Friday, July 19, 2013

to the elder hostel!

A good friend turns 50 today.  It started me thinking about this age thing.  First, 50 sounds awfully young!  There was, of course, that time when just the opposite was true.  But I was younger then, and age was an entirely different concept.  Old people had to work.  Old people had responsibilities.  Old was something I was never going to be.  (You have to understand, there was that faction that believed that to be true--they were convinced my smart mouth would get me killed before I was 25, but I guess I showed them!)  Then there were those early working years, when old was my parents and their friends.  Mom was 30 when she had me, so when she was 50, I was 20.  Invincible.  Obnoxious.  And probably just a touch inebriated!  (20 is not my best memory!)  I knew I would never be like them.  Thankfully, I did live past 25, did grow up a bit, and old simply became something over sixty.  I remember asking a friend who was celebrating his 65th birthday what he would do now that he was officially old.  He took it as a joke.  I was NOT kidding.  Somewhere, in the deep recesses of my mind, social security was the true mark of ancient age.  Then I turned 40.  What a day that was.  My friends made it one I will never forget. Black flowers.  Black arm bands.  The mortician came to take my measurements!  I was kidnapped and hauled through town in a bag!  We laughed, we partied, and I was probably a little inebriated!  (twice 20--still drinking a bit--ufda!)  Old was then (and since then) anyone more than 15 years my senior.  When I reached 55, I would be old.  Of course, when I reached 55, old was 70.  Now that I'm 63, old has become a state of mind.  Gravity?  Not my friend.  Memory?  What were we talking about?  But old?  No way!  I feel like the 14 year old I've always been!  So here's to you, Kimberly!  May your next 50 be filled with awe and wonder (and not, "awe shucks, I'm tired!" and "I wonder where my keys are"!)  And may you always know that those of us older than you believe it to be a number, not a life style.  You are loved, and the rest of you are loved as well!

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