Instead of end times, Knoxville News Sentinel should have been covering a far more interesting story in Deerlodge, TN. Svetlana turned 39 on November 11, 2005. She is a woman of intrigue, great wit, beauty, and perhaps the most clever person I know.
Plans to become a U.S. Ambassador to Russia have been postponed so she can raise her daughter and a little sprout on the way, create and keep a beautiful home for the children and her husband, and carefully build a community college library.
The celebration of her birthday Friday included the following and more: a huge bonfire about which all the boy children asked repeatedly, "What else can I burn? Can I put more wood on? Are there any other items around the farm I can add to the fire?", hotdogs and veggie dogs, every kind of drink you can think of from juice boxes to wine, birthday cake, cookies, chili, something appley, chips.
All Svetlana really wanted for her birthday was a glass nice red wine. However, it's the one thing in her first trimester of pregnancy she could not have. She could only sniff the luscious bouquet of fermented grapes and sob. Unfortunately, morning sickness has been not limited to mornings, and she never tasted a single bite of the birthday cake either. I hope she found some consolation in the antique pale green mug with a spray of lavender painted on inside bottom of the cup which Helen and I had given her.
No one is going to believe she's 39 this year, because other people have ruined that age by lying to conceal their real age. Also, she truly doesn't show age. I've known her since we were 7th grade science lab partners, and she's long outgrown the awkwardness and torture of junior high chunky glasses and skin and bone, to become a svelte, graceful admirable woman. The striking sharp features of an angular chin and nose are softened by milky and clear skin while the nip of winter in the fall wind touches her cheeks and lips with deep red roses. She's known in her daughter's preschool class as "Anna's funky mama". The tiny flowers on her summer shifts and rich wool for cold weather accent her shabby chic classic style.
More than her pure and simple beauty, I love Svet's kind and thoughtful heart. She and Baryshnikov are the kind of folks who love and protect the dignity of those around them. Svetlana's welds her sharp wit to overcome natural discomfort of conflict, but she carefully and consciously avoids aiming at arrows at others. She's a hero to me. How could I be so lucky to call her friend?
Happy 39th Birthday, Svetlana. Here's to another 27 years of youth together. After that, we may call ourselves wise and not old.
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