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Oh, what a birthday!! Even the weatherman got involved as he shut me down with two days of limited traveling (Tuesday and Wednesday) during my birthday week Saturday through Friday.

I am now a sesquipedalian octogenarian (long winded eighty year old Norwegian) as of Monday January 23, 2017.

The week started with an all you can eat (mashed potatoes, thick gravy, meatballs, warm bisquits, home-made ice cream dessert, even lefse) Norwegian tummy filling birthday buffet at a family gathering in St. Peter on Saturday. 

After the buffet, Christmas presents were handed out as our scheduled Christmas together was postponed due to bad weather. A remark was made that having two family Christmas parties in one year (2017) would be a rarity.

On to my birthday party. The happy birthday was sung in almost perfect unison, followed by my blowing out the candles. Being long winded I managed to blow out both of the forty-year candles at the same time. 

After the candles were out I was given a birthday bouquet. (They told me it was a special for someone that had everything and needed nothing.) The bouquet was in a fancy glass, filled with decorative glass rocks with long wooden sticks, each having a lottery ticket, power ball, gum or candy, scotch taped on the stick. There was also a birthday card signed by all. (I cashed in the winning tickets and pocketed the $12.)

Sunday at Central Freeborn Lutheran Church I was recognized as having a birthday on Monday the 23rd. The annual meeting followed with a birthday cake made by Mary Ann Atchison. (I got to blow out two forty year candles – once again being long winded was no problem.)

Monday, the 23rd, was the official 80th. My name was on Kate radio as part of the birthday drawing at Trumble’s in Albert Lea but the wrong name was drawn. A KFC takeout was great for the noon meal.

The Albert Lea Tribune, on the 23rd, had a picture of an 80 year old man wearing a cap that said, “Life is good.” Wow!! Thanks to the crew at the Tribune and the crew at the Star Eagle for making the picture possible. 

Tuesday evening, Genie and I enjoyed a leisurely meal at Perkins in Albert Lea, just before the storm hit.

Wednesday was Stay Put Day, due to eight inches of snow that needed to be shoveled.

Thursday was a trip to see the snow piled so high you couldn’t see the shopping centers from the street, followed by breakfast at Perkins in Mason City. (16 inches of snow there) Diamond Joes Casino (as a January birthday party) gave me a free buffet plus a free drink and $10 free play. (Nothing is free as when I left the cash in my wallet was less than when I walked in.)

Friday was celebrated by doing reader’s theatre at Sibley School in Albert Lea. (We read and play act a story to kindergarten through 3rd grade at all schools in Albert Lea.)

I received birthday cards and telephone calls from Florida, Iowa, North Carolina, Missouri, Arkansas, and Vermont, plus local calls. Three of the calls even sang, “Happy Birthday.” One birthday card reminded me to “keep calm, you’re not 80, you’re 18 with 62 years of experience.”

I’m sure all of you readers who have reached age 80 will agree this is the time of your life for the old hymn #1 “One day at a time.”



Bob is a retired AAL (Aid Association for Lutherans) agent, currently working on his master’s degree in Volunteering. His wife, Genie, is a retired RN, currently working on her doctor’s degree in Volunteering. They have two children, Deb in North Carolina, and Dan in Vermont. Bob says if you enjoy his column, let him know. If you don’t enjoy it, keep on reading, it can get worse. Words of wisdom: There is always room for God.

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