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The birthdays just keep a’comin’

November 14, 2013
Joyce Schenk , Westfield Republican / Mayville Sentinel News

November! How did it come around so quickly? Once again, it's the month for us Scorpios.

According to a well-established astrological website, as a Scorpio I can lay claim to a number of positive characteristics. Based on my birthday, I'm loyal, passionate, resourceful, observant and dynamic.

Of course, us Scorpios have down sides, too. The website revealed I tend to be jealous, obsessive, suspicious, manipulative and unyielding.

Ah, well, I never said I was perfect.

Even though a birthday cake is the traditional centerpiece of one's annual observance, I've decided not to tempt fate with a cake to mark my special day. As a former firefighter, I realize having that many candles lighted in one concentrated setting might be considered a distinct fire risk.

So, this year, instead of spending time in the kitchen, creating a cake, which my doctor would surely not approve of, I'm turning instead to my library for a way to mark the event.

Through the years, I've gathered a collection of books devoted to quotations from men and women far wiser and wittier than I. Down through the ages these pithy thoughts of the famous, along with words of average folks, have much to say about birthdays and aging.

So here, in no special order, are some of the best comments on the subjects. Come join me in a smile or two.

Milton Berle must have had me in mind when he said of an elderly friend, "I can't tell you his age, but when he was born, the wonder drug was Mercurochrome."

Woody Allen had some words of wisdom on aging. He said, "You can live to be a hundred, if you give up all the things that make you want to live to be a hundred."

George Burns advised old folks like me to "stay away from natural foods. At this age, you need all the preservatives you can get."

For those who would stay fit, one comic said simply, "Pushing fifty is exercise enough."

Bennett Cerf noted, "Middle age is when your old classmates are so gray and wrinkled and bald they don't recognize you."

Mark Twain, who always had a way with words, said, "Wrinkles should merely indicate where the smiles have been."

Sophie Tucker had an unbeatable formula. She said, "The secret to longevity is to keep breathing."

That wonderful comic Red Skelton, came up with this one. "There are three signs of old age: loss of memory... and I forget the other two."

Many thoughts on aging and birthdays have come from that prolific wag, Anonymous. Here are a few:

"She was born in the year of our Lord only knows..."

"She's too young for Medicare and too old for me to care."

"When we're young, we want to change the world. When we're old we want to change the young."

I wouldn't say someone is old just because his social security is in Roman numerals or because Mozart played at his senior prom, but at my age, I've found Bob Hope spoke my language when he said, "I don't generally feel anything until noon, then it's time for my nap."



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