“The great thing about getting older is that you don’t lose all the other ages you’ve been.”

My dad used to tell me the story of my birth. The hospital was in the same town where my mother’s family lived so my father kept driving back and forth with updates. My aunt was getting married that very day and was not happy her beauty sleep was being interrupted by my dad. My grandmother told her to deal with it. After all, this would be the birth of her first grandchild. Later, back at the hospital, my dad was sitting in the waiting room, the only one there. Finally a nurse came in and asked for Mr. Ryan. My father, after a hectic, exhausting night, said, “Who in the hell do you think I am?” She had him follow her, and they were just wheeling my mother out when he saw her and me. That never usually happened. Most times the father first saw his wife when she was in bed and the new baby in a bassinet in the nursery. My mother always complained she looked awful and should have had time to clean up. “What is it? was his first question. The it was girl. The it was me. It was around 3 AM when I arrived. I still like a good entrance.

I have been most fortunate. My life is filled with loving family, the best of friends and countless adventures. I have lived in Africa. Who could have predicted that? In Ecuador, I stood with one foot in each hemisphere. That is just so cool. I have the best aim when it comes to holes in the ground making me an overachiever in such an important skill. My friends make me laugh and give my life joy. My two sisters are amazing. They love making fun of me, but they’d be here in a heartbeat if I needed them. My friends and I have traditions like celebrating the first day of spring by watching the sunrise over the ocean, playing Sunday night games before The Amazing Race, Saturday night movies on the deck, Easter at the Ocean House and impromptu nights with munchies and games. My Peace Corps friends are back in my life and I am so much the better for knowing them. My former Ghanaian students too are back in my life. Two called and wished me a Happy Birthday today. KTCC has given me close friends for whom I am always thankful.

Okay, there have been ups and downs and bruises, but they never soured me on life. They made more grateful for what I have and taught me resilience and how best to land with the least amount of injury.

This morning my friend Clare left a mum on my front walkway. She does this every year, and it is one of favorite birthday traditions. Yesterday afternoon my friends took me to the Ocean House for a late lunch by the water. The food was scrumptious, the view spectacular and the drinks mighty tasty. They went down far too easily. They also gave me a Sharknado t-shirt I’ll wear with pride. When I got home, I took a nap. It was 6 o’clock. I woke up at 8. Tonight another friend is taking me to dinner. I expect it will be an early bedtime.

Every morning I am thankful for the new day and for whatever surprises it will bring.

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32 Comments on ““The great thing about getting older is that you don’t lose all the other ages you’ve been.””

  1. im6 Says:

    You’ve seen your card. Now it’s time for a song. This one doesn’t have the best audio quality, but it seemed like an interesting choice. Presenting The Ruby Suns (from New Zealand) and Esau Mwamwaya (from Malawi) doing a semi-tribal version of the Beatles song. Happy Birthday, Kat!

    • im6 Says:

      And now for something just for fun… a cover version of the old Altered Images song (I LOVE the background dancers). Dance carefully!

    • katry Says:

      This is wonderfully different, but I knew you’d find something great and interesting. Thanks!!

  2. greg mpls Says:

    happy birthday!!! looks like the celebration is already in full swing!!!!

  3. Birgit Says:

    !!! Happy Birthday, lucky Kat !!!
    My birthday card for you:
    (click to enlarge, Herunterladen=download)
    I tried to make it KTCC-style. The picture doesn’t really make sense but you may recognize some details.
    All the best and have a great Birthday!

    • im6 Says:

      That’s fabulous, Birgit. Wish I could figure out how to upload the card I made, but I don’t have a site other than Facebook that hosts such things. (A certain animal features prominently in my card, too!)

      • Birgit Says:

        im6, too bad, I would love to see your card.

      • katry Says:

        I posted im6’s picture of KTCC. Now if you can figure out how to send me a jpeg I’ll also post yours.

      • Birgit Says:

        Kat, thanks for posting im6’s card. I love it! It had to have a red squirrel 🙂 I’ll mail my jpg to you (comcast address).

      • katry Says:

        Thanks, Birgit, as I will post it as well. Special cards deserve special attention!

    • Hedley Says:

      Birgit – wow that is so cool

    • katry Says:

      The picture makes perfect sense. I love all the pieces of my life you have chosen. Thank you for making this card.

      I tried to download but couldn’t. How should I do it?

  4. greg mpls Says:

    and the fact that you share a birthday with maureen o’hara. double blessing.

  5. MT C Says:

    This is an awesome blog, Kat. Its great to reflect on all the goodies that have happened over the years and the ones we still enjoy. A birthday is a good time for remembrances.

    Enjoy the day!


  6. Hedley Says:

    Kat, enjoy your special day and in the great tradition, I wish you many happy returns of the day.

  7. olof1 Says:

    Happy Birthday!
    Here’s a traduitional Swedish Birthday song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nia0BVVMnCw

    I’m not sure if You only get the link to Youtube or the actual video 🙂
    It’s only the first verse of I think three and it says Yes may You live for hundred years.

    Have a great continuing of Your Birthday!

    • katry Says:

      I love those puppets with real hands. They made me smile.

      It was the actual video I was lucky enough to see. The faces on those puppets were wonderful. At first I didn’t notice they were real hands.

      Thanks you!!

  8. Caryn Says:

    Happy Birthday, Kat!
    I’ve been away from the internets and almost missed it.
    Enjoy the birthday meal.

  9. Cuidado Says:

    As always, a day late. Happy Birthday, Kat.

    [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h1cRXgDFiSs&w=560&h=315%5D

  10. lilydark Says:

    Happy Birthday Kat,
    Your birthday is always special to me because that is the day we first met. You were kind enough to take me and my friends to some places on the cape, where tourists don’t go and I enjoyed meeting you so very much. I don’t think I would have known about KTCC, if it weren’t for meeting, so you gave me a wonderful gift. Celebrate your birthday all week long ( so I won’t be too late in choosing a song of a card.
    Birthday Waves,
    Lori and the Crew

    • katry Says:

      Yup, I remember that day. We went touring including Sandwich and Hyannis. You were loving the beach every day!

      You had no choice but to listen about Coffee. I had you imprisoned in my car!

      Thanks for the special wave!!

      Kat and the gang

  11. Jay Bird Says:

    Belated Happy Birthday, Kat. Mine was on a scalding hot day, 8/14 and 96* in Troy, NY. No air conditioning back then. My elder daughter was born in the summer of 1980 in Washington, DC, 104* on her birthday. A bit warm…

    No wonder we both like hot weather!!

    • katry Says:

      I have no idea what the temperature was when I was born. That has never been part of the story. I think my father didn’t notice. I went and looked it up:

      The maximum was 98˚ and the minimum was 81˚. Looks like we were all greeted by heat.

  12. sprite Says:


    Belatedly wishing you a truly enjoyable birthday month! (If one can’t be timely, one must go big…)

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