Friday, February 13, 2009

Friday the 13th

My daughter-in-law set the table for tea
Traditional melktert (above) and other yummy eats

My dear friend, Carina and I
A unique birthday card with my name in various forms

Today is my birthday.

Yep, it really is.

Yes, I am also aware that it’s Friday the 13th!

And believe it or not: I was born on Friday the 13th.

Most cultures have superstitions centred on the number 13 which can be traced right back to those ancient Greeks. They did, however, agree that it is an irrational fear, calling it triskaidekaphobia [triss-ka-deck-ah-phobia]. Nonetheless the idea that the number 13 was somehow bad quickly spread, and the Greeks’ traditional rivals, the Turks, have virtually removed 13 from their vocabulary.

Many tall buildings don’t have a 13th floor; the legend goes that you shouldn’t give your children names with 13 letters. Charles Manson and Jack the Ripper had thirteen-letter names.

I do not have any fear or superstition about this number or day. As a Christian believer, I know that I am freed of the fear of all occult and “bad luck”.

My parents already had two little boys; so while they were expecting me, they hoped that I would be a girl. (No such thing as a scan in 1953!) Of course, when I was born and on Friday the 13th to boot, my father declared that never again would he consider this day unlucky. In fact, it he always maintained it was the best day of his life! (Awww)

As the first granddaughter, I'm named after my maternal grandmother. Johanna, shortened to Jo.

My grandchildren call me GranJo.

Every year I receive a unique birthday greeting from my sister, Rose in the UK. Last year I received a personal birthday card in the mail. At the top on the front of the card was my name in its various forms: Joanne, Joanna, Jo, Johanna. Under a beautiful photo of white orchids, is the Hebrew meaning of my name: Among other, "gracious, merciful"; "Dedicated to helping others" ending with "Always ready for a challenge, her life is full and varied."
This evening I opened my e-mail and there was a singing e-card from my sister. Thanks Rose!

As we have gone away for the weekend, I had my friends over for tea yesterday, 12th February. My daughter-in-law, Amanda arrived early and helped to set out tea cups, milk tart and koeksisters (traditional South African fare); I also served homemade tea scones, delicious diet-friendly carrot and apple muffins (recipe to follow soon) and savoury sandwiches. As it was raining (as it has been for the past two weeks!) we had tea indoors. This type of entertaining which was a first for me this whole summer. Nevertheless, I had a wonderful day...


    May your birthday be truly wonderful, Jo & may your year ahead be a very happy one. Will be thinking of you today !
    Love, Lynda xxx

  2. Happy Birthday Jo! You are the best sister -

  3. Bon Anniversaire, Jo! Hope you had a lovely, wonderful birthday. The food looks great. You are lucky to have so many friends around for your birthday.

  4. A very happy Birthday, Jo and many more to come. We share the date but not the month or year, mine is 13th oct and like you have never been supersticious of the date.

  5. Lynda, thanks for your kind wishes and thinking of me.

    Rose! I'm SO excited you can post a comment at last. Thanks for your wishes and for phoning me on Friday (Emily passed your message on, sorry I was on my way to Durban)You are the best little sister anyone can have!

    Dedene, merci beaucoup, mon ami! You're right, I'm truly blessed with family and friends around me most of the time. Thanks for your kind wishes.

    Thanks Peggy, now I'll never forget your birthday! Thanks for your kind wishes.

  6. Happy belated birthday, Jo! Nothing wrong with Friday the 13th - rather cute actually! I'm so glad you had a good day. Did Angie give you a special kiss??

  7. Thanks Esther, Angie was so well-behaved when my visitors arrived. We've had to motivate/train her not to jump up on people (us included) and she is now greeting everyone by approaching them and wagging her tail furiously! She is the best! When I stop the car and open the door, she is there to meet me and her tail thumps nineteen to the dozen against the bodywork. She has a new friend on the yard. Post follows later this week... Hugs Jo


Thank you for visiting my blog and taking the time to leave a comment. I appreciate your feedback. Jo