Write It Out: Celebrating 60
We asked Boomer U readers to tell us how they celebrated 60. Here’s what they told us.
In February 2011, my husband, Ed, turned 60. Our daughter, Sarah, was serving in the Peace Corps in Morocco. We decided to take a trip to see her. After visiting her village we traveled to Taroudant, Morocco, to meet the family of her now husband, Kamal. His family welcomed us with open arms, and when they found out it was Ed’s 60th birthday they gave him quite the party. Wonderful food, singing and dancing, and a Berber band. Although only Kamal spoke English, the smiles, hugs, and dancing were all the translation we needed. They gave us each a beautiful jellaba and painted our hands and feet with henna. It was a 60th birthday to remember!
My wife is full of surprises. For my 60th birthday, my son and his girlfriend took me out for a drink after work, and then I headed home. To my surprise, our house was full of friends and relatives, including my daughter and son-in-law from Seattle. Toward the end of the evening, my daughter starts passing out envelopes. When I opened my envelope, enclosed was a sonogram. My daughter was eight weeks pregnant, her first, and our first grandchild. It was an evening I won’t forget, for a lot of reasons.
In June 2012, my twin brother, Lindy, and I celebrated our 60th birthdays, along with our sister, June, who was turning 50. We rented the Greencreek, Idaho – our hometown – Community Hall, prepared a roasted pork dinner, and booked a live band. We published an invitation in the local newspaper inviting all to come. About 200 joined us to celebrate our 60th, including a number of classmates from our high school alma mater, St. Gertrude’s Academy.
Cindy (Hinkelman) Algeo
Since I was raised on a farm in Missouri and was the “No. 3 son” (I’m female), and remember all the hard work of putting up crops, I talk about how great it would be to be able to work in one of the new air-conditioned machines in the fields the farmers use today. So, for my 60th birthday, my husband surprised me with a trip to Oakesdale, Wash., and the opportunity to ride around for two hours with a wonderful family in their air-conditioned, computerized combine. It was wonderful. Not very romantic, but I loved it.
I hinted to my friends several months before my 60th birthday that I wanted a party. I have many great friends and they threw me a great party. It was held at CenterPlace in Spokane Valley, and the ’50s theme was played out with by dressing the part – poodle skirts, cat-eye glasses, saddle shoes and letterman jackets. I wore with pride a “60” tiara. A DJ played all the great oldies. And Elvis was in the building. Everyone at the party took turns having their picture taken with Elvis. My friends are the best in the world and I really appreciate all the time and effort they put into the party. So maybe there’s another party in my future when I turn 65 next year (hint, hint)!
For my 60th birthday party, the kids paid for it, and I celebrated it – alone (except for the 45,000 Cub fans at Wrigley Field). I grew up near Chicago and am a huge Cubs fan, but the Mariners have edged in as a semi-favorite and the two were playing a three-game mid-week series in Chicago. I went to the first game with a high school friend who was the best man at our wedding. Mariners won. I went to day two with my high school prom date. Cubs won. After three days in Chicago, I’d had enough. Instead of going to game three, I drove 250 miles downstate in Illinois to visit my 82-year-old high school basketball coach, whom I hadn’t seen in 40 years. Upon ending our time together, he told me my visit was the greatest honor he had ever received. You just never know what you favorite birthday gift will be.
I turned 60 in March, and I decided to do something to prove I was not an old lady. So I entered Bloomsday. I have lived in Spokane for three years and this was my first race. I invited friends and family to join me, partly so I wouldn’t back out. At race time, I was joined by two nephews, a lifelong friend who also is turning 60 this year and my only niece. My brother and family from Western Washington came over to cheer us on and another lifelong friend who turns 60 next year was also at the finish line. This was a big deal to me as I rarely meet health or fitness goals. But I finished Bloomsday! And I think I want to do it again. I don’t think I would have accomplished this in my 30s.