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Saturday, January 11, 2014

Fifty is Not a Speed Trap

For the Padre; if I can go flat out at fifty, you can rev it in to overdrive at forty. It's gonna be a great year. The race is on!

(This is the post I wrote for my fiftieth birthday.  Since then, I've seen my sons grown into fine young men, I bought a house, I've learned to prune a fig tree, I've written the Thank You Notes That Tried to Kill Me, and I've had my life enriched by an insane feline with an incredible will to live and no sense of fear: Danger Cat. After that, everything seems possible.)

Some of my friends are slowing down for 50. Not me. I'm hitting the gas and leaving three feet of tire marks and twenty dollars worth of fumes behind me. I'm not complaining about my life so far--I'm married to the man of my dreams who hardly ever looks at me like I've taken leave of my senses, and I have two sons who can play Guitar Hero like they were born with Stratocasters in their hands. I just don't want the next 50 years to be the second lap of the same race.

Sure, I'm slower. I'm slower to get angry. And I'm heavier. I’m carrying some wonderful memories along with me. But they don't have a parking space near the Pearly Gates reserved for those that are pokey and fat. So, God willing, I’m gathering myself up to forge ahead, full throttle, without thinking whether this 5-0 bump in the road will send me soaring into the blue or skidding into a ditch.

I'm going flat out, full speed, wide open and see where it takes me. Whether it’s around the next left-hand turn or into the pit, there’s a story waiting to unfold. I’ll have plenty of time later when I'm done with the race and waiting to see who comes in second to check out the rear view and see what I left behind. If I'm still interested.

I'm going to make as many people laugh as I can today, I’ll put off crying until tomorrow, and I’ll learn to dance the can can without throwing out a hip.

I can hunt my walking stick and liniment later. WalMart stays open all night.

Wonder if they’ll rotate my tires.