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Celebrating Birthdays at All Ages

So you’re a little bit older and a lot less bolder than you used to be” sings Bob Seger; one of my favorites from the 60’s! I’m proud to say I sang and danced to rock and roll all through MY 60’s….just as Rock and Roll Never Forgets; neither have I! My family is used to rock songs blasting in my car; or being coaxed to dance with me when it’s played at a concert, theater or store aisles.

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But as I approach another birthday….another BIG ONE…I wonder if it’s time to grow up and stop acting like a sixty-something kid?  I’ll be 70 this year…along with a dozen of my high school girlfriends who’ve stayed close all these years. My first birthday without my husband; so I love and need the anticipation of celebrating with good friends!

Birthdays have always been a big deal in my life. I don’t care how old I am, I’ll always want a cake, presents and fun celebration. Even if it sounds like this:  “Wow! You are a very big number” as my youngest grandson exclaimed last year.  I get as excited about mine as they do …courtesy of the 60 plus years of   ‘birthday wisdom’ I’ve accumulated.

My parents made our birthdays a grand and festive occasion. My siblings and I would dress in our Sunday best; and because we each shared our birth dates with a grandparent…. it was even more special! As we grew older, our grandmothers took us shopping for new clothes (as I now do with my older grand girls!).   On my 13th, I had a party with both boys and girls…..and listened to rock and roll of course! I was thrilled to receive gifts of single dollar bills; at the time it seemed like a million bucks!

I find great joy in celebrating others’ special day as well!  As soon as the first grandchild came along, I started celebrating Half Birthdays! It worked out well with the older two as their days are exactly six months apart. The three younger ones have winter birthdays…….too long to wait till next one!  So Grandma makes sure there’s a spring time celebration for them. When our kids were young, we posted signs around the house with photos and proclamations of how awesome they were……..a tradition they carry on now with their children. While my folks were still living, they called each grandchild and great-grandchild to sing Happy Birthday over the phone. My Mom would send cards with money in the amount of how old they were…..something I wish I still did. I love giving wrapped gifts!

Continue reading on Joan Stommen’s blog, Gramcracker Crumbs

Joan Stommen

I am a teacher, mom and grandmother of five. I retired after 33 years in education to help care for my mother AND my daughter's new twins! I write about families, education, fitness, aging gracefully and the bits and pieces of my life. Becoming a widow has given me another platform on which to share my thoughts and feelings. Over the years I've written for newspapers, taught writing skills to college students, classroom teachers and children of all ages. My blog posts have been featured on More Magazine's online site as well as other blogs. I enjoy Zumba, hiking, scrapbooking, reading, subbing and learning to cook! In addition to drafting my parents' love story and my memoirs, I'm looking for a writing coach position.

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Carol Cassara

Friday 14th of March 2014

Your spirit and attitude are so refreshing after reading so many posts from those who bemoan aging. I love your celebratory spirit and like you, I adore giving gifts. You go, girl! And many more birthdays to you!

Joan Stommen

Friday 14th of March 2014

Thanks Carol. I'm lucky to have my health and my Dad's great genes and happy soul! I appreciate your sweet words on my blog as well!

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