I’m turning fifty this year. The big day is fast approaching, in fact. I have
spent most of my 49th year dreading this birthday.
never thought I’d be one to dread the golden birthday so much. But, alas, it
has about eaten my lunch.
recently. In recent weeks I’ve taken a new approach toward my 50th birthday. I’ve
decided to proactively welcome it rather than nervously dread it. I liken it to
the difference between being victimized by an unwelcomed intruder and flinging
the doors open with a hearty and well-prepared welcome, complete with flowers
on the table and dinner in the oven, for a long anticipated guest.
50th birthday, from here on out, will be treated like a special guest for which
I am putting out the red carpet.
said, today I give you one of what will (hopefully) be seven or eight Lists of
Gold. I will post one such list each Sunday leading up to the big day. I’m just
kicking this thing off with a hair brain idea, so I’m not really sure what the
other lists will be, but I think you can look forward to things like:
Golden Blessings for Which I’m Thankful
Golden Lessons I’ve Learned
Golden Moments I Treasure
Golden Scriptures that Have Blessed Me
Golden Places I’ve Been
get the idea. It’s all gold. And it’s all my effort of setting the table and
putting on the Ritz for my big golden day, so that it doesn’t show up all
unexpected and unwelcomed and leave me all undone!
Golden Memories that Define Me
I was about four, running down Red Oak Drive, falling down and skinning my
knee, then being carried home by my daddy, where he and mom bandaged my "gaping" wound with a Bandaid and love.
I was five, breaking my leg by sticking it through the bottom of the carriage
swing to stop it because Greg McDonald was swinging us too fast. (They
say your first memories are usually painful situations. Evidently “they” are
daddy carrying me down the aisle in my Aunt Ida’s wedding because I was a
flower girl...with a broken leg.
lightening bugs and putting them in a little plastic contraption we got in a
box of cereal.
Batman and Robin with Mark, Rodney, and Sarah Jane. Sarah Jane always got to be
Batgirl and I was always Cat Woman.
up before almost every class party for Valentine’s, Christmas or Halloween from
1st through 5th grade and therefore missing most of them.
up a “beauty shop” in my bathroom, sticking a sign in the front yard
advertising my services and waiting patiently for customers who never showed
Jesus into my heart and being baptized by the interim preacher who mistakenly
called me Kathy Winton. I’m assuming
it took anyhow.
shopping with my friend Michelle. We were such big girls!
scores of Nancy Drew books and discussing the ridiculously improbable plots
with my friends Candy, Gayle, Laurie, and Kim.
wildly in love with my social studies teacher, Mr. Gary Medford, as were my
friends Candy, Gayle, Laurie, and Kim.
across the United States with my family for four weeks in a van and pop-up
camper to see the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, and Mount Rushmore. Swearing the
one place in this country I would never return to was Arizona. Ahem.
to water ski with my Aunt Ida and Uncle Gus in Pennsylvania. Hearing from them
about the Appalachian Trail that went through the mountains bordering their
backyard, and promising myself that one day I’d backpack that thing.
softball for the 76ers and thinking I was all that...and I really wasn’t.
the night away to the BeeGees, Abba, Fleetwood Mac, the Commodores, Michael Jackson, and the Village People at the dances we had all week during band camp each summer.
and plotting and commiserating and talking for hours and hours with my girlfriends--like
Michelle and Candy and Jeanna and Julie and Dana and Lee and Elizabeth and
others. My, oh, my, did I ever have some of the best girlfriends a teenaged
girl can have! And we’re all still friends to this day... :)
sit-ups under the direction of Ed, our rifle instructor, and being told to “keep
your knees bent or you’ll pop your ovaries out.” LOL!!!
- While my parents were out of town, me
and Candy driving my younger brother Jimmy and a girl to the movies in my dad’s red,
white and blue pick-up truck, them sitting in the bed of the truck all the way
to Smyrna and back.
to the lake with Candy and her family for Labor Day weekends, water skiing and
skinny-dipping at night with her and her sisters.
to snow ski with my Aunt Ida and Uncle Gus in the Pennsylvania Poconos.
on stage for the first time in Pippin
at the Georgia Governor’s Honors Program.
as Dolly in my high school’s production of Annie
Get Your Gun! the next Spring.
to Wallace’s (which became Johnny’s then Donny’s then Johnny’s again) for
barbecue with the gang during summer band practices. Always ordering a chopped
pork sandwich with Brunswick stew...even to this day.
to Gatlinburg and Sevierville, Tennesee, and other such wonderful places with
the marching band.
paper flowers at Six Flags Over Georgia, night after night after night, all summer
the school bus and toting that big, cumbersome French horn case every day.
from McEachern High School and saying goodbye to some of my best years and the
best friends of my life. (No, I’m not a sicko. Life did continue after high
school. But high school was oh so sweet for me.)
- After college orientation and registration, announcing to my mom that I had registered for honors
drama, economics, Italian and fencing...and her subsequent response.
the best bacon cheeseburger ever at The Grill in Athens, Georgia.
up for football games in my red corduroy jumper and puffy white blouse.
at football games.
the tram and parking cars at Six Flags Over Georgia...and getting a parking lot
with a boyfriend that was abusing one of the girls on my hall when I was an RA
(resident assistant) in O-House.
Hershel Walker on campus.
day Anna Strain knocked on Michelle and Julie’s dorm room door and invited the
three of us to join her and others for a Bible study in her room one floor
down. I know this was one of those pivotal days in my life for which I am most
grateful, and she probably has no clue...
answer to his question, telling my friend Steve that if I could do anything in the
world and money was no factor I’d want to make a career of teaching women’s
my husband James at a Bible study hosted by mutual friends, me wearing sweats
and no make-up, my hair wet from swimming; James freshly showered and shaven,
ready to “meet someone.”
James, with our dear friends and family surrounding us, all of us singing Great Is Thy Faithfulness during the
wedding ceremony--two verses, even though James swears we sang six.
birth to my son Daniel...on a day that was both the most difficult day of my
life and one of the most glorious.
huge mistakes and discoveries as a first-time pastor’s wife at Bowdon Baptist
Church, serving with wonderful ladies such as Kendall, Angie, Evelyn, Pearl and
birth to my daughter Abigail on a Saturday night in Texas City, Texas, just
after finishing and hanging the curtains for her nursery.
and strolling and singing and crafting and rocking and driving around Texas
with Daniel and Abigail...oh so happy to be a stay-at-home mom with the two
sweetest little children a mother could ask for.
lovely, godly senior adult friends in LaMarque, like Frances and Beverly and
Barbara and Marillas and Patty and Janice, but longing, absolutely longing for a girlfriend my age to do
Kim and her husband Brent at Red Lobster in Mesquite, Texas, when he was being considered
to join James on staff at First Baptist in Mabank,...and knowing right away
that I had found my friend.
down on the golf course laughing with Kim, running the Susan Komen 5k together,
making sugar cookies with our kids to deliver to shut-ins, celebrating our
shared birthday, and speeding back from watching movies in Mesquite to pick up
our kids from school...late again.
my first writer’s conference in Glorietta, New Mexico, and rediscovering my
passion and potential for writing; in fact, selling my first two articles there.
into Sierra Vista, Arizona, for the first time, tears puddling in my eyes,
feeling like I was surely at the end of the earth.
the mighty work of God as He helped us not only learn to bear living in Arizona, but to love and embrace it.
the Satisfied...at Last message with women in places like Seattle, Canada,
Japan, Kansas, and Texas. Watching God work in mighty ways.
my children turn into godly, beautiful people I now count as friends, and being
amazed at God’s grace.
Whew! That was fun...at least for me. Join me again next weekend as I prepare to welcome my 50th birthday with 50 Golden Moments I Treasure.
Labels: 50th Birthday Posts, memories