Publisher’s Corner: This Big Cat Is Turning 70 in July

July brings many things, hot days, muggy nights, cicadas, butterflies, fireworks, barbeque, swimming pools, baseball, picnics, fireflies and birthdays. My birthday is in July. I am a Leo. And in July my birthday will find me turning 70. I am glad to have made it to 70 since my father passed at 48 and my mom at 54. They had serious health issues. I have dodged a few health issues myself, and it has helped that medical science has come a long way since my parents’ ailments.

It helped that I quit smoking in my early 20s and I have been able to keep my alcohol consumption at a moderate level in my later years. I got my Covid-19 vaccination and I try to keep myself in acceptable shape. I still get on the ladder and roof to paint and clean the gutters to my daughters’ distain. I still mow the grass when it’s hot. I play golf, go for walks and garden. I vacuum, cook, do laundry and clean the cat boxes. Being 70 doesn’t t curtail much of that.

I do feel the aches and pains of old age at times. My arthritic left thumb is always giving me trouble and makes it hard to open jars. But I use one of those rubber jar openers. Perhaps the best invention ever! I do take more medications than I would like, plenty of vitamins and minerals, too. I drink unsweetened black tea and am thinking of switching over to green tea. Coffee makes me too jittery. I love doughnuts but don’t eat them anymore. Gotta watch my blood sugar. I love pizza and salad, and a good burger or Ruben sandwich.

I love being a grandfather and I will have two new grandchildren this year to join my current two. I learned about grandparenting from my maternal grandmother Nana whom I lived with for a while in my youth. She was a big part of my life. She enjoyed Cardinal baseball as much as I did and she lived until she was 74. My paternal grandfather, J.G., lived a cantankerous life to 99. So there are some good genes in there somewhere, too. Growing old for me has been a process that has just happened when I wasn’t looking. It snuck up on me. And now I am turning 70. Average life expectancy for American males is 77 so I am putting together my bucket list as we speak. It includes a Hawaiian luau and a trip to the British Isles, the home of my ancestors.

I was hoping on retiring by 70 and would like someone to come along and purchase The Healthy Planet magazine and keep it going for another 25 years. It’s been a great ride. Publishing has been in my blood. First publishing the Monster’s Club newsletter when I was in grade school, then working on my college newspaper, then starting the Webster-Kirkwood Times, then starting The Healthy Planet magazine. A resume of more than 40 professional years of articles, ads, photos and calendar items. Not to mention 30+ Natural Living Expos. It’s been very rewarding bringing health, wellness and green living news and resources to our readers over the years.

Turning 70 is some sort of milestone I guess. It will be hard to shoot my age in golf. My father-in-law Kay did it a couple of times in his late 70s. I did get a hole-in-one a few years ago in a chamber of commerce tournament. I even broke par a few times in my youth. Now I have a hard time keeping my score in the 80s. My swing has gotten shorter as I have gotten older. And it is hard to bear the extreme heat or cold. I plan on playing golf as long as the ball keeps going forward more than sideways and my arthritis is held at bay. I am certainly not as flexible as I used to be. Sports I loved like softball are out of the question following some rotator cuff problems and the ability to move quickly without tearing a hamstring. The trees of Blackburn are for squirrels more than homeruns now. And a lot of great memories.

I do plan on writing more fiction in my 70s. I will continue on with my Jackson James mystery series, perhaps even sharing these stories with the public at some point. Maybe I will get back to painting, too. For now, I will concentrate on getting the July issue of The Healthy Planet to bed and plan for our new grandson Cooper coming July 19. Turing 70 might be somewhat of an event to most people, but for me it will be just part of a busy summer. I will always find time to sit with my wife Niki on the front porch with cocktails and watch the neighborhood hawk float on the summer breeze and the bats dart around at dusk eating their fill of mosquitoes. 

My hearing isn’t as good as it used to be. It hurts to get up after sitting for a while. I have a band on my glasses, so my specs won’t fall into the ocean or the toilet. But life is still pretty good. Seventy is a good time to reflect and enjoy every day because you never know how many pages are left in your book. This is no time to be a speed-reader. I am going to savor each and every chapter I have left in my story, one page… no make that, one word at a time.