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.


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

  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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