Sunday, July 25, 2010

Back to business

This 50th birthday thing has been pretty interesting.  My wife engineered a celebration well in advance back during the weekend of July 3-4, because our daughter and her family were in town for a visit.  So we had a cake, I received some cards and even a gift!  Nice, right?

Then last weekend, in advance of the grand occasion (which occurred on Tuesday), my wife and I went to Cincinnati for a weekend of R&R.  We had originally planned to go to Chicago, which would have been great fun, but given the distance and travel cost, we were probably better off visiting some of our favorite dining and shopping spots in the Cincinnati area.  Our argument has always been that you can be there in just a couple of hours from Lexington, and since we visit regularly we know what's there, what we like, etc.  We both got shoes at a store in West Chester that specializes in those with foot problems (which unfortunately includes me and my wife), had some nice meals out, did some other "power shopping" and even caught a movie ("Inception," a mind-blowing action drama).  Then back home and, as today's title indicates, back to business.

I spent my actual birthday traveling to Charlotte for business, spending some time with one of my direct reports visiting clients and then spent a couple of hours doing some mutually beneficial coaching with him. Then I had a pizza delivered, ate some of that and went to bed.  Exciting, eh?  Had some difficulty returning home Wednesday due to weather in the Southeast (always the chance one takes flying through Atlanta during the spring and summer months), but finally returned home Wednesday.

But the celebrations weren't over yet, as my son and his wife and adorable baby daughter treated me to lunch yesterday, and showered me with even more gifts!  My wife was out of town for her mother's birthday (she left Thursday evening, so I've been a semi-bachelor since that time) so I told her by phone that I didn't want the birthday celebration to end, it's been so much fun.  To cap things off my son and I braved the heat and took in a Lexington Legends minor league baseball game last night.

But now I'm a little tired from all of this revelry.  I have a dirty house, laundry to do, etc., etc., etc.  So back to work!

Monday, July 12, 2010

It's coming....

....and there's nothing anyone can do to stop it.

I'm talking about my 50th birthday, which will occur next Tuesday.  Ironically, I'll be on a plane to Charlotte that morning, as I have business there that day and in Columbia, SC the following day.  Great way to celebrate.

But I'm not depressed, at least I don't think I am.  Mostly, I'm grateful to still be here, after a major heart attack at 32 and a coronary bypass at 34.  I'm grateful to have a family who loves me and tolerates me, in that order most of the time!  And I'm most grateful to my wife of now 24 years (I must remember to change my profile), for being there always.

And like so many people, my first 50 years have been marked with challenges, triumphs and setbacks, but I wouldn't trade any of it.  Well, I might trade the last few days, when I've been slowed by what I think was a case of food poisoning that is still hanging on four days on.  Just about out of the woods, so to speak, but there were times I began to wonder.....

I remember my father when he was 50.  Unfortunately, he died at 56, a brittle diabetic who did not take care of himself and paid the price.  As Kevin Costner's character says during "Field of Dreams," "...by the time he was my age, he was ancient."  Hopefully I don't seem too ancient to my kids.  I certainly don't feel it.

My firm belief is that age is largely a state of mind.  I tell my wife this a lot, because she's a little older than I am, and my foolishness probably keeps her younger than she'd otherwise be.  And my state of mind these days is one of "I can do that" more than "you have to be kidding," which I would think is largely a good thing.

So, if you're approaching a milestone birthday as I am, embrace what's about to happen.  The best is yet to come!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Absence makes the heart grow fonder....

If you recall from my last post our daughter, her husband and their two kids had just arrived at our home for a ten day stay.  They all just returned home yesterday afternoon, and I must say that our house seems awfully large and awfully quiet today, as I've also returned to work after vacation.

Our grandson was an absolute delight, as he's now at the age where he recognizes people more readily and was lots of fun for all.  Perhaps the most enjoyable occasions were when he and our local granddaughter, who's exactly two weeks older than he, were together, as it's always fun to watch babies try to figure each other out!

We did some rather touristy things while our visitors were here, but all were enjoyable and we caught a break on the weather, as it was probably about fifteen degrees cooler for parts of last week than it is now or will be during this week.

And, as planned, both he and our younger granddaughter were baptized in a joint ceremony last Saturday.  That occasion allowed members of our son-in-law's, our daughter-in-law's and our family to meet and mingle a bit.

I spent a little time putting things back as they had been pre-visit this morning, and it all just seemed kind of odd.  We'll see them again soon, and we'll probably go to their home location next time.

On top of that, our son and his family are out of town for a vacation of their own until Saturday, so it's REALLY quiet now.  But it was certainly nice having the whole family around, at least for a little while.

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