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 topics...like 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.