August 21, 2012 by Ellen Stimson in Uncategorized

This weekend was one of the really good ones. We have started a little literary salon up here in the north country. I invite writers I like and promise them a reading at one of the nation’s best independents, The Northshire Bookstore, comfortable lodging in a beautiful old rambling Vermont farmhouse, good food and smart conversation. This weekend Pam Houston came and we had a big fun party celebrating the book she published when she turned fifty called Contents May Have Shifted. It is a wonderful book written by a writer at the very top of her powers.

She says “Love gets bigger after forty. … After forty, love says, ‘Come one, come all.”

That seemed right to me and in celebration for my own fifty turn we all made this party together.

Friends from the Vineyard, Manahttan, along with beloved pals here and all our kids came and we stayed up late eating and drinking and talking about things like the nature of truth. We spoke too with our younger brood about safely crossing the minefields of sexual politics with confidence and kindness, dignity and respect. We considered work and contentment, risk and reward. It was in all ways satisfying sitting around with the people I love and who love me back. Pam was a lovely addition. Everyone hopes she will come back. Especially Oscar who has a new fan.

The next day the ones who were still here lay on a blanket in the garden. They sang to me and fed me cake and brought me wonderful new stuff to begin this new decade.  My mind and body and all my senses were tended.

My life is full up with generous smart people who have rich inner lives and a bunch of sweet funny animals who all help me on my journey. I will go to sleep on this the eve of the birthday that has caused such concentration counting my blessings instead of sheep.

I am just all kinds of lucky.


  • Lynn Silence

    I am so envious, the green skin may never fade! If you ever go to the post office, I sent you a birthday card, with little hope you’ll ever read it. I have started Pam’s new book and it is stimulating. I’m glad the reading/dinner/celebration turned out so well. I miss that fabulous bookstore. As you know, we have nothing even close.

  • beesknees

    Wow. I am going to get that book. I loved Sighthound and Waltzing the Cat. What a great way to celebrate. YOu are smart to make your own party your way. When I turned 50 my husband had a surprise party for me at a restaurant. He put a lot of effort into it and I wound up doing the social thing with too many people and I was stunned and out of sorts for days. I had hoped for an intimate B&B. I should have said it out loud or better yet just booked it!

  • Catalina

    I read it and loved it too! What a wonderful event you had. I am all kinds of jealous just like the Library Lady. I want to think of some stuff like this. You must have gobs of energy. I admire it

  • Abigail Mae Husdon

    Happy happy birthday. Your celebration sounded perfectly wonderful. I do not know this author but I will order her book from my library. That she heard of your soiree and came is reason enough. She must be of your tribe. as am I.
    Show us Oscar won’t you?

  • Veronique

    We don’t know enough. Do you know these people or do you just call them up? I remember that you were once in the book business so maybe you know them? If not you are a pretty neat ticket Mrs P.
    How does it work?

  • Carol

    I know that you make the best of whatever there is. There is always good stuff and bad stuff. You look where it makes you happy to look. You are not a pollyanna. We have heard when there has been trouble. But you have the good sense to pay attention when the universe sends you the good stuff.
    It is a good lesson. Happy Birthday Mrs P

  • ShellyB

    I want to live in Vermont and get invited. I give great smart party talk.
    Like Akin. Can we talk about him please? I saw your Twitter comment. It is like the Salem Witch Trials all over. They are only mad cause he said out loud what so many think

  • holly

    It is like the salem witch Trials all over again. I keep saying this too.
    we need to send money to Claire and not get complacent. It is a gift. But we better not squander it
    Happer Birthday Ellen!

  • Jerry Kraus

    I am a man so it is none of my business. Unless it is my kid. Then I think we should be able file a court order and say we want it and will raise it and stop the abortion from going forward.
    Sounds like a good party. And now we will move the conversation over here

  • Sanford

    Happy Birthday old friend. Sounds like some party. Only you …

  • Maggie Lowe

    Akin is an idiot. The problem is he is just a mouthier idiot than paul Ryan. They are essentially the same. I just sent Claire a check. I will send her one every month from now til the election. We have got to win this election

  • Terry Matthews

    That party sounds fab. I love you on Twitter and now i think I will love you here.
    How did we get on Akin? Akin Ryan Romney…all the same. Let’s show them what a whole bunch of women’s bodies can do!

  • Cara Morgan

    I like peeking in here. I read this three times. It speaks to me. Wow. What a party. Are all your parties like this? I remember reading once about the drive in movies on the side of your house. You use your imagination to dream up fun things and then you actually do them. I can think of a lot of neat things to do but I just never manage to make them happen. I am too tired after work to do much other than daydream. But you are a good example of another way. I could do this, or if not exactly this, my own version. I LOVE this post

  • Jamie

    All kinds of lucky, indeed. As are we, who get to share in this journey, this intentional life, with you.

    “Love gets bigger after forty…”

    God, I sure hope so. I hope love gets bigger after 27, for that matter.


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