47 days until my 47th birthday

As a high school teacher, I found it beneficial (not what you’re thinking…exactly) to announce my birthday beginning a few weeks prior. I usually started with “one month from today” announcements.

This past Spring I was thinking about birthdays and eventually got around to mine this year, did the math to be sure, and confirmed that i will, indeed, turn 47 in 2008 as I was born in 1961. Now, for some people the birthdays ending in zero are the significant ones. I may have great memories from my 40th b’day, but it was totally about some friends and a great, gracious surprise and not about turning 40.

Personally, I love the number 47.

Starting back 10+ years ago, a friend noted that I used the number 47 a lot as my exaggeration number. “There were 47 people in line in front of me at the post office today” or “my backpack weighs 47 pounds” or even “I’m going to eat 47 cookies right now.” Like that. Once she identified this thing I do, well… I started hearing myself do it. And that was the beginning of what has become a sort of affection for the number 47.

When I went to the Magic Kingdom with some family a couple of years ago, we parked in row 47 and I had to take a picture. I’ve “been” number 47 at a few different places (like Crispers here in Orlando) where you place an order and they bring it to your table where you display your number so they can identify you. Sometimes I take a picture of that too.

So, for my 47th birthday I have a couple of ridiculous ideas.

First, I’d find it way too amusing if 47 different people posted a comment on this blog. I don’t care if the comment simply reads “comment #15” (or whatever one it is) “from mary” (or whatever your name is, of course) “in cleveland” (but where you are). So…I’m counting on a few of you, my friends who are just strangely humored enough to do this and to recruit others to it.

Second, if you see the number 47 somewhere or something that reflects or represents the number 47 even…take a pic with your phone or something and email it to me. Consider it a cheap (but meaningful) birthday card. The new kind of homemade.

Then, if you work in Wycliffe’s Orlando office (or live around these parts), I’m going to bake and decorate 47 cupcakes for the first 47 people who come by my office on my birthday (November 7…I should say that rather than making you do the math). They won’t be super fancy, but they’ll taste good. I suppose that’s obnoxiously self-assured that I can even get 47 people to come to my office on any given day — but for cupcakes, people do odd things.

I wonder what else I might do? 47 is just such a good number.

37 thoughts on “47 days until my 47th birthday

  1. Chris Winkler says:

    I’m so glad, Ruth, that you have no shame in sharing your affinity for the number 47. Here’s my contribution (#3). Looking forward to those cupcakes!

  2. Russ says:

    I’ll be on the blog and in your office!!! Between us we could probably polish off all 47 of those cup cakes…and then go home violent ill. Russ, aka #5

  3. Anonymous says:

    I loved meeting you this past weekend. I now know why there was so much hype about your coming. I wish I could have a cupcake on Nov. 7th, but I’m sure I will be fine just pretending. Happy 47th! I know you’ll enjoy it, because you already are.
    Rebecca Redelman

  4. dub says:

    How amusing. I have always used the number 44 for such things and our b-days are 3 days apart. So when you wrote this it was 47 until your b-day and 44 until mine. Hmmmm…

  5. deb k says:

    ooo…ooo…ooo..can I be #6???Do people’s posts count if they don’t claim a number? I’ll eat a cupcake that day for you Ruth!

  6. Aileen - Step In says:

    hmmmm… if Deb K. can claim #6 then I can claim #7, yes???
    The 2nd half of 47. YES!!
    Wish I could be there to help decorate the cupcakes. … and of course eat them too! πŸ™‚

    Look at “47” in wikipedia… your number is a big deal. πŸ™‚

  7. Shirley says:

    As an accountant, I had to recheck the count and I see that I am really #10. I was hoping for 8, since that is the total of the digits in my age, but I must follow the rules and get us back on track. I hope you have the BEST B’DAY EVER, RUTH. Great seeing you when you were in Indy.

  8. Anonymous says:

    #11!!! Happy Birthday, Ruth! As one who has been 47 for almost 6 months now, I can attest to the fact that 47 is a good year! I only wish I’d thought to start celebrating it when I turned… We will be having cupcakes in your honor!
    Laura from Noblesville

  9. Sandy says:

    And here is #13 (another member of the Prime Club). I will be on the lookout for other 47s … hmmm lots of possibilities there. Stay tuned! This will be fun!

  10. nicole says:

    #14…happy birfday! hope it ends up being the best one ever! oh and by the way…i miss hanging with you…it sure has been forever

  11. Lipstick Bandaids & Wet Wipe Baths says:

    #15 I am going to try and find a really cool 47 to send you or send you a picture of. I am on a mission!!


  12. Cheryl Baertschi says:

    #16……….appropriate since this is the appx age that I acted last weekend at the WOF retreat, but, doggone, if it wasn’t fun!!

    I will be looking for #47 in London and Paris….wish me luck……will take pics when/if I find!!

  13. Annica Cook says:

    Yes, I remember you announcing your upcoming birthday! And I also remember creating “Ruth Delight Hubbard Day” as a holiday. Was that an extra credit project around your birthday?? I just remember decorating your room for every imaginable season and giving you your own day. Wow! We’re talking Freshman English ’87-’88. I can’t believe you were only 27 then and I am 36 now!! It seems like such a short time ago.

    I wish you a very happy 47th birthday and a wonderful “Ruth Hubbard Day” (whenever it is)!

    ~ Annica

    BTW I’m 17th!

  14. dawn from fmc says:

    Wow, “bazillion” is my exaggeration number, ‘guess I’ll be waiting awhile for THAT birthday πŸ™‚ And Kristy, when you find a picture of that will you tell me how many zeroes I am looking for?
    I haven’t talked about my 1/4 or 1/2 birthday since I was 15 (or maybe since I turned 21 when my car insurance payment went down)–this is a cool new trend!


    “She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.” Prov 31:25-26

  15. Brenda Metcalf says:

    Here is mine added to the list. I think several people are waiting to actually be #47 in the comment!
    Enjoy the pre-celebration in anticipation of 47!

  16. malianta says:

    47? what an unusual number! I am only now catching up on the 47 (times 5) e-mails tha came during my vacation, and the 47 (times 4) blog entries that were writtien during that time. anyway, have a happy pre-birthday time!

  17. Bob Creson says:

    Somehow I always thought 54 was the magic number…I was born in ’54, and now I’m 54. Anyway, 47 is good…and I want my cupcake. Sure hope I’m in town on November 7 :-).

  18. Deana says:

    I have to say, I don’t really remember the countdown thing because it wasn’t really relevant. I’ve always been exactly ten years younger, so how could I possibly forget?

  19. Daysi says:

    Hmmm, what a brilliant way to count down to 47. I agree that 47 is an awesome number. Are you going to have one of those cupcake cakes they make now???? In primary colors? you can always make me laugh and smile Ruth! Enjoy your day…..

  20. Jen Holloran says:

    Mmmm, my appreciation for cupcakes has only increased with the addition of a toddler in the house! Happy Happy Birthday, Ruth! My favorite number is 8. This year, I had the perfect birthday (8/8/8) =)

  21. Ann Kuy says:

    #26 Happy Birthday from Manila, Philippines!!! Wish I could visit you at the office but this virtual greeting will do πŸ˜‰ Aileen can have my cupcake share. Have a great 47!

  22. Anonymous says:

    Ha ha ha…. Amusing post. πŸ™‚ My own affinity for the number 3 seems pale in comparison to your 47 stories (though I do sometimes throw in 107 for a change of pace and a tribute to my friend who tells her grandchildren that she’s 107 because she won’t tell them her real age (even going so far as to alter her birth year on a family tree for validation once they started doing math. They’ve begun to pick up on the fact that the number 107 is displayed on her cake each year, though, and are beginning to get suspicious).

    Anyway, happy early birthday!

    -Christie Winkler

  23. Veronica says:

    #28…… just wanted to say I enjoy reading your blog….. and thought it would be a great opportunity to wish you a happy birthday all the way from the UK. Enjoy your day!

  24. Anonymous says:

    Hey Girl! I love your 47 story. I’m routing for you and your 47ness. Maybe you should celebrate your birthday 47 times before the day ends! There’s a challenge! πŸ™‚ Enjoy! – Cory

  25. Anonymous says:

    You are the coolest of the cool… I love the way you love fun! So surprising to see how many people are endeared by a set number… I’m a fan of “6 million”… yup, over the top, I know, but no one ever wonders if I’m exaggerating. πŸ™‚ Happy Birthday to my dear 47-year-old friend! ~Tammy

  26. Anonymous says:

    Hmmm… this means I’m #34? Happy Birthday Ruth! If only I knew of this ’47’ goal earlier, I would have had Sandy bring 47 fans [remember our time in Palawan? :)] Happy birthday and may your love and knowledge of Him Who loves you most grow even after 47 πŸ™‚ Hugs! – Rachel

  27. Anonymous says:

    In the spirit of all things French.

    I looked up the 47th book in the Word, 47th chapter…well there is no 47th chapter in book 47, but there is a chapter 4 verse 7 which… is 4:7.

    It looks like this, only I’m missing a few accents:
    2 Corinthiens 4:7 Mais nous portons ce tresor spirituel en nous comme en des vases d’argile, pour qu’il soit clair que cette puissance extraordinaire vient de Dieu et non de nous.

    (I think it’s a perfect 47.)

    Happy 47th Ruth!


  28. Andy-n- says:

    Happy Birthday, Ruth!!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !! If you count them they are all there. We went to the periodic chart of the elements (how scientific of us!) and #47 is SILVER!! We thought that was appropriate for you…not in anyway a reference to the color your hair may turn soon, but the fact that we value you so much!! If you’d been some weird element like helium or molybdenum or Mendelevium we probably would not have called this to your attention. Here’s the link…

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