We Can Put a Man on the Moon

Can it really be FORTY years since the first moon landing??? I remember it as if it was almost yesterday. I was a mere child of 15, volunteering for the summer at a state institution for the mentally handicapped. This was about 50 miles from my home, so my fellow volunteers and I were housed in a dorm on the campus of a community college. One of the college students set up a TV with about a 15" screen in the common room and we all watched the historic event. Only 40 years since we've been able to say "We can put a man on the moon, but. . ."

The moon landing is just one of the historical events that I try not to let my elementary students know that I've witnessed first hand. Not that they would be able to calculate how old I am, but their parents and even more importantly, their teachers (my co-workers) can. I've now reached that certain age where I am the second oldest faculty member at one of my schools and believe me, the parents and teachers look younger every year. In fact, I have children the same age as some of the faculty members (and unfortunately, a few of the parents). And I remember a couple of them when they were students in our building. I have to remind myself not to raise my eyebrows when they call me by my first name.

All of this is leading up to the fact that my birthday will be here-again!-in 3.5 weeks. I'll be turning 56 and I have to tell you this one is hitting me hard. I breezed through 40, 45, 50 (well, maybe not so much), and 55 only to come slamming up against 56. I keep thinking about how that's only 4 years from 60 when I hope to retire. I already feel like I'm a dinosaur at work although I do have much wisdom to offer those 24 year olds. And I've had a couple of minor age-related health problems. A pain in my hip after walking that my sister, a physical therapist, thinks is probably a touch of arthritis. (She insisted I'm not too young to have arthritis, but what does she know? She's only 54). The nice dentist I consulted yesterday said that my toothache is probably because the filling last week came close to the nerve and that as we get older, it takes us longer to bounce back. Yeah, I'm relieved I don't need root canal (yet), but I have a toothache because I'm old??? Sheesh!!


  1. I had to laugh at this post. I remember the moon landing (among a lot of other things). I'm an older mom and I had accidently slipping up and mentioning that I watched a particular event. They think I'm as old as dirt anyway - don't want them to think I'm older.

  2. I hope you don't need a root canal in the future either. It's no fun.
    I am too young to remember the moon landing in person, but I have read about it.


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