life is all about and the wisdom to do it over again.