Aging & Gratitude

Dee Charlton

I’m grateful to be one of the lucky, reunion re-connections that formed over the past 18 months with Annice, one of the co-founders of this wonderful blog  Our friendship goes back to 6th grade summer camp, and if my math is right, that’s 47 years ago.  The camp was devised by the school district to facilitate kids from several grade-schools to meet and spend time together prior to the major transition into the adult world of 7th grade!  We became fast friends.  We were 12 years old.

October 23, 2011 – I turned 59.  How strange it feels to be writing for this blog and and saying, I’m almost 60 !!   How did that happen? The Bonnie Raitt song; “Nick of Time” keeps playing over and over in my head, especially the lyric; “… no matter how I tell myself – it’s what we all go through,  those lines are pretty hard to take when they’re staring back at you..”   In the Nick of Time  You ain’t never lied sister Bonnie!

My husband, Scott and I have been traveling the country in our motor coach since April.  We just returned to beautiful Sarasota, Florida Nov. 1st, and I’m sitting in front of the computer looking at our wedding photo taken in Italy.

Dee's wedding in Italy

Next to that is the photo we had taken last month in Las Vegas, it was our 5th anniversary – wow.  What a life, what a journey this has been!  I can’t say I remember what I wanted my life to be when I was younger except that I wanted to be independent and travel, and now I can say yes to both of those goals.

I’m also feeling how fortunate I’ve been to experience the wonder of this country – the canyons, the mountains, the Bad Lands, Death Valley, White Sands, Alaska and hot air balloon festivals.  I’ve even jumped out of an airplane and para-glided off a mountain.  I’m grateful for it all, and for Scott.

Next - Pilot's license

Back to my birthday – it was harder than I expected it to be.  All day, I was fighting back tears.  I know I’m not afraid of death, I’ve been faced with it on more than one occasion.  So what was tearing me up?  Aging?  Vanity?  Am I that vain?  I guess I am, but is that worse than death??

I think it finally hit me when I texted Fran (my wonderful step-daughter) something my mother said to me on my birthday: “Welcome to the last year of your 50s!”  Thanks Mom.  Her stand-up routine could use a little refining, but I love her anyway.  And thank you Fran for letting me cry on your long distance shoulder.  For every year that passes me by, I come one more year closer to losing my Mom, and that hurts a lot.

Dee with Mom

Honestly, I’ve just gotten to know my mother well about seven years ago, and I cherish her as my real best friend.  I am a lucky 59 year old woman in so many ways!

Born in Collinwood (Cleveland) OH, Dee’s family followed what she likes to refer to as the Italian Migratory Route from Little Italy in Cleveland to the ‘burbs where her mother still resides. 

After graduating from high school, she struck out on her own in her first apartment, later to be hired by the same people who built, owned and managed the complex.  

Her career in Property Management took her to New York, New Hampshire, and finally Florida, a place she wanted to stay.  In the early 90’s, Dee was hired by a national company and traveled the country promoting motivational speakers to help people get rich quick – just like they did.  It wasn’t unusual for her to come home with half a million dollars in her briefcase.  Eventually, Dee settled down in Sarasota.where she met her husband, Scott, and married in Santa Maria di Castellabati, Italy, just south of the Amalfi coast.  Today, they live in Sarasota during the winter months and travel the rest of the year in their motor coach.


4 thoughts on “Aging & Gratitude

  1. Dear Sadhvi, Jane and Nancy,

    Thank you all for your input and encouragement! I was able to read your post Sadhvi but when I clicked on Jane and Nancy’s names, those links took me right back to Sadhvi. I hope you can all see this response. (I’m new to this.)

    I’m trying to handle getting older with as much “grace” as I can. Maybe someday, I’ll find some?

    I am very lucky to have the genes I do. Both of my parents remained very young looking for a long time. I like to say that I was extremely careful on the day I picked my parents.

    Nancy, the motorcoach is a Tiffin Phaeton. It’s 42′ long, has a bath and a half, a full size GE refrigerator, 4 TVs (one outside), a king size, memory foam bed and a queen size air mattress sofa sleeper. I am NOT the roughing it kind of woman.

    Again, I hope I’m responding to all of you but if not, I’ll get more training.

    Take care ladies and thanks Annice for setting this up for us!


  2. Dee, If you’re 59, I’m surprised that there aren’t some “birthers” at your back door demanding to see your birth certificate! You look terrific and I’m glad you heard from Jane because she too has this thing about turning 60. Really girls, it’s not so bad and probably 60 is the new 50 so that makes me, a new 62, younger than both of you, right?? (I’d love to know more about the motorcoach.)

  3. Hello Dee,
    Enjoyed your post. Funny, I’ve been a big fan of Bonnie Raitt for, well, since she hit the scene. I remember hearing her sing “Nick of Time” in the 80’s. I was in my 20’s. Young. Beautiful. Innocent and not very self-conscious of how I looked, etc. I was just myself. Trying to be real. Those lyrics gave me chills back then, as they do now. … no matter how I tell myself – it’s what we all go through, those lines are pretty hard to take when they’re staring back at you..” So here’s to getting older. To being real. To enjoying life. Hope to hear from you again on the blog!

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