I got 2071, how about you?

My mother turns 70 today. When we were kids, she occasionally mused that she was destined to die young. Well, she doesn’t have to worry about that anymore! Happy birthday, Mom!


Me and mom in 1968

I remember when Mom hosted birthday parties for my grandparents when they turned 70. They were always held mid-afternoon so the “old folks” could drive home before dark. The cake usually had a rocking chair on it and was served with weak decaf tea. Guests were greeted with hushed voices and told not to tease overmuch. Still, we had fun!

Today, as I search for info about being 70, some cool stuff pops up. Apparently, 70 is the new 50. So, unless I change my attitude now, 70 will be another birthday to dread. There’s even talk of a 70-year Itch, a nascent reawakening of sexuality and exploring that I will link to but will not describe further and will definitely try not to imagine.

As it turns out, having a positive attitude is one of the most important factors in longevity. So that means genes must play a huge role in my family. 🙂 Both of my grandmothers died peacefully in 2014 – at 101 and 95.

Twenty years ago, at 50, my mother was happily tromping through waist-deep debris with me on a hillside clear-cut. I’ve always felt a closeness with her at these moments, when we talk about taking something forsaken and making it better. ccutI invited her up to the top of the hill that day because I knew she could picture a cabin there, a new woods grown, and the unborn kids playing. With that validation I felt more confident about giving myself those things. And all of that stuff has since become real. I’m not sure I would have bought that land without that simple and intangible support.

So my wish for you, Leona, is that you can cast your eye to the horizon today and imagine what you’d like to do next. You’re in good shape for a grannie. Drink something strong today and see a late show. You’ve got lots of time to figure out what’s next, and we’ll follow you.

>> How old will you live? Take this test, which was created from the New England Centenarian  Study of Boston University.

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