December 31, 2017


48 for me

I’ve never understood why older people hate to see their birthday roll around each year. I still love it. The reasons have changed--it’s not the presents anymore, although those are still appreciated, of course. Now, I look forward to the thinking each birthday brings. I suppose it’s just the perspective that comes with age, but I’ve noticed lately that I’m a bit more reflective on my birthday, and I love that.

Today, my 48th birthday, is a great example. This morning, as I sipped a coffee on the patio and looked out on the Gulf of Mexico, I recognized this fact - there’s only one stretch of land on this earth that I’ve consistently stomped along for my entire life. Interestingly, it’s not in my hometown of Toledo or even in my home state of Ohio. Nope. It’s a bunch of sand in St. Pete Beach, Florida. It’s the beach I’m looking at as I write this.

I’ve been walking along the half-mile stretch of beach between the Howard Johnson hotel and the north end of Upham Beach since my first trip to St. Pete in the 1970s. My grandparents brought me to St. Pete many times as a kid and we always stayed at the HoJo. I spent my honeymoon here in my twenties and travelled here several times with my wife in my thirties. We bought our first condo in St. Pete when I was forty — it sits a half mile north of the Howard Johnson. Today, on my 48th birthday, I’m sitting in our new condo, which sits between that first condo and the HoJo.

This is true for my wife, too. My in-laws have been traveling to St. Pete for her entire life--they’ve owned in the same development as our first condo since 1977! She’s been walking the same sandy stretch since she was four. We often joke (or maybe just I do) that we may have noticed each other on the beach when we were just kids.

It’s true for our kids, too, of course. And, someday, we’ll walk the beach with our grandkids!

tags: birthdayspb

article published in /2017/12/31