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Monday, April 7, 2014

50 Years Later

This headline greeted me yesterday morning like a slap in the face on the eve of my 50th birthday:

Kind of rude if you ask me.

This morning I woke up and found an email from my dentist reminding me of an appointment later this month, a reminder from the doctor that it was time for some important tests (you know, those tests) and a letter from AARP inviting me to join, now that I'm eligible. Boy, I never used to think the world was against me.
(Photo credit: AARP)
Mark and I spent yesterday hiking to the top of Mount Saint Helena, the highest point in these parts. It's a fairly easy hike five miles up a fire road to the peak at 4,342 feet. Despite my advancing age we made it up to the top in a few hours and back down at an even quicker pace. My knees are starting to make a sound similar to bending a piece of beef jerky when I hike uphill, but I choose to take that as a good thing. Who doesn't like beef jerky?

The view from the top of Mt. St. Helena: Napa valley just below, with Sonoma valley, the coastal mountain range and even a bit of Pt. Reyes National Seashore within view. 
I'm not ready to cash it in or anything, but I'd be lying if I said I feel as chipper as I did when I was twenty-five. But I would be telling the absolute truth when I say I feel way better than I did when I was 35; that was the year I blew a spinal disc and could hardly walk before finally giving up and having surgery to correct it. It's helpful to put things in perspective sometimes.

(Photo credit: http://www.betaklinik.de)
So this morning I took a little walk to work out the ten mile hike stiffness and dropped by Starbucks for my free birthday tea (you know how we old folks love a bargain.) As I rounded a corner of the strip mall I passed a young guy on his way to work. I noticed he slowed down once I passed him and in the reflection of the store window I saw him turn and, pardon the expression, check out my ass. I had to laugh to myself and wonder: does he know he's looking at a potential card-carrying AARP member?

Things could be worse I suppose.