Tomorrow is my 54th birthday. Until a few months ago I didn't think I looked 54...then I got contact lenses and discovered I did have wrinkles in my face! Seriously though, I don't feel 54..my brain keeps telling me I'm still 24 and should be able to do whatever I feel like doing.
As I think back over the years,
10 years ago I was busy enjoying life as a new Floridian.
20 years ago I was busy raising two active boys.
30 years ago I was anxiously awaiting the birth of my first child
40 years ago I was deep in the throes of my first real crush
50 years ago I was a wide-eyed toddler, exploring the world around me.
Over the past 54 years there's been a lot of changes to the world around us. 3 wars...VietNam, Desert Storm and the current war with Iraq and Al Quada. The price of milk has gone from 92 cents to $3.00. An average car cost $1600 back then, now you can't even find a clunker for that amount of money. My parents paid $11,000 for their first home in 1955. Now people's house payments for a year are that much...or more. Computers were something you saw in Buck Rogers then, now they're in every home and we carry them in our purses and briefcases. Man's been to the moon and back, walked in space...all the things that were pure science fiction in 1955 are reality now.
Do I feel old? Some days, yes...very old. Do I think the world has changed for the better? No, not always. I miss the easier going days, the days when children thought great fun was riding their bicycles or sitting under the apple tree in the backyard playing with Barbie dolls. I don't understand why kids today would trade fresh air and sunshine for a dark bedroom with their face plastered to a television set playing X-Box and I certainly don't understanding hauling yourself out of bed at 3AM to stand in line to be first to purchase the latest video game.
So would you call me an old fuddy-duddy? Probably, at times. But I'd like to think that somewhere there's a place where people still enjoy sitting around in the evening talking quietly while the kids chase fireflies and play Statue Maker or Freeze Tag in the waning light of the evening, where an evening of fun includes a bonfire, some whittled sticks and hot dogs or marshmallows. I miss the innocence of youth, when your first kiss was something you treasured and sex wasn't the main topic of conversation at every get-together. I miss family get-togethers where you got to eat Great-Grandma's famous cake or Great Aunt Martha's chicken and dumplings.
I'm done feeling maudlin, time to break out the streamers, party hats and noise makers. Happy Birthday to me!