Monday, August 29, 2011


I remember when that used to be the speed limit on the interstate highways. Does that date me? Probably, but that’s OK.

55, in this instance, just happens to be how old I am today. At some places, that will get me a “senior citizen discount.” Funny, I don’t necessarily think I feel like a senior citizen, but I’m willing to take the discount. LOL! In this day of high costs, I’ll take any discount that I can get.

Today doesn’t seem to be a very happy day for me. I’m not distressed to think that I’m 55. It’s just a number. But, being 55 puts me closer to the age where how old I am does matter. It’s sort of a melancholy day – a day of reflection and looking deep within me to see what’s there, even though I’m not sure that I want to find out.

As I look back at all the birthdays, I’m reminded of some very happy days. As a child, we each got to pick what kind of cake we wanted for our birthdays. I always picked chocolate cake, chocolate frosting, and coconut on top. Always. One year, we didn’t have two chocolate cake mixes so my sister made a marble cake instead – half white and half chocolate. I was not happy. I didn’t have a hissy fit or anything like that, but I did not like it nearly as well as ALL chocolate. I can say that I’m not nearly as picky in my “old age” as I was then. I still prefer chocolate but if someone made me a marble, white, lemon, or any other flavor of cake I wouldn’t turn it down.

I wrote a post last year that is as true today as it was then. I have earned these lines and gray hair. I’ve experienced deep joy and extreme sorrow. I’ve learned what it means to truly love someone, and to have someone truly love me. I’ve had the joy and deep contentment that being a parent and grandparent brings. I’ve loved and lost, but that is infinitely better than never loving at all. I’ve gained new friends and lost touch with friends over the years. I’ve experienced as much in my life as I possibly could have. But, I sometimes wonder if I played it too safe and what would life have been if I’d kicked up my heels a bit and struck out on my own earlier in life. I had several paths that I could have taken but there were times that I let others make the decision for me on which path to take. What about my life would be different if I’d chosen differently???

As a kid, we didn’t really have “birthday parties” in the sense that we had friends over, played games, and had cake/ice cream and presents. It was more of a small family affair with cake/ice cream after supper that evening. I did parties for my younger siblings but no one really did one for me (guess they just didn’t think of it). So, for my 40th birthday, Amy planned a surprise party for me. She almost pulled it off, too except a couple of days before the party, Ron mentioned that we didn’t need to mail his child support because we’d see his ex-wife later that week. Hmmm… we didn’t usually see her during the week but I let it slide and did my best to be surprised when I came home.

For my 50th birthday, Amy planned another surprise. She did a great job and no one told me anything. I just had a suspicion that she was up to something. She swears that Keith or Ron spilled the beans but no one said anything. I got suspicious when I was going to go downstairs to her closet to get a purse (we shared purses, switching with whatever was empty at the time) and she flew up out of her chair and said she’d go get it. I said that was fine and thought, "hmmm… wonder what she’s got up her sleeve?” As it got closer to my birthday, I jokingly asked her if she was going to call my friend Debbie (who lives in southern Missouri) and invite them to our house. I also asked her if Shaun and Jenny were coming home on leave. She denied but she knew I was on to her. It was a great, great, GREAT party! Amy made me a special scrapbook (I’d never made one for myself – just for others) that I treasure. Many of my friends from church came, Debbie and her husband (Herb) did come, and Shaun and Jenny were there, as nearly all of my immediate family – including one brother (and spouse), two sisters (one with spouse), several nieces and nephews. At one time, we had over 50 people in our house. It was great. I said I had so much fun that I was going to have to repeat it so I could have that much fun again.

Looking back, I’m glad that I am on the path I’m on. Many of the other choices would not have brought many of the most important people I know across my path or into my life. That would have been so much worse than anything else that I “might” have missed out on if I’d gone a different direction in life.

This past Saturday was my mom’s 81st birthday. We went to Kansas City and took her to lunch. She had a good time and it was nice to see her get out. Keith wanted her to meet his girlfriend so I drove and we took Isaiah (Ron didn’t feel very good so he stayed home). It was a much quieter celebration than her 80th birthday had been but since several of my siblings took her out individually she got to celebrate for the whole weekend instead.

Today, I had lots of birthday wishes on my Facebook profile, which was very nice. I got up to several messages and then received several more throughout the day. That made the day really nice. I figured that Ron and I would just spend a quiet evening at home since he's not felt his best, but my kids had other plans.

Keith and Lindsay, Amy and Isaiah, and Ron and I went to the local Mexican restaurant for dinner. The food is good, the company was great, and the prices are very fair. Isaiah picked out a bouquet of roses for me and a chocolate cake. And, he got me a really cute card.

It was a very good day.


SkippyMom said...

Happy sweetest birthday wishes to my very best, favorite 55 year old friend! It sounds like the best day, especially since you had your family with you. Isaiah is becoming even cuter - and your Mom looks spectacular. Nice you got to see her for her birthday too.

Glad you had such a great day!

orchid said...

My Dearest Teresa,
Happy birthday to you♡♡♡
Whatever the age you become, birthday is a big gracious day. And Also SO happy to see your picture that all 3 of you look really great♬♬♬ Your mother must have been happy to see you!!!
I've really impressed with your beautiful words related with family. And SO greatly touched with the phrase "I’ve loved and lost". It is really beautiful that you say,"infinitely better than never loving at all"!!!
I TRULY hope your husband is feeling better now,
Haha, I wish I could write my feeling in English better.

Wishing you many returns,
Lots of love and Hugs xoxo, Orchid

jojo said...

Happy Birthday and welcome to's not bad at all!

Thisisme. said...

HappyBirthday Teresa, and what a beautifully written post to celebrate it with. You're still a young spring chicken yet, my friend! Gorgeous photo of you, your mum and your cheeky looking grandson. It sounds as if you had a lovely day and I am happy for you.

Mynx said...

Wishing you a very happy birthday and many more

lyndylou said...

Happy Birthday and you are so right, age is just a number :)

Bouncin' Barb said...

Happy Birthday To You....
Happy Birthday To You....
Happy Birthday Sweet Teresa....
Happy Birthday To You....

And I don't sing that for just anybody!!!

Here's to a happy and healthy 55. You look great!

labbie1 said...

Well Happy Birthday! Have some more chocolate cake for me! My favorite as well! :)

Silver Strands said...

Happy Happy HAPPY birthday Teresa! 55 - it's got to be a lovely age - two 5s side by side. It's going to be a very lucky year for you :)