Turning 64 - Yeah, it Happens

Hi. This is me at age 13 or 14 or so. I found this picture yesterday and I am dubbing it the "first selfie known to man."

Today is my birthday.

Not a book birthday but my real birthday. I was always one to say that age didn't really matter to me and I didn't mind having a birthday. Actually, I like that I'm having one. So many of my classmates from school are not so fortunate.

I will admit, however, that I'm often feeling the effects of 64 years on the planet. You know, achy knees, fighting the menopause gut, adjusting to taking new meds. Social Security started this year for me, and next year, Medicare!

How did this happen? I mean, in my heart and head, I'm still that girl in the picture up there.

Yesterday, while cleaning the garage, I came upon a box that I've been moving from house to house for years. It was marked, "Kim's school stuff." I decided to open it and see what was inside. It was an interesting collection: 

  • my 7th grade music folder;
  • my marching band flute music holder;
  • my Camp Fire Girl's loom;
  • a Cincinnati Reds pennant;
  • more school notebooks (anyone need Earth Science notes from 1972?);
  • piano sheet music from the 60s/70s (all groovy);
  • a half-empty scrapbook;
  • two hymnals (I don't know why I saved these);
  • a new testament Bible (one of those little red ones);
  • a photo album of pictures I took with my first camera--a Polaroid;
  • and my human hair fall. 
Yeah. That last one is interesting. For those young whippersnappers who might not know what a fall is, it's just a long hair wig, sort of. I remember when I got it -- 8th grade. I'd cut my long hair short and hated it. My mom took a snip of my hair and gave it to my grandmother, who was a beautician, and she sent it off to have the fall made to match my hair. It finally came and I couldn't wait to try it on. You had to pin it to your head and wear a head band around it to not only hold it on, but not show where your real hair left off and the fake (human) hair started. I remember wearing that awkward thing to school more than once.

Can I just say, here and now, that I'm totally fine with my old, graying hair and that I'm really glad I don't feel like I need to wear a fall any longer? And, was my hair ever really that red? I guess dead human hair doesn't turn gray--this thing is nearly 50 years old! And the other question is this--what does one do with a 50-year-old, human-hair, well-preserved fall? 

But back to the birthday thing. The walk down memory lane yesterday made me smile at times, and brought some tears too. This picture of my parents in our old kitchen, made me both smile and cry. I miss my mom, and I miss my more youthful dad. They look so darned young in this picture and at the time, I'm sure I thought they were old fuddy-duddies. 

My mother hated her birthdays. You didn't mention it. At all. She especially didn't like turning 80, and she passed a few weeks after her birthday. I remember vividly the day she turned 30, and it was not a pretty day.

I'll take 64 and run with it--achy knees and all--hopefully to 80 and beyond. Hopefully healthy and still writing. After all, writing is the legacy we writers leave behind. Right?  

I like this Bon Jovi quote. Just substitute the word story or book for "song" and I think we could say this is true. Our stories are our legacy, and I want to live long enough to tell all of the ones that are still in my head!