Bridging the Divided

Welcome To Your 50s…..!

My husband turns 50 this week. And, right on schedule, he received his first invitation to join AARP! I posted a pic of the letter on Facebook. Payback for the many times he teased me about the AARP invites I get. 

We love to celebrate milestone birthdays, don’t we? 50 is a big one. The aches and pains are becoming more familiar, we are probably wearing bifocals, and we are finding out we can’t do some of those things we did so easily in our 40s. 

This past weekend, my husband spent the day planting his garden. Bending, stooping, kneeling, digging in the dirt, lifting big bags of mulch – all the duties of getting a garden started. He is a former farm kid – grew up driving tractors and combines and all the other stuff farm kids do. I was a kid from a small town whose only contact with farming was helping my grandad in his garden. Same thing, right? Not quite. While my husband was baling hay and wiping the sweat from his brow on 100 degree days, I was probably hanging out with the neighbor kids or with my grandma helping her bake cookies. 

After a long day in the sun, my husband hobbled into the house. “That took me a lot longer than it did when I was younger.” No kidding! Age creeps up on us, some say. I disagree. Age sits dormant until one day it pounces like a Bengal Tiger on its prey, ripping the unsuspecting prey to pieces. Perhaps that is too graphic, but let’s face it – aging is graphic.

What are we doing for his 50th? We are going to the zoo, then out for a couple of drinks with the adult kids and a couple who are more family than friends, although they aren’t actual relation, and finally home where we will grill something yummy, hang out, play games and enjoy the company of loved ones. A far tamer celebration than we did for his 45th birthday. The Bengal Tiger of age pounced leaving a kitten in place of the former party animal. My husband and our friends will regale us with stories from their nights in the clubs partying like it was 1999. If you don’t get the reference, you missed out on one of music’s most celebrated legends. Google Prince, then sit back kids – listen and learn. 

That’s another thing about aging, too. All of the best bands are aging right along with us. Fortunately, many of them are still out on tour – one last time, maybe two, before donning Depends and regaling their grandchildren and great-grandchildren with stories from the road. The stories they can tell to children, anyway. The 70s and 80s bands really were the last great era of musicians. The hair bands. The bands that created musical earthquakes throughout the world. Will the youngsters of today sit around in their golden years reminiscing about the likes of Kardi B and Lizzo? Sad thought – much like our parents had when transitioning from the Big Band era and Perry Como to Elvis, The Beatles, Black Sabbath, KISS, Aerosmith, and The Rolling Stones. I leaned more toward middle-of-the-road rock – Fleetwood Mac, The Eagles, Styx, Journey. I took a twirl or twelve around the disco floor, too, back in the day. I Will Survive was the theme song of a lot of us back then. And every guy, or girl, wanted someone built like a Brick House. In any case, when the great bands pass on to the big stage in the sky the world will be a musical wasteland, said every generation to date!

Aging tames the savage beast. Once upon a time, the cool cats roamed the clubs dressed to the nines, convinced of their invincibility, and never saw the Bengal Tiger coming their way. The party animals of yesteryear are now opting for healthier diets, exercise that is easy on the joints, and regaling the grandkids and great-grandkids with stories from days gone by. Happy Birthday, Sweetheart! Welcome to your 50s…..

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