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  • A lone candle in your mud pie

  • Another birthday just passed, and that's a good thing. It means I'm still on the right side of the grass. No significance to this year's anniversary, meaning there is no zero on my age number marking another decade. There is a 9 though.
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  • Another birthday just passed, and that's a good thing. It means I'm still on the right side of the grass. No significance to this year's anniversary, meaning there is no zero on my age number marking another decade. There is a 9 though.
    Reflecting on other birthdays in my life, some stand out way more than those that blur together. The first one that threw me for a loop was my 10th. In addition to receiving a blue Schwinn bike with a white, wicker-basket accessory, the entire "birds and the bees" story was revealed to me. It's not because my dear mother jumped in willingly. When I was 9, I asked her, "How do you have a baby?"
    She declared I was too young, and she would tell me when I was 10.
    I waited all day for that information. Nothing. She tucked me into bed and kissed me good night. Nothing. I was so miffed that I crawled out of bed, found her in the living room and said, "Mom, you told me you would tell me how to have a baby when I was 10. I'm 10 now, so I want to know."
    She batted her eyes to the ceiling resignedly, motioning me to sit down beside her. Once she revealed the mystery, I was so appalled that I could barely breathe. On the other hand, I was somewhat relieved to know that my parents only had to do THAT two times to produce my older sister and me.
    Everybody waits for that 16th birthday to drive. I waited four months after I passed my test before I timidly approached my dad and asked to borrow the car to drive to my girlfriend's house. My dad kept his cars in pristine condition, trading them in every two years. He was waiting for the new car to arrive on this occasion. Reluctantly, he gave me the keys, and what did I do, not even one mile from our house? I zoomed through a stop sign and T-boned another car, causing $500 damage to our car and $300 to the other. In 1961, that was a sizable sum.
    Days passed before he finally talked to me. I felt like I was in an isolation booth during those non-conversational dinner hours.
    No reason to mention the 21st. I'll skip over that one. Besides, details are fuzzy.
    Other successive birthdays with the zero digit, 30-40-50 are announced by friends toting black balloons declaring "Over the Hill." How many times can one be over that proverbial hill? Birthdays arrive faster now with arthritis, inflammation, hip/knee replacements and more "laugh line" wrinkles, which they say adds character to your kisser.
    Medicare finally kicks in at 65, a bonus. The only thing, however, that never gets old is being surrounded by friends singing those famous lyrics of "Happy Birthday To You," while you blow out the lone candle on your mud pie and listen to the clock tick toward that next birthday with the zero.
    Judy Entinger lives in Medford.
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