Beyond my favorite Bright Eyes song, “Road to Joy” (based on “Ode to Joy,” by some other music guy), this is also an Ode to Joy.
Because it is Joy’s bday! She was born in 1958. You do the math. It’s already making my head hurt. It’s 60 something or something.
I know you didn’t think Joy was a day over 32. Because she isn’t.
Here is the Ode to Joy.
Today is the shortest, darkest day of the year and it’s the first day of winter and it’s very cold. I don’t know how Joy ended up being born in this day because I’m sure she hates everything about it. Also that it’s so close to Xmas and an Xmas bday means less attention on your actual bday and that is truly a travesty.
Joy was born in the cozy New Jersey river town of Lambertville. Who the heck knows what it was like down there back then but now it’s super cute and filled with art galleries and restaurants that they write about in the New York Times. So therefore it’s expensive AF.
One night when Joy was a small baby she was crying a lot and wouldn’t go to sleep. She was demanding that she be removed from her crib and taken downstairs. A few minutes after she was removed from her crib and taken downstairs, HER ROOM GOT STRUCK BY LIGHTNING AND CAUGHT ON FIRE. THERE ARE OLD NEWSPAPER CLIPPINGS OF HER BURNED UP ROOM AND CRIB. This was always insane to me. Like…she knew her room would get struck by lighting. She had to have known!
My mom and her parents and brothers and sister lived right outside the actual town of Lambertville in what they all still refer to as “The House on the Hill.” It is a house, and it is on a hill. But no one in their family lives there anymore.
Joy’s family was pretty much Lambertville famous. According to Joy and to anyone we ever run into that she grew up with, they ran that town. They also had a huge pool and handsome black labs and all kinds of cool stuff that “fell off the back of a truck.” I mean it sounds like it was the good life.
Joy played field hockey at South Hunterdon High School and they won a state championship. I hate field hockey but I’m glad Joy enjoyed it.
Also in high school one of their handsome black labs got shot and killed by a random hunter. Because this was Hunterdon County in the 70s and there were hunters and drunk drivers and crazed farmers just running about willy-nilly. This is sad and shitty and not great to mention on her bday but since we’re talking about High School Joy I think it’s nice to mention his doggy life cut short here. Pour one out for Blackie 1, he was very handsome and sweet, according to photos and tales told by Joy.
She has always been a lover of dogs and all animals (except cats) and passed that down to all of us. Except I do like cats. Now Joy is a mother of dragons. Because chickens are actually dragons. Have you ever seen their feet?!
When Joy grew up she went to “work for the state” in Trenton. I still don’t fully know what kind of “work” she did for the “state” but she always refers to this time as “when I worked for the state.” Joy…what were you doing for the state? The people want to know.
One time we visited where she used to “work for the state” and I just remember her old pals from “working for the state” were very kind to us and gave us office supplies to play with even though office supplies aren’t toys and I made a necklace out of paper clips and it was a real prize.
When we were growing up, Joy didn’t have time for our bullshit. If we were acting like dicks and annoying her about making us dinner and constantly asking what our dinner was gonna be she would eventually yell, “IT IS SHIT AND TAMPONS, OK?!” Which is gross but she couldn’t take us being annoying dicks anymore. Which is understandable.
Because Joy made every single one of our meals and snacks. She was pretty much Betty Crocker and Mary Poppins and whoever else you can think of in that category of gals that take care of people all rolled into one. She’s good at being a mom, like the TV and movie definition of a perfect mom, that’s Joy. She takes care of us and watches out for us and cares about us and we’re fully and blissfully aware that she cares about us and she always put us first. It’s really good to see her put herself first more now that we’re (kinda) grownups. Like yaaas Joy get that cool thing you want, go on that cool trip, get mani/pedis and live it UP. Because you really put in like, ALL THE WORK FOR 35 YEARS.
JK though because Joy’s work is never done. She still does so much for us, and our new family members that have come along, by birth and marriage. And force. When she goes on trips she still makes LeXX “TV dinners” so he has something to eat each day that she is gone. NOW THAT IS SERVICE.
Joy loves to party and have fun and laugh and smile. That doesn’t mean she’s always happy, because NO ONE is always happy. But she tries to be! I try to be too, I think she taught me that.
Hopefully today she enjoys some wine and bread and cheese instead of birthday cake. She doesn’t like sweets and don’t even ask her why. SHE JUST DOES NOT LIKE THEM OK.
I tried not to make this too long because Joy DOES NOT LIKE OR APPROVE OF A LONG READ.
I hope Joy has the best birthday today! If you see her, tell her happy bday! Love you Joy! ❤️