Over the Hill

This is a good week for our “Birthday ” theme, as I had two fellow bloggers refer to their birthdays with in the last week or so, and both affected me very humorously… although that is not what they intended.
One writer-blogger, a wife and mother, was depressed over how slow her life was and her lack of solid accomplishments…as she turned 27. A foodblogger wrote a discourse on her aged-found insights and feelings on “getting older”…on her 23rd birthday!

Kids; go figure.

Six days before my 23rd birthday, my sister turned 30. She was a beautiful, clever, vivacious young widow,(may I add, she had a nice figure). She had two darling daughters, a steady income, a job she liked and a nice male companion, (she had the pick of many). There was every reason for her to have a long and bright future, but I made her an ‘over-the-hill’ cake….stark white icing with a black car going over a hump in the cake. I wrote in no uncertain terms,(also in black), that she was indeed ‘over-the-hill’. Imagine how silly my point of view was about age and my even worse perception of how fast those next seven years were going to pass for me.

Fast forward fifteen years: A close acquaintance confided that a mutual friend was depressed about her upcoming 50th birthday. The ‘birthday girl’ was a well-educated and accomplished nurse. Unless you knew how old her beautiful oldest children were, you would never have guessed her age. She had a seriously cute, youthful face and could easily pass for a dozen years younger. Her continual good humor and kindness was legendary among us, so to hear that her birthday was getting her down was mind-boggling to me. I related the story of how I perceived age in my youth and the cake I had made for my sister. Pat-the-acquaintance said, “That’s what Gerri keeps saying, ‘I’m over-the-hill’!” She said that she’d like to throw a party for Gerri to cheer her up.  I asked if she’d like for me to make a cake and she said yes; she’d recruit another friend to call everyone, we’d set up a phony ‘meeting’ and spring a surprise party.

When Gerri walked in with her all-knowing husband, she was greeted with black balloons and many ’50-year-old’ party props. I let those nearer her age  cajole her by singing  songs and reading jokes about getting older from a book also found at the party store. Finally Gerri laughed until she cried and said that she realized that she was being silly…and then we had the cake.
I made of of my fanciest cake recipes for her.   On the icing  I made a hill with a road  of multi-colored sprinkles  going over it and put a cute little old car barely on the far side of the hump.
I put little wildflowers around  and in one corner I wrote in pastels:
“Gerri may be over-the-hill, but she’s a classic”.

I had not been so kind to my sister.

Age is more than a state of mind. (If we’re as old as we feel, some of us are in trouble before we get out of bed in the morning.) We need to grow and learn. We miss opportunities; we go after the wrong ones. We have what we think is bad luck and it becomes a blessing; we think we have good luck and ,boy, we later know that we would have been better off without it.
Am I surprised when I look in the mirror and see the older me? Yep, every time. Would I go back and relive the past? Not a chance. I have 20/20 hindsight, and I know life is a series of birthdays which become new beginnings that are one step ahead of the last…and, luckily for us, we get one every year!


About Tonette Joyce

Tonette was a once-fledgling lyricists-bookkeeper, turned cook/baker/restaurateur and is now exploring different writing venues,(with a stage play recently completed). She has had poetry and nonfiction articles published in the last few years. Tonette has been married to her only serious boyfriend for more than thirty years and she is, as one person described her, family-oriented almost to a fault. Never mind how others have described her, she is,(shall we say), a sometime traditionalist of eclectic tastes.She has another blog : "Tonette Joyce:Food,Friends,Family" here at WordPress.She and guests share tips and recipes for easy entertaining and helps people to be ready for almost anything.
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16 Responses to Over the Hill

  1. Nicely done and I’m sure your friend appreciated it. I like it!


    • Thank you ,Jillian; the cake was kind of ‘after-the-fact’ when she was already feeling better.I can’t get over thew the “Kid” bloggers , though.They’ll learn how young the WERE!


  2. jeff7salter says:

    How wonderful that you were able to cheer up your friend who turned 50.
    Yeah, within certain context, age is a state of mind.
    There are, of course, health issues which can make people feel older … or, as I phrase it, make them “hurt older”. But even with physical issues, people can be positive, pleasant, and enjoy life.


  3. It was the people closer to her age that worked on her,Jeff; I doubt that she wanted to hear from someone who she considered quite young tell her that she wasn’t old.
    I had no trouble turning 30, but 40 kind of hit me.50 was no big deal and I guess, in 16 months we’ll see how 60 hits me!
    I agree with you.I was not wiser when I was younger, but there were times when I was ‘older’. People think I am far too easily amused any more…but I intend to find things funny where I can!


  4. I’m pretending–that’s my secret. I feel thirteen, I AM 13. How did I get that 31-year-old son? I didn’t say it had to make sense. This was funny, Tonette!


  5. Iris B says:

    Great post to finish up our birthday week – and I love the birthday cakes! I remember when my sister turned 25 and thought, sheez, she’s a 1/4 of a century old and panicked as I approached that ‘milestone’ …. going downhill since then. So when the kids came along (well and truly years later) I went back to 21 … and I honestly have to think sometimes what my age is, not because I want to forget, jsut because I learned not to care. Mum always said, every line on your face has a story to tell, and I don’t wanna miss that story – and the older I get the more I appreciate it! And the day when my daughters’ friends won’t say anymore: “your mum’s a weird cookie” that’s the day I worry! LOL

    There’s a beautiful song by Darius Rucker – “Learn to life” and it’s so true. 21 sounds great, the wisdom and experience, not to mention attitude at that age sucked.

    “You gotta live and learn, you gotta crash and burn
    You gotta take some stances and take some chances
    You gotta laugh and love and take all life has to give
    You gotta live and learn so you can learn to live”


    • I just found your reply,Iris; I am sorry it took so long.
      I had no trouble turning 30, but I had major life-changers right when I was turning 40, and it hit me! But ,I can’t say I like the lines…but I know I have learned well from the experiences. 21 in looks, maybe, but not in attitude for me!


  6. Ofelia Ewing says:

    Plan an “over the hill” birthday party for a friend or relative who has reached that mark, whether it’s 30, 40, 50, 60 or even older. While the “over the hill” theme is usually for 50-year-olds, any age will work if it “feels” old to the birthday celebrant. Before planning out such a party, you should be sure he or she isn’t having issues with the approaching age, and that it will be taken with humor. The last thing you’ll want to do is offend or hurt someone you’re trying to honor. Does this Spark an idea?


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