Yes, today I am a septuagenarian, seventy years old. (Please don’t say “seventy years young”—I find that too sticky-cute and somewhat insulting. I’ve earned my years.)

I made myself an applecake yesterday evening so that we could have it for breakfast after my run this morning. I used heritage pink apples gifted by a friend and the green ones that were in the crisper. I love baking and rarely have an excuse to bake other than bread, so this was fun. I made lemon curd the day before yesterday for a lemon pie this evening. We are having Dungeness crab mac&cheese for dinner and Gary has put a bottle of genuine Champagne in the fridge! Yes, it’s all about the food.

More than twenty years ago, when I was President of the Cannon Beach Arts Association, a local collector assured me that: “The best thing about being seventy is that no one expects you to look young anymore.” I would like to think that’s true today. Ursula K. Le Guin, who was never afraid of her age, argued for “crone” as a term of respect. Just let me be in good shape for my age. No, I do not “look exactly the same” as I did twenty or even ten years ago. I look my age.

This is me on the bridge during The Great Columbia Crossing 10k (6.2 miles). (I was about halfway through? Or maybe this was on the down ramp after the awful hill. I do recall a photographer there.) Running was on my list for post-70 accomplishments, but I will have to run The Crossing again next year just before my 71st birthday.

Yesterday we went to a party. It was outdoors and the music was wonderful and it was great to see and talk to people. I have always felt some social awkwardness, even among people I know well—unfortunate for a teacher, I know—and now, with the pandemic and age, I expect I am worse.

First thing this morning, I did not think Danté would bite me on the beach during my run. The black dog might have bounced off me, as dogs like to do, but he is a “ball dog” and so long as they have their ball in their mouth, ball dogs don’t worry me much. Still, I was grateful that the owner of this unleashed dog promptly intervened before a bounce. I can’t afford a fall.

The plan was just a short two miles, but I ran north to my “Turnaround Rock,” one and a half miles north, and back partway for a 2-mile run. By the time Gary caught up, we met a neighbor and the three of us walked another mile together.

There were birthday wishes waiting in my inbox when I got home.

Though it is only 9am here, I think I can already declare this a good day.

I need a shower.

The Japanese indigo-dyed field jacket came from a friend, who found it in her stash of ethnic fabrics. It is very close to the one I wore to pieces and feels perfect. What a wonderful birthday.

26 thoughts on “SEVENTY

  1. A good post to read–happy belated and cheers! These are grand pictures and aging is good when we take care of ourselves , which you clearly do. Nice to see you running! But I really enjoy the one of you in the library/study. Lucky gal– and keep writing up a storm.

    I remember turning 70. My son and daugher-in-law came to my door with fllowers and a plant and said: “HOW old are you? No way!”. They may have forgotten, ha—but also wanted me to feel thrilled to be 70–they love me a lot, luckily–so I took that with a wide smile. I am amazed I am still alive; gratitude is a palpable thing for me.
    I imagine the same for you, whatever the thousand reasons. Live on!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much! Good to hear from our children, yes!

      The photo with books (and DVDs behind me—does anyone watch DVDs anymore) is only a tiny fraction of our “library”—we have over twenty bookcases and stacks on the floor! When people say you can’t have too many books, I insist you can.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Happy Happy Birthday and Happy New Year as birthdays are really the First day of a New YEAR for Each of us on this planet !!! So Happy ! 70th, I wish you good health and continued inspiring introspection , lots of Joy and Love and all the Good things you enjoy!! Melody A.

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  3. Happy 70th! We are in good company. I am happy that you got Champagne. Wish my husband would think of things like that. I didn’t even get a birthday card on my 70th. Today I brought him a sandwich from the place where Ladies Who Lunch met although it’s no ones birthday, just something I do for him when I’m out.

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  4. Happy, happy 70th, Jan, and wishing you many more!! You look fabulous and happy. Sounds like the perfect birthday dinner, too. You can never go wrong with applecake! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Happy Belated Birthday, Jan! You look great, meaning … you look happy, content, pleased with yourself as you should be. My husband tries to remember my birthday but he’s always off by a day or two and sometimes now even I forget.

    This year we celebrated because I turned 65 and could drop my employer’s health insurance (costing several hundred dollars a month) and go on Medicare. Yay. My husband turns 70 end of November, and you are reminding me that I need to be sure he has a nice birthday and doesn’t get depressed 😉

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  6. belated birthday greetings, Jan! We haven’t been in direct contact for several years, but I see your comments on the Brevity blog. It appears many of us oldies appreciated yesterday’s post – she had a wonderful (not saccharine) approach to the subject. I agree with you about “70 years young” & crone is fine, but I’m taking back the “O” word & wearing it with pride. I’m old. An old woman. Not a criticism, not a complaint, just a fact, & as you say, I’ve earned it. oxo alice

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