I had planned to turn fifty quietly. I was fairly sure I had Donna and T. J. blocked from pulling anything "cute" this year, so went through last Tuesday confident that this week would be a safe one.
Never underestimate the power of people trying to pull a prank!
To answer the first question,,,, yes, my head was shaved, it is not photo gimmickry. I had told Dewey I'd shave my head if they beat Goldthwaite. They lost, but the game was so close, I decided to pay up.
To answer the second question,,,, no, it doesn't bother me to hit 5-0.
I've explained to several folks that, in my wilder early years, I had accepted that I would probably make it into my mid-30s. And, I knew that I had earned those years, so I was okay with that.
But, God has an infinite sense of humor and chided me, "That was just your learning period. Now comes the living."
As I wrote last week, Mason is full of wonderful folks who are in their 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s,,,, and even a few just over the century mark. I suppose that when I moved back home, the Lord decided that He would just ease me into the local routine of growing older with character. So I've accepted that mantle, and wear it proudly.
I've joked with folks that, one of the reasons I'm so glad that I am still around is that it irritates all the right people. I'm also glad I'm still here because of all the things I've been blessed to see.
I have a great-niece, Aubrey Joy Becker, and I'm loving watching her grow up every day.
I have a wonderful family that surrounds me with love, and constant reminders that I'm still just Gerald Gamel from Katemcy, Texas.
I have a job that allows me to constantly brag on my favorite town and my favorite people. Every week, I find the highs and lows of all our lives and try to balance it with a bit of lightness, and I give it back to all of you so that you may also celebrate.
And, I have the most incredible friends in the world.
Some of them live here, some further away. Whether it's Bruce and Susan Wheltle up in Cambridge, Kelly and Misty down in Edinburg, or Sean and Terri out on Blackjack Road, they make my life more complete. Weave in Peanut, Wendy, Bart, Denise,,,, it's like sewing a quilt and finding that you have the most wonderful pattern; but, it's not one you would have ever dreamed up on your own.
So, I am 50. Plus one day.
And, that means I have to start thinking about what happens next. What happens at 55, or 60? What if I'm still around at 70 or 80? And, God forbid, if I'm still pushing my frame about town when I reach 90!!!!
But, if I have all the love and support for the future that I've had in the past 50 years, I know that it will be a wonderful trip.
I told a friend once that, if God should take me today, I have no regrets. I know that there are people I've hurt; but, I also know that I've done all I can to lift people up at every opportunity. I know that I've not accomplished all I might have dreamed; but, I have lived a life that others can only dream they might have. I know that I have not been as good a person as I should have been; but, I have been as good a person as I knew how to be at the time.
So, happy birthday to me!
Hang on for the ride......
It’s all just my opinion.