Entering My Seventh Decade on Planet Earth

Stephen F. Dennstedt

Birthdays are a time for reflection (and celebration). I am still trying to wrap my head around the fact that I am seventy years old. As is my want I have divided my life into seasons (seems appropriate somehow). With the somewhat optimistic expectation that I will endure until I am eighty-eight I am now in the early winter months of my life.

There have been a few close calls along the way: a leukaemia scare when I was a kid, two rattlesnake bites (at ages 8 and 10), Vietnam, Dengue Fever in Yucatan and a health crisis in Guatemala. But, hey, I’m still here and kicking—a little beat up but still causing trouble. Pirates, renegades and scoundrels have an obligation to cause trouble.

I spent the morning out on the patio smoking a Perdomo 20th Anniversary cigar, drinking a double (maybe a triple) Glenlivet 12-year old Scotch whisky and re-reading the true-life adventure The Man-eaters of Tsavo by J.H. Patterson (the remarkable tale that the movie The Ghost and the Darkness was based on). Not a bad way to start the day.

Tonight I will be celebrating this hallmark event with my son Shawn and brother Joel over drinks (maybe a couple), steaks and whatever else comes to mind. A second celebration, early next week, will include my granddaughters Lianne and Jaimee. But before that we will be getting together with my guy-friends for a barbecue this Saturday, more drinks and possibly a few cigars. On Tuesday many of my friends (about 30 in all) treated me to a great Happy Hour at Hooley’s Irish Pub in El Cajon. Life is GOOD.

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10 responses to “Entering My Seventh Decade on Planet Earth

  1. Happy Birthday Steve. Welcome to the club!
    I enjoy all of your postings.
    Remembering our days with the Black Knights in Chu Lai.
    Had a dream the other night that Corporal Battle was waking me for a 3am flight.
    Semper Fi
    Jay

  2. Hi Stephen. Congratulations and best wishes from Australia. Strictly speaking though, when you turn 70, you are entering your eighth decade!

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