Words by Mary Alayne Long
Photo by Rick Long
It seems a bit odd to be writing about my fiftieth birthday. Not because it didn’t turn out at all as I planned but rather because I don’t feel fifty. Not in the usual way people say that but in the way that I really, truly don’t even feel like I’ve been on this earth for that long. It seems like yesterday when I was at Cleburne County Elementary School planning my next big birthday party at Sunshine Skate Center. It’s crazy to me that I’ve been married nearly thirty years. It seems so odd that my children are grown. I feel so very young and happy and energetic and grateful and just overcome with joy filled thoughts. I drive a snappy car. My husband and I dance in the kitchen nearly every night. I’m not miserable or bitter or jealous about anything.
Old people don’t make statements like that. And fifty is old. Or at least old-ish.If you know me, you know that I’m full of advice. I try to only hand it out when asked but sometimes it comes out anyway. I know a little bit about a lot of things and can’t really claim expertise in any one area—except maybe Home Training. However, I can tell you that in my half century on this big blue ball I’ve learned that life is pretty darn simple. It’s nowhere near as complicated as we try to make it. Love Jesus. Do good things. Laugh at yourself. That’s about all it takes. Truly. I can also easily say that if you’re not using your life to help others in some way; you’re not using your life.
As I’ve walked down the pathways God has put in front of me I can tell you there’s nothing like the joy you will be filled with when you help people. It is for that reason I planned for over a year to host a huge fiftieth birthday party/fundraiser with one of my favorite non-profits in mind. Sponsors were lined up. I had scouted locations. We were narrowing it down between a chili cook-off or a bloody mary festival and it was going to be spectacular. AND it was going to raise a TON of money for Ruby’s Rainbow. Then 2020 went to hell in a handbasket and here we are….. Plans change. But life goes on.
The good news is, over the last year I’ve added a couple other favorites to my list. Sandal Gap Studio and The Brett Boyer Foundation will be joining Ruby’s Rainbow in the Fabulous Fiftieth Fundraising Festival that’s taking place via my Instagram page from February 6th through the 12th and if everyone who sees this gave even one single dollar just think of what we could do! And of course, I’ll be giving away lots of lovely gifts donated by some really lovely people each day. I mean, it’s not really a party if there aren’t any party favors.
So be sure you’re following @thealabamahousewife on Instagram so you don’t miss a thing. I promise I’ll love you forever if you’ll open your heart and your pocketbook to help these three non-profits that help so many others. Trust me, it will make you feel better than eating even the best birthday cake—and you won’t have to worry about the calories!