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Turning 60

April 8, 2010 - Jim Bartholow

I can remember sitting in Mr. Tarentino's sixth-grade classroom at John Dewey School in Warrensville Hts. Our assignment was to look ahead in our lives and describe what we'd like to see when we turn 50.

My goal was to be happy, no matter what I was doing to earn money and no matter what my family situation would be. At the time, I thought maybe I'd play ball for the Indians. Golf dreams wouldn't come for a couple years yet, but I dreamed about winning the Masters (Unfortunately, I voiced that dream in my teen years to my mother who never, ever let me forget it. For golfer whose best round was 89 when I was playing five times a week playing in the Masters was a pipe dream.) As for my baseball dream, well, I could field OK; my arm was pretty good too. But I had trouble hitting ... fastballs, curveballs, slowballs ... you name it I was the classic "good field, no hit" player.

But the biggest thing I still remember from that class exercise was that being 50 seemed so many light years away. The 50s was what people were between being relatively young in their 40s and being aged in their 60s when their hair and teeth fall out.

Fast forward to April 10, 2010. That's when I turn 60. I can't believe it. Where did the time go? We've been married 371/2 years. We've lived in the same house on Adams Street for more than 20 years. I'll be at The Times 38 years on June 12. Our son is going to be 35. Our daughter is going to be 30. Instead of coaching youth sports teams now I play chair volleyball at the O'Neill SENIOR Center.

There are lots of things I don't do like I used to: run, stay awake watching TV, sleeping through the night without a brief visit to the bathroom (oops, TMI); mowing the lawn lickety split, even when I use the riding mower.

But I think I can say I've done well with my sixth grade assignment. I'm happliy married. I've got two great kids, a wonderful extended family, four outstanding grandchildren that bring light into my life each in their own way. Our friends are always there when we need them through the good times and bad. Yes, I'm really lucky.

So, bring on the 60s. My eyes are wide open to what's ahead. And as long as I remember to put on my seamless bifocals I'll be able to see my way though.


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