Friday, July 24, 2009

Not a Day Over Sixty-Two

Happy Birthday to me! I get a special gift this year—monthly social security checks! Wow!

Here’s a list of 62 things I’ve done during my 62 years—in approximate chronological order.

1. Managed to be born on my parents’ first wedding anniversary, which thwarted their plans for romantic celebrations for the next seventeen years.

2. Saw Harry Truman (Okay, I was two years old and don’t actually remember it, but it counts, doesn’t it?)

3. Spent 6 weeks in the hospital as a small child

4. Went to Disneyland the first year it opened.

5. Played in an accordion band

6. Watched a taping of the old Truth or Consequences TV show

7. Went up into the Statue of Liberty

8. Acted in a play

9. Attended a Billy Graham crusade

10. Took lots of trips along Route 66 between southern California and Oklahoma

11. Preached a couple of sermons (once as a senior in high school, and the other many years later)

12. Worked as a sales clerk in department stores (I liked the china department best.)

13. Got married (and stayed married, which was much harder than getting married)

14. Heard Martin Luther King, Jr. preach

15. Sent a husband off to war and gratefully welcomed him home

16. Attended concerts by some famous musicians (Peter, Paul, and Mary; Pete Fountain; George Winston, The Mamas and the Papas; Emmy Lou Harris)

17. Earned a college degree in Elementary Education

18. Learned to drive a stick shift

19. Watched the first moonwalk live (I kept falling asleep; I was tired that night!)

20. Taught in rural Virginia during their first year of integration

21. Hiked part of the Appalachian Trail

22. Earned a master’s degree in reading and worked as a reading specialist

23. Took a canoe trip on the Illinois River (It almost dissolved the marriage.)

24. Worked as an apartment manager

25. Published a book

26. Wrote a bunch of books that haven’t been published (but I still have hopes for some of them)

27. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and back out again

28. Went whale watching

29. Participated in a teacher strike while my mother, who taught in the same district, crossed the picket line to teach

30. Served as a counselor at a church camp for middle school kids

31. Became tipsy only once, after drinking strawberry daiquiris while pregnant (We didn’t know any better back then!)

32. Gave birth to three beautiful babies (To tell the truth, one looked like a miniature, skinny version of my dad, but I thought he was beautiful.)

33. Gave birth to two babies without medication in an out-of-hospital birth center

34. Published stories, poems, and articles in more than 20 different magazines

35. Taught every grade level in public schools except kindergarten and fifth grade

36. Worked as a “stay at home mother”

37. Taught prepared childbirth classes during a time when women often had to fight for the right to make choices for themselves

38. Appeared on a local cable TV show

39. Saw the Space Shutter Columbia when it landed at Tinker Air Force Base in 1981

40. Shopped in tons of thrift stores and found thousands of bargains

41. Taught in a summer program for gifted children for over 15 years

42. Taught English to young adults from other countries at the English Language School

43. Learned how to talk to people and teach large groups, even though I’m an introvert

44. Read lots of books

45. Acted as a facilitator in the Human Sexuality Ministry for young teenagers

46. Rode lots of steam trains and cog railways

47. Taught grandparenting classes for grandparents of new babies, even though I wasn’t a grandparent

48. Taught sibling classes for siblings of new babies

49. Traveled all over the United States (I have only two states left to visit.)

50. Saw Haley’s Comet (a total dud)

51. Watched babies being born (It was awesome every time.)

52. Taught at an alternative middle school, where the students had been suspended from traditional schools because of their behavior (I loved the kids!)

53. Collected over a thousand teddy bears (What was I thinking?)

54. Survived a robbery at gunpoint (and was only a little traumatized by it)

55. Marched to protest starting the war in Iraq

56. Worked on a Habitat for Humanity house

57. Acted as caretaker for my mother for many years

58. Survived having my gallbladder removed (not fun)

59. Fell out of a raft during a river rafting trip on the Rio Grande (It took three people to pull me back inside.)

60. Ate lobster in Maine, pasties (meat pies) in Michigan, and pineapple in Hawaii, but couldn’t be convinced to eat crawdads in Louisiana

61. Made lots of wonderful friends

62. Enjoyed great times with my husband, children, siblings, and other relatives

What a good life! I am blessed.

Finally, a few words of wisdom:

Birthdays are good for you. Statistics show that the people who have the most live the longest.—Reverend Larry Lorenzoni

Inside every older person is a younger person—wondering what the hell happened.—Cora HarveyArmstrong

The years between fifty and seventy are the hardest. You are always being asked to do things, and yet you are not decrepit enough to turn them down.—T.S. Eliot


Patty said...

Happy Birthday!!!

Carol said...

Wow! What a list! I learned a few things.

Joan said...

Happy birthday! I love that list. I might steal the idea in October if that's ok. =)

Oklahoma Granny said...

Hope your birthday was wonderful! I loved your list. After the wonderful experience I had giving birth to my daughter I taught Lamaze classes back in the day.

Okie Book Woman said...

Thanks, everyone. I had a great birthday. Carol, I'm curious about what you learned. I thought I'd told you everything on that list, but I guess your mom kept a few secrets. Joan, it's fine to "steal" my idea. It was a fun and interesting thing to do, but it did take quite a bit of time. Oklahoma Granny, we'd probably have a great time talking childbirth. I was involved in some aspect of childbirth education for nearly 30 years. (Is that why my kids are waiting so long to have babies? Is it because they learned entirely too much about the process while growing up? No pressure intended, Carol.)

drlobojo said...

Thanks for letting me hang around so long Princes. CR the list told me things about her I didn't know either. As for the Rt.66 trips I'm certain her Dad told me once that in a moment of weakness they stayed overnight in the famous Tepee Motel.

Carol said...

Hmm, I had probably heard you met Harry Truman and saw the Truth and Consequences taping but I am not sure. It's probably the kind of thing you tell a kid and she doesn't know what you're talking about so she forgets.

I did not know about the accordian band or Billy Graham or Martin Luther King, Jr., or the Appalachian Trail, or the teacher strike.

I feel like I should know about the local TV show, but I can't remember it. I didn't know you have been to 48 states!

I don't remember ever seeing the graduation picture or the one with your blondish hair and the girl. I like that one with (what's his moniker here?) Mr. 10 lbs in the backwards stroller.

I want to know what Dr. Lobo learned.

tammi said...

Jeannie...this was wonderful!

I have a little birthday gift for you--I finished the sequel to THE HUNGER GAMES. Let me know how you want me to get the ARC to you. :)

drlobojo said...

Well Carol, in that I've lived with her more than twice as long as she has lived without me, so I knew most of it. I told her it would be more impressive if she told about things that were unique or that could not be repeated again by anyone.

Thus I learned that she went up into the Statue of Liberty, but I had to ask her about going up into the arm and looking out from the torch. You used to be able to do that but they won't let you anymore. She said yes she did. Otherwise I've heard all of them and even more. For example she didn't talk about the time a bear ate all of our food and the ice chest in which it was stored while we slept 5 feet away in our tent.
She didn't mention Geraldine her pet calf that I had to pull out of the mother cow with a block and tackle because Geraldine's hips were to big. She didn't mention the five day backpack trip we took in the Sierras when she was first pregnant with you. But maybe next year she can come up with 63 NEW things to list.

Susan York Meyers said...

Happy belated birthday to you,
Happy belated birthday to you,
Happy belated birthday, Dear Okie Book Woman,
Happy belated birthday to you!

God bless,