On Thursday, I turned sixty. Sixty. . . Sixty. Just doesn't seem like sixty should be a word used to describe me. I remember when my Dad was sixty. I shouldn't be that old. I don't feel old - at least not today. But I'm sixty. My granddad died at 56. I've passed that. My dad died at 66. Will I make it that long? My great grandma, on whose birthday I was born, lived to the ripe old age of 94. And my wonderful granny lived to be 93. Did I inherit those genes?
Turning 30 was easy. I had just had twins. Add in a 3 and a 4 year old, and I was too busy to even think about thirty. I had a really difficult time handling turning 40. My dad was in intensive care, and although my girls had planned a special dinner, my mom and sister chose to go to play cards at my aunt's. I was so hurt that day that told my sister that I would not celebrate her 40th birthday. Should never have said it -- she died at age 37. I learned that year to keep my vindictive threats to myself. Fifty didn't seem to be a big deal. And I just wasn't sure how I felt about sixty. Other than a word, it didn't seem to matter much. But everyone else seemed to think it should be a big deal, after all it was another milestone.
So, Mary and her sisters decided a soup supper/birthday party would be a good way to celebrate. We've done soup suppers before and they are always a lot of fun. Pam bought decorations and put them up on the back deck. Mary sent the invites, and specified that each family was to bring a pot of their favorite soup. And the planning began. Mary made Carrot/Ginger soup, a soup that we had at Boma in Walt Disney World. She also made chili and sangria. Mmm. A good start. Pam and Pat made wedding soup and super large pot of hot cocoa. Delicious. Kristin made pumpkin soup with cinnamon raisin croutons. Loved it. Rod's sister Kathy and the two of her girls that she lives with brought kielbasi soup. It has the kielbasi, potatoes, onions, stewed tomatoes and buttermilk in it and it was a speciality of my late brother-in-law's. Niece Becky contributed her version of Olive Garden's Zuppa Tuscana, and her mother-in-law made homemade vegetable soup that tasted a great deal like my granny's (minus the fat on the meat). I made a pot of hot caramel apple cider. It was also a hit. And we had some really good breads - Italian, Pugliese, cornbread and cranberry walnut bread. It was a good night for a soup supper, by the time everyone left we were into the 40's. We had a really nice time and laughed a lot, which I think keeps one young. We were all to stubborn to let the cold win, and the crackling fire that Rod built helped. Pam and Pat had bought 3 kinds of sausage from our local butcher and some hot dogs to go along with the soups. They tasted good cooked over the fire.
I had requested no gifts -- nobody listened. Rod had gotten me the Kindle and Mary's family and the twins got me the orange lighted cover that I had asked for. Kristin's family gave me two DVDs -- A Hard Day's Night and The Great Outdoors. Kathy's family gave me a beautiful burgundy chrysanthemum. Nephew Tim and wife Julie gave me a beautiful nutcracker for my collection. He stands over 3 feet tall, and also gave me a Burt Bee's manicure collection. Becky's in laws gave me a gorgeous fall wreath. And Patti and Al gave me 5 scratch-off lottery tickets. I've got to be one of the unluckiest people in the world -- didn't win a single dollar on them. It was a great thought, though. What kind and generous friends and family members I have.
And so another birthday has come and gone. I'm sixty, and I don't feel one bit older than I did at 59. But since it's supposed to be a milestone, how about a quilt pattern called Turning Sixty. Hmmm, I'll have to get on that - someday.