Today is my birthday.

Yes, my birthday is Halloween. When I was younger I used to wonder if I was a trick or a treat? I finally asked my mom and she said, “of course you were a treat…you were another girl to help me!” So that settled it for me.

I was born in a small hospital near Elizabethtown, PA where my family lived on a small farm. My father was working in the state of Maine and because of his job he did not get home until after I was born. He always felt badly about that. I am the 8th child in my family and only the second daughter. So my memories are of our life in rural Pennsylvania.

First grade

Birthdays growing up were always full of family. And Halloween wasn’t celebrated too much not like today. I do remember begging my mom to let me go trick or treating one more time when I was 12. I did! We kids would use bed sheets and old clothes to dress up and then we would go walking around to the neighbors. It was safe and fun.

This is a family picture taken when I was in 5th grade. If you aren’t sure which one I am…I am wearing the headband.

The first time that I remember having a birthday party was when I was 16. And I actually had two parties. My best friend from high school gave me one with my church friends and my sister gave me one with my school friends. That was particularly a treat for me!

After I married Kent, he did something very special for my birthday that first year. I had to go to work that day. I wanted to do something special and Kent acted like he wasn’t too sure how things would go. After work, he said he had a surprise. He took me to some friends house where we had a nice meal together and then he took me into their garage. Well, he had made me a cedar chest. I had told him that I’d always wanted one but our family was too poor to get one. It was very special that he made me one! I had it until we moved into our RV house and now our daughter has it. I treasure that gift. It was indeed a gift of love.

One year when we lived in Brazil Kent had bought me some beautiful gold earrings. They had three little hearts on them, one for Kent and each of the kids. Very sweet!

When turning 40, my girlfriends in PA had a party at a restaurant for me. Those friends have been good friends for life. Four of them have been my good praying friends for over 30 years. I treasure them all.

Close to my 40th birthday.

The day of my 50th birthday I will never forget! Kent and I were on our way from northern Colorado to visit a college in eastern Wyoming when a freak early snow storm hit that area. We were on the highway and in Cheyenne we saw all the big trucks getting off the road. Kent said I think we should too and I readily agreed. It was ice all the way on the highway. We were both glad to be anywhere but on that road. It was good to be in a motel that night for sure. Even the next morning when we proceeded to the college there was still much ice on the roads.

BUT what I didn’t know was that Kara, Kent and our church in Kansas City were planning a huge birthday party for me a week later once we got back to Kansas City. I was so shocked when they surprised me. I think you can tell. (I’m the one in the middle with my hand on my face….)

My 50th BD surprise

My cake.
50th BD cake

I was having a hard time because we were getting ready to move to Denver. We had lived in KC for 9 years and it was very hard to leave. So the whole church was invited. I felt so encouraged by all those dear people. It was a very special “present” to me.

On a sober note, this year I am turning the same age my dear sister was when she passed away. She was 11 years older than me and I have now caught up with her. It is a bit sad and weird to be her age. Also with my mom passing into heaven this summer, I feel a part of me is gone too. I miss Esther and my mom so much and this moment made me realize it that much more.

Here is a picture with Esther, my mom and me and Esther’s daughters. This was taken in 1988 right after we returned from Brazil. We were all gald to see each other again.

So this year while we were in Oregon, Kent took me for a special “early birthday” treat. It was a corn maze! I had just told him I wanted to do one someday. Well, you have to do a corn maze where they grow corn! So we had to do it early, as there are no corn mazes in Phoenix, Arizona. Here is the picture of the maze we did and the web address as well.

In looking at this maze the lines are the trail…so it shows how intricate it is. It was a fun day and I had not realized how intricate and confusing those mazes could be. It took us 2 hours to go through it.

Kent and I went out to eat on Sunday with some good friends here in Phoenix to celebrate this year. We all had stuff to do on Monday so that was fine with me.

We went to Outback Steakhouse with a gift card. I got the gift card from the staff at camp SAMBICA for working for them this summer. So it was fun and nice to remember those friends too.

And this morning, Kent and I went out to eat at Denny’s for breakfast. It is free on your birthday! We will also join our church’s for their “Trunk or Treat”event. That is where the church folk bring their cars and open the trunks which they have full of candy and decorated for Halloween. Some of the people dress up too.

Now I won’t tell you which year this is for me…some of you may be able to discern but I am holding out to allow for you to figure that out. But I do hope you have as good a day on your birthday as I had one on mine. Hopefully you are a treat to your family too! God has certainly blessed me with a loving husband, great children, family and many friends. I feel so grateful for the life that God has given me.

Love, Jan for the Roaming Reimers

PS For those of you who knew we struggled to get to Phoenix , God gave us a safe trip in. Thanks for caring and praying!

4 Responses to “Today is my birthday.”

  1. Nicolas Moseley Says:

    Happy birthday mom! I must say that Kara looks alot like your first grade picture!


  2. Mike Beldon Says:

    Hey Jan, HAPPY BIRTHDAY from both of us!! Really enjoy reading your blogs. The pictures are great, it’s almost shocking to realize how quickly time passes. So glad you made it back to Phoenix safely. Hope the RV is easily repaired, if Kent can’t fix it, it’s not fixable.


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