Friday, June 26, 2009


I figured it all out when I was nine. In your twenties, you're a Grown-Up. In your thirties and forties, you're Middle-Aged. Ages fifty and above are Elderly.

I have since re-thought that.

Now I believe that in your twenties, you're a Baby. Your thirties, forties, and fifties are the Prime of Life. Sixty and above is Mature. Elderly is a state of mind.I just turned 38. I do NOT consider myself middle-aged. I just consider myself very, very grateful for hair-dye and unlikely to wear a bikini. And we're not going to discuss that gray eyebrow hair I found the other day. That was obviously an anomaly.

When Tom asked what I'd like to do on my birthday, I told him that I wanted to bike the carriage roads at Acadia National Park. Only two hours drive from us, it's something I've always wanted to do.
The carriage roads wind through the heart of Acadia National Park and are open only to hikers, bikers, and horses. No motor vehicles allowed. It's one of the most lovely and serene places I've been.

Twice Bear and I rounded a corner and suprised a white-tailed deer on the road, then braked to watch them delicately pick their way through the ferns and disappear back into the forest. We also passed a turkey strolling unhurriedly along the side of the road. "Delicate" is not a word I'd use to describe him. Maybe "ungainly." Or "butt ugly." And BIG. Wow. We cycled through woods and past gorgeous, unspoiled lakes. And past a cute young couple hiking with their even cuter, fat little dachsund. When I complimented them on the dog, the woman said dourly, "Yeah, he's mean as hell, though." Oh. Well. OK, then. Bug and Bear are becoming pros at this whole cycling thing. Although Bug does reserve the right to heave a few pointed sighs when she feels that the uphill parts are becoming tiresome. She has also mastered a certain technique of drinking from her water bottle that suggests to passers-by that she has, perhaps, just been allowed a beverage after three days of dehydration.

Poor Buggy later fell head-over-teakettle right off her bike as we were finishing our ride that day (no injuries). Oddly, when confronted with an actual excuse to be dramatic, she only cried briefly, dusted herself off, and climbed right back on the bike.
We made frequent stops. You can't just pedal by a scene like this. And the granite rocks set strategically along the roadside just beg for you to sit down and enjoy the lake for awhile. So we did.
Tom and Bug discussing important what kind of snacks might be in my bike bag, probably.

The carriage roads have several of these great stone bridges, each one completely unique. I made them ride under this one twice, so I could get a picture.
Taken by Bug. I apologize for the sweaty helmet hair, but even with that, it's one the better recent pictures of me. Probably because it doesn't feature my butt.
For my thirty-eighth birthday, I am grateful that I am exactly where I want to be in my life: in Maine, with a great husband, and two wonderful, occasionally cantankerous, kids. And the damn cats.


The Lucky Mrs. T said...

Happy 38th! Here's to 100 more!

Jen on the Edge said...

What a wonderful day!

And what snacks did you pack? :-)

Happy 38th, you young whippersnapper.

Linda said...

What's all this I keep hearing from you Mainers about a rainy June? Looks like you had a perfect day for cycling on your birthday.

Oh, to be 38 again!

Rose said...

Happy Birthday! Glad you got a good one!

Jenia said...

Happy Late Birthday!!

Eric and I went to Acadia (and other places nearby) for our honeymoon, and did a couple of bikerides along those paths--what a beautiful way to spend your day!!!

In my mind, you will always be the brand new drama teacher, barely older than us (and there's NO WAY i'm close to middle aged, so you can't be!)...

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

Happy Birthday!

That place is gorgeous, just gorgeous. And the trails look pretty nice and flat (for the most part).

jenn said...

Thank you all for the good wishes! It was a perfect birthday, even if the number is higher than I'd like.

Dawn in Austin said...

Happy Birthday!

This is NO LIE...just yesterday, I found two grey eyebrow hairs! I was like "What the hell?? Who gets grey hair on their dadgum eyebrows??" Me, apparently. And you, too!

Is that why old ladies have drawn-on eyebrows? They (we) pluck all the grey ones until there are none left?

Linda said...

Dawn in Austin... Yes, that's why old women have their eyebrows drawn on. I'm in the plucking-the-gray-hairs-out stage now. They drive me nuts!

alison said...

What a great thing to do on your birthday. That park is absolutely beautiful!

I had to laugh at the opening of the post -- when we were little and would take long car trips, my mum and sister and I would play a form of twenty questions where the mystery object was always a person. The questions had to be answered by yes or no. So for age, we had categorized as "is the person young?" (under twenty), middle aged? (20 to 40), or old (over 40). I remember my mum laughing and protesting the cut-off ages.

Now I get it.

smalltownmom said...

That was one beautiful day. Happy Birthday!!

grandma said...

I can see that you had just as beautiful birthday like I did for my 65Th. As you know I gave myself quilting party, surrounded by all my quilting buddies and their beautiful quilts in progress on their laps working away. Honey, it only gets better with each day that passes. I have found that choosing what we want to do for our birthday celebrations, really helps our guys through the agony as to what to do for our birthdays. Simple, make our own parties. You are so correct, age is a state of mind. Love you!

Country Girl said...

Happy belated birthday Jen!