“How terribly strange to be 70.”

The morning is again glorious. The sun is wonderfully bright, the sky looks like the blue in a Van Gogh painting, and there is no humidity. Here it is August, and there is no humidity. The days are in the high 70’s and the nights in the mid 60’s. If I were Mother Nature, I couldn’t do better than today.

Every morning I put the coffee on then Gracie and I go get the papers. After the first paper and cup of coffee, I feed the animals. Each of my companions, Gracie and Maddie, have two dishes: one for dry and one for canned food. After filling their dishes, I have another cup of coffee and read the Cape Times. It seems my morning rituals are etched in stone. Maddie and Gracie have expectations so I seldom divert from the usual.

I have wonderful memories of growing up. At times I seem to have an idyllic view of my life back then mostly because I held on to the good with all my might and pushed the bad memories to the backs of my memory drawers. The things I remember aren’t milestones in my life. They are simply the good memories.

My life is filled with lucky choices. One you hear most about is my time in the Peace Corps, in Ghana. My hopes, my beliefs and my sense of self grew out of those two plus years. I can’t imagine what my life would have been without that experience. I think of all the places I’ve traveled, all the strange, weird foods I’ve tried and the wonderful people I’ve met, but mostly I think of how easy it has been to pick up and go to unfamiliar places and never feel lost or alone. Ghana gave me that.

Today I turned 70. It feels no different than yesterday when I was 69. It feels no different than when I turned twenty or thirty, but I don’t look the same. My hair is mostly gray. My face is wrinkled. My back hurts so I sometimes walk stooped. But what hasn’t changed are the basics of who I am, all I believe, all I know and all I have experienced through time. For that I am immensely thankful. For that I celebrate turning 70.

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18 Comments on ““How terribly strange to be 70.””

  1. Hedley Says:

    (As we say in the old country) – MANY HAPPY RETURNS OF THE DAY

    I hope that your birthday is filled with cake, friends, gifts and cake
    I know I said cake twice but I like cake – apologies to Blazing Saddles for the steal.

    Anyways a very happy birthday Kat and it is only a number

    Love and kisses and CAKE from Detroit

    • katry Says:

      My Dear Hedley,
      My day was perfectly filled with family, friends, gifts and a wonderful lunch at my favorite seafood spot on the water. I could nit have asked for a better day.

      It is only a number!!

      Many thanks!

  2. im6 Says:

    Welcome to the Club! No hazing but the initiation process is ongoing and increasingly difficult. The trick is not to be the 70-year-old person you though 70-year-old people were when you were young. Best wishes, my friend, and lots of love from Texas.

    • katry Says:

      im6,
      I am getting there. In no way do I resemble the 70 year old women of my childhood. Both grandmothers wore full aprons, clunky heeled shoes and day dresses.

      Thanks for the love and wonderful wishes!

  3. Birgit Says:

    !!! Happy Birthday, Kat !!!
    Best wishes from the other side of the big pond.
    Enjoy your special day, sun and life!

    • katry Says:

      Thanks, Birgit,
      The day has been wonderful. My sisters outdid themselves. They were here all day and just left. My sister Moe leaves tomorrow to go back to Colorado.

      They pulled off a great surprise.

  4. olof1 Says:

    Happy Birthday! I hope it will be just as great as You wish it to be and that You will be showered with luxurious presents and lots of delicious bonbons 🙂

    41F here this morning with both fog and sunshine, it was so nice walking with the dogs befo9re I left for work, no flies and cranes shouting from a field nearv´by. The rest of teh day was more meh though 🙂

    Have a great birthday!

    Christer.

    • katry Says:

      Christer,
      I was showered with wonderful presents, good food and the best of company.

      Too cold for now. We are in the mid 60s in the morning, and that’s cold enough for this time in the summer.

      The day stayed gorgeous,

  5. Caryn Says:

    Happy Birthday, Kat!
    It was a wonderful day for a birthday. Perfect, I’d say. May you have many more and enjoy every one.

  6. Bob Says:

    Happy birthday and many happy returns. To me age is just a number. Welcome to the the seventh decade it’s not bad. Like you I felt no different than I did on my last day of 69. The only thing that felt geriatric is getting my first social security check deposited. I’m taking the advice from comedian Carl Reiner. “Every morning I get up, I open the newspaper and if I’m not in the obituary section, I eat breakfast.” 🙂

    I just read this article about the owners of the Red Sox petitioning the city to change the name of the street that runs along side Fenway Park, Yawkey Way. What do you think?

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/red-sox-fenway-robinson_us_5995f7f2e4b0e8cc855c466b?47

    • Bob Says:

      Another cool, by Texas standards, and somewhat rainy day. This August feels like September when we usually get rain. I guess the Chinese have activated the global warming to ruin our Texas August summer weather.

      • katry Says:

        Bob,
        Today stayed perfect all the way through. It is even cool enough now that I don’t have the AC on.

        Those damn Chinese!

    • katry Says:

      Bob,
      Thanks for the birthday wishes. My closest friends, other than 1, are in the dawn of their 70’s so I am in good company.

      I’m checking the local obituaries, but luckily no one I know has been there. I do like the Carl Reiner quote!

      Yawkey Way is like a street fair on game days and is even closed to all but ticket holders. There is a band or two, an Uncle Sam on stilts and sellers of food like sausage with peppers and onion in a soft roll, an iconic sandwich around here. NESN, the sport network, airs its pre-show from there also, but all of that can still happen if they change the name. Tom Yawkey was a bigot and he doesn’t need to be remembered.

  7. sprite Says:

    Happy birthday, Kat! I hope it was an awesome day!

  8. Rowen Says:

    Happy Birthday!


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