This is the year I turn 60. Turning 60 deserves a year-long celebration. Birthdays and milestones have been an important part of my life. Lots of fun, family, friends…

The year I turned 50 I celebrated for a month. I spent a weekend in New York with my 68 year old aunt. We visited the Guggenheim Art Gallery, got tangled up in the end of the St. Patrick’s Day parade and saw Lily Tomlin’s one woman show on Broadway. I spent a weekend in the Chicago area with two Kansas friends and eight or so Illinois friends. I added two days onto a conference trip in Savannah, GA. On my birthday I was at an Academy Awards party in my daughter’s Chicago apartment with two of my friends and two of her friends. My Kansas co-workers gave me an over-the-hill party, with a black rose corsage and a basket filled with elder necessities. In between I had dinner with my husband and traveled to visit my two married daughters and five grandchildren.

My family gave me a 40th birthday party.  On my 39th birthday one of my sisters gave me a dozen t-shirts with ‘turning 40’ sentiments, she had found at thrift shops. She told me I could wear them all year… in preparation for the big day!

There were a few dicey weeks around my 37th birthday. As a child I thought I would be filled with wisdom by the time I turned 37. My life plan would be in place. I would be ready for midlife to commence and golden years would follow. What a shock to discover I was not as wise as I had hoped. There were still approximately 50 years or so left to live. It was possible I would never have life figured out and might not be able to control outcomes even if I could figure out a piece of it. Life adjustments were made.

When I turned 30 my children invited friends over for cake and ice cream. We were living in Illinois and our extended family members were all in Kansas. I am positive we went to Red Lobster for dinner. When the children were young we went to Red Lobster for all celebrations. The children’s menu prices meant we could eat for under $30. Amazing!

When I turned 21 in 1972, I voted for the first time in Topeka, Kansas. I do not remember turning 20. We were living in Kansas State University married housing.

There was a big party when I turned 10. The whole fourth grade class was invited. We served strawberry soda with strawberry ice cream floats. There were party games and prizes and favors for everyone. What fun!

I came into the world on Easter Sunday. My aunt was in the choir. She remembers that my dad called the church and told my grandmother I had arrived. My grandmother announced the birth of her first grandchild to her church family.  Members of my family are still part of that church family. This is a telling testimony to my life.

Welcome to my world.


©2011 Susan Kendall.  All rights reserved.

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