So Where Are All the Late Bloomers?

Dee's Birthday Balloon_0001Don’t tell me that “60” is the new “40”!  I used to feel sorry for folks who were turning 40.  I thought that their lives must surely be over and it was time to turn them out to pasture.  Now I’m less than two weeks away from turning 60.  Ouch!  Time for a new perspective.

The British Open gave me cause to cheer when I saw that Tom Watson, who is also 59, was in the lead going into the final day of competition.  “Come on, Tom,” I cheered.  “Show them what the old dawgs can do.”  But it wasn’t to be.  He flubbed a putt on the last hole, forcing a playoff which ended in victory for Stewart Cink.

I decided to do a little Internet searching to see what names I could come up with who had achieved success late in life.  Off the top of my head, the only one I could think of was Grandma Moses, the painter.  The ‘Net was no great help.  I found lots of solicitations from folks wanting to hear from others who had started careers late in life.  There were some articles talking about success after forty but hey, when you are twenty years older than that, you need something a little more immediate.  Oh wait, did you know that Col. Saunders founded Kentucky Fried Chicken when he was sixty?  Hot diggity!  Now we’re talking.  There were two Olympic gold medalists who won their medals for shooting when they were in their sixties.  Hold on, now we’re getting somewhere.  Laura Ingalls Wilder published her first novel in the Little House series when she was in her sixties.  Chaucer wrote Canterbury Tales while either in his 50’s or 60’s.  Goethe finished Faust when he was in his 80’s.   Golda Meir became the Prime Minister of Israel when she was 71.  And Frank Lloyd Wright finished the Guggenheim Museum when he turned 89.

Ok, so maybe there ARE late bloomers out there after all.  I guess we’re just the ones who have been easing into our lives.  While my peers have married young, had kids quickly, and are now watching their grandchildren marry, I’m counting the months until my first grandbaby arrives.  I have to think back to my scouting days.  One thing I remember from our camp outs is that a slow smoldering fire is always better than a quick flaring fire.  The slow smolder will last while the quick flare will be all “show” for a few minutes but then it’s gone, leaving nothing but ash.

Watch out, world!  I’m smoldering my way into my sixties!


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