“Irreverence should not take itself too seriously” from The Secret Language of Birthdays by Gary Goldschneider & Joost Elffers

Erika Spuehler by © Camila Gargantini

“When I first spoke to Erika, she told me about her love for animals and we ended up deciding we needed to include her beloved dogs in the photo. After our conversation, she messaged me saying she wanted to do the shoot in Mount Washington, a place where she visits often and has fond memories of playing in the snow and with her dogs. Although during the drive there was a thick layer of fog, when we reached the alpine resort, the sky was blue and it was a warm day. Could’t have chosen I more beautiful day to capture this. We had so much fun! ” – Camila G

Image by © Camila Gargantini

An Interview with Erika

Q. What is the best memory you have from a previous birthday?

A. One year, while playing in the snow at night with my friends, a stray cat appeared. We were playing in snowforts and cuddling her. Being an animal person it was by far the best day. She ended up staying at our farm for years.

Q. How about the worst? And why?

A. My parents never were together and it was always hard on my mum. Birthdays have always made me feel depressed. I’ve always felt like a mistake to my mum and I never liked celebrating my birthday. My husband has changed that.

Q. What was the present you’ve received for your birthday that surprised you most?

A. I met my husband 1 month prior to my birthday 10 yrs ago. At that time I was in my second year of college and without a car. I had a bike I used to get to school and work. Everywhere. It was stolen 2 days prior to my birthday. My husband bought a replacement bike. I have never have been more suprised and thankful.

Q. Is there a food or dish that you insist on eating on your birthday?

A.  I don’t like cake or sweet things much. I love spaghetti and like to have it for dinner. A previous workplace would make crock pot spaghetti instead of cake to share at work. It was fantastic.

Q. What do you believe is the most important aspect of celebrating a birthday?

A. Now I see that those who love you, love YOU! They don’t care about how you ended up coming to be, they celebrate your life and genuinely wish you happiness.

Q. Do you have any traditions or thing you always do to celebrate a birthday? What is it?

A. Nope. But I am starting to relax and enjoy the well wishes.