Top Ten Reasons I Don’t Mind Turning 60

Top Ten Reasons I Don’t Mind Turning 60

What's to love about turning 60? In my opinion, a whole lot of things.Tomorrow’s my 60th birthday, and I’m looking forward to it. Really I am, and for these 10 good reasons.

10. Ordering off the 55+ menu at IHOP will be easier. Five years ago, doing so made me feel like an imposter. Now I feel like I’ve earned it.

9.  The AARP has lowered their annual membership price to $12 in honor of my birthday. Thoughtful as the gesture is, I’m not taking them up on it.

8.  Tomorrow morning, I will be grateful for the ability to walk 6 miles pain free…even at my age.

7.  German Chocolate Birthday Cake! Need I say more?

6.  When people inquire about my age, and I tell them, with suitable self-effacement that I am 60, they will have all the more reason to respond, “You certainly don’t look your age.” (And this would be your cue to type something similar in the comment box.)

5.  Being 60 makes the fact that my mystery novel, set in the decade when I was in my 20s, is considered historical fiction a little easier to swallow. Mainly because I can wash it down with birthday cake. (See #7)

4.  On my official birthday, all those early Facebook birthday wishes will no longer feel like being pushed into old age.

3.  Once I’m 60, the Man of Steel, who hit the same milestone waaaay back in March, will no longer feel as though he robbed the cradle.

2.  The day will remind me of Mom’s 60th in 1988. Our son was 6, and our daughter was a newborn when the sibs and I hosted a gigantic surprise birthday shindig at her church in Le Mars. She was clueless, and the many friends and family members who gathered to honor her, was a glorious tribute.

1.  I’ll be celebrating my birthday with my family. What could be better?

I’d love to hear bout your 60th birthday memories in the comment box. If you don’t have any, see #6.

The Fly Over Life on This Fantastic Friday

The Fly Over Life on This Fantastic Friday

When I wrote this post I was grateful for fly over country. 5 years later, I'm still grateful and a little bit more so.

For those of you who don’t live in fly over country, this Fantastic Friday post explains what you are missing.

You know how jet setters dismiss the land between the east and west coasts as fly-over country? They scoff at what they consider a wasteland of cornfields, a vast expanse where nothing worthwhile happens, nothing of consequence is produced, no one of importance lives. Well, I love living in fly-over country, no matter what the jet setters think of it. But, the past week exposed an unexpected truth.

We live a fly-over life.

A midweek visit to my son and new daughter was void of the hoopla that characterized much of the last two years: no illness, thus no dramatic health cures; no happy announcements, thus no need to plan big celebrations; no crises, thus no anxiety-racked discussions. Instead, in our time together we talked about jobs, exchanged recipes, played with the dog, and went to bed by 9:00 PM.

Pleasant, but boring.

A perusal of our weekend activities confirms life’s fly-over status. I made cookies for upcoming church events and cleaned some drawers in the kitchen – without burning a single cookie or pinching myself with kitchen utensils. Hiram reinstalled the sink in the upstairs bathroom without cracking the porcelain or ruining the newly laid tile. We comparison shopped for a new refrigerator, washer, and dryer – and found what we needed for less than expected.

Appreciated, but boring.

A phone call to our daughter and new son was uneventful. She’s keeping up in school and making progress with her online, custom sewing business; no need for me to swoop in and chair a planning pow wow. He likes his job; no need for encouraging words to buck him up. They’re looking ahead to next year, hunting online for an apartment near the campus they’ve move to next August; no need for parental reminders to think about the future.

Reassuring, but boring.

I live a beyond-the-excitement, happily-ever-after, fly-over existence made possible by the exciting lives of others:
Pilgrims
American revolutionaries
hardy pioneers
abolitionists and Civil War soldiers
WWI doughboys
survivors of the Great Depression
Tom Brokaw’s greatest generation
war veterans
my Alaskan homesteader in-laws years
my courageous and determined parents

Because of them, Hiram I will spend a quiet, fly-over Thanksgiving with our daughter and new son in their tiny, college apartment. We’ll talk about work, exchange recipes, do a few odd jobs, and be in bed by 9:00 PM.

I am exceeding grateful for those who made possible this boring, fly-over life. You?

Top 10 Final Thoughts about Gimpocity

Top 10 Final Thoughts about Gimpocity

Here are 10 final reflections on times when poor health pulls the rug out from under you and changes life in unexpected ways.The Man of Steel is back on his feet, and I’ve begun therapy for my hand. Here are a few final reflections on the double whammy of gimpocity we recently experienced.

10. Having no one in the house who can drive is a problem.

9.  Having one driver, who is also a nursing mom, in the house with 1 baby and 2 gimpy adults is not a problem. However, it is a challenge that requires creativity and determination.

8.  A back that moves without pain should never be taken for granted.

7.  Ditto for having 2 opposable thumbs.

6.  Hand therapists spend their evenings thinking ways to inflict pain on people careless enough to sever the tendon to a thumb with a kitchen knife.

5.  The painful exercises hand therapists inflict upon people careless enough to sever the tendon to a thumb with a kitchen knife also engender healing at lightning speed.

4.  Thumb therapy exercises every 2 hours pretty much consume a person’s day.

3.  Pie makes gimpocity tolerable.

2.  So does good coffee.

1.  Babies make everything more tolerable.

What makes hard times tolerable for you? Leave a comment.

Top Ten June Blessings

Top Ten June Blessings

To fight fighting discouragement and a tendency to dwell on what's wrong in my world, I'm counting June blessings this week.Life’s been rough at our house lately. So I’m fighting discouragement and a tendency to dwell on what’s wrong in my world by giving thanks for the small and good blessings that are part of each day.

10. The weather’s been so pleasant, we’ve hardly needed to turn on the AC.

9.  The propane company sent a letter saying our bill will go down over $100 in September.

8.  At this moment, the weeds are pulled and the housework is done.

7.  The herb garden provided fresh parsley, basil, and cilantro for several meals this week.

6.  Our first CSA produce pick up is today.

5.  But the CSA strawberries started early so we feasted our way through 2 delectable quarts…and I took some down to Mom last week, too.

4.  Revisions on my mystery novel are moving along and the escape therapy is just what the doctor ordered.

3.  The Man of Steel and I will take Mom to a family reunion in Minnesota this coming weekend. She will complain during the whole trip and then thoroughly enjoy being queen for a day in the presence of her nieces and nephews.

2.  My daughter held the phone close to our 2-month-old grandson’s mouth so we could hear him coo. Happy tears!

1.  In the last week, God arranged encounters with 2 dear friends and a sister who understand my current struggles and the time spent with them was soothing balm to the soul.

What blessings are you thankful for this week?