I took a zero day from the blog yesterday in order to celebrate my birthday. My wife provided a special meal and my family (who live in town) came over for an evening of fun. I also received a couple of wonderful birthday phone calls from family out of state – I felt surrounded by lots of love and attention.
My legs are officially 64-years-old. When I woke up yesterday, I hadn’t even thought of my birthday until my wife greeted me with a “Good morning and happy birthday to you!” I couldn’t help but think of one of my favorite Beatles tunes off the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album(1967), “When I get older losing my hair, many years from now…. Will you still need me, will you still feed me, When I’m sixty-four?” My amazing wife still loves me despite all my idiosyncrasies and wacky dreams.
When I’m Sixty-Four was recorded on the Pepper album, but Paul may have written it when he was 16 years old (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/When_I’m_Sixty-Four). The song talks about losing hair and having grandchildren and it features a great little clarinet trio. I am losing my hair, I have 10 incredible grandchildren, I play both the soprano and bass clarinets, and I really like the style of this tune. When I first heard the song in 1967 I was 17 years old – my how time goes pass by. I remember smiling and thinking how old it must feel to be 64. Well, I’m here now and it doesn’t seem quite as old as I thought it might.
Anyway, the Appalachian Trail awaits and it has no way of knowing how old I am. It serves up the same challenges and provides the same views to young and old alike. The path does not discriminate by age, gender, race, or creed. It is an equal opportunity trail welcoming all who possess the diligence to walk on its back. I will not be the oldest hiker to attempt the thru-hike, nor will I be the most handsome. I won’t be the fastest or the slowest. I won’t be the smartest or the dumbest to walk the distance, but I will be one of the most excited and I will be one of the most thankful.