The character closest to the camera is me. My best guess is that we were celebrating my forth birthday
Today is another of life’s little mile stones, my birthday. I suppose the last time I couldn’t wait for a birthday was the year I turned sixteen. In those days, that was the age at which one could get a driver’s license. Since then for the most part, the day has been pretty much like all others in a year.
My most memorable birthday and the most difficult one was when I turned fifty. Shortly after the big day, I awoke one morning to the reality that I was now middle aged. I suppose if I had been totally honest with myself, I was actually eight years past middle age, but what the heck. As far as my career went, I had accomplished most of my goals and a promotion was highly unlikely. Over the next month, I fell into a state of mild depression; as the fog finally cleared, I decided that what I need was something to jump start my life.
Being a forester, I was trained in planning for the long term, so I sat down and developed my plan. No kidding, I actually did this! Then one evening over dinner, I announced to my wife my need for a change. My plan required one or more of the following: piercing my ear, a tattoo, or dye my hair blonde. When I was finished, my wife simply stated that she was happy I wasn’t going to do something silly. For some reason I missed the sarcasm in her remark!
My years as a planner told me that a plan will fail without knowledge of the facts; so I began to research my options. I quickly learned that when any part of the body is pierced with a large needle, it hurts like hell. Not liking pain, ear piercing was out. I further learned tattoos are expensive, involve needles, and pain. That option was also discarded leaving me with dying my hair blonde, no needles or pain required.
The following week while getting my hair cut, I asked my barber how I might look as a blonde. Being a professional, she didn’t burst out laughing, but I could tell that she certainly wanted to. She tactfully explain that because I have very little hair (yea, I’m nearly bald) and I keep what’s left very short, a dye job might last two weeks. At that point, I realized that my plan for personal change was about to crash and burn.
Now I am another year older and hopefully a little wiser! I am also not sporting body piercings, tattoos, or any hair color except natural gray. On the other hand, I have my health and that’s the something for which I can be truly thankful.