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Presents! Presents!

July 7, 2017
by Dan Voigt , Emmetsburg News

Stop and think back to your youthful days for a moment. Every kid remembers special days as they were growing up, specifically days involving gifts - Christmas comes to mind immediately, but I refer to every child's favorite day, their birthday.

We've all been there at some time or another, or seen something like it on TV - the child who is the honoree at the birthday party, wanting to sidestep the organized games or activities and get to the heart of the matter - the Presents.

"Presents, Presents! For ME!!!"

Ah, that age old cry can still be heard today from children of all ages.

OK, this is the point where, as a responsible journalist, in the interest of full disclosure and due diligence, I?must publicly admit that today is my birthday. For the first time in a few years, I'm taking my birthday off from work, as my present to myself.

I don't have any detailed plan, so to speak, for my day off. No trip to the circus, no skydiving, no flight with the Thunderbirds or running sound for Garth Brooks or anything exciting like that. Most likely, the day will consist of a one-day road trip to a favorite destination for a change of pace.

Normally, here at the newspaper office, a birthday usually calls for ice cream cake for the staff. But, being as Jane Whitmore retired last Friday, and we got her an ice cream cake that's still in the freezer, I don't see where we'll do a second ice cream cake in a short work week, due to the 4th of July holiday Tuesday.

I have to say that it's been quite a few years since I received presents on my birthday - my parents would always give me a humorous card, and somehow, I?managed to come across a couple of them that I'd put away a few years back. Finding those cards brings back memories of some happier times and provides a warm-fuzzy memory as a present, but as they say, life goes on.

I will probably get a card from my sister, probably a call sometime today or tonight, because my brother-in-law is up north with buddies fishing, while Diann is home in Ames, doing orientation for business students at Iowa State through the Summer.

With social media, I'm reasonably sure my cell phone will be alerting with messages from friends and acquaintances, which are always fun to read.

In other years, I've gotten together with friends and gone out for a meal, or just to visit, but it seems like schedules are becoming so much tighter these days; the opportunities for those nights out are disappearing. And, I'm finding that many of my friends have become more and more involved with their own families and their free time is also disappearing, much to our mutual disappointment.

While there are many who feel that birthdays are something to be avoided, denied or flat-out ignored, I figured out a long time ago that 1. they are unavoidable and 2. why fight it?

Someone much wiser than I?has said age is a state of mind and to a degree, I?believe that. There are days I feel somewhere around 30. Too bad other parts of me don't agree with my brain in that discussion. Parts like the knees and feet have put on a lot of miles in 20-plus years of newspapering, walking sidelines, standing at games, etc. But, no matter the number, what truly counts in a person's life is being able to enjoy each day to its fullest.



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