Sunday, July 13, 2008

A Mysterious Trip


How did it happen? My darling protagonist Ruth Budge and I have reached a strange and mysterious place. One day we’re easing into adult life and then bam! Out of nowhere…middle age. I ignored the signs for a while, the wrinkles, the gray hairs, the odd bulge here or there. Since my monolithic 40th birthday, and completion of Ruth’s adventures in Finny, I can no longer disregard the plain truth. I’ve made it my mid-life mission to compile a handy list of the top three signs of middle age, a sort of roadmap for those accompanying me down that crooked highway.

Sign Number One: Parts of my body are not where I left them two decades ago. Gravity is not my friend, I’ve decided. It seems to be doing its able best to pull all manner of areas in the southernly direction. Other parts require much more time and assistance than they did in my twenties. Getting up off the floor for instance, necessitates several people and a winch. And what is that sound that comes out of my mouth when I bend over? Ruth has the same trouble, but she puts me to shame. She manages to chase her flock of disabled seagulls, keep up with her new husband’s catering business and even solve a murder in her latest book, Fog Under Finny’s Nose. If she can forge ahead, I guess I can too.

Sign number Two: I’ve become technology road kill on the great cyber highway. When I turned forty, the world exploded with microchips and gigawatt thingamagiggys. I got a new phone that came equipped with all kinds of functions from text messaging to navigating the Mars explorer. For some reason, my middle aged brain has reached capacity and I am unable to figure out anything technology related. Ruth, like me, still appreciates the power of a good handwritten document. As a matter of fact, just such gem, handwritten by a stalwart restaurateur in 1920, proves to be a clue that unlocks a decades old mystery. How’s that for the power of the pen?

Sign Number Three: Time moves faster now. The days on my calendar fly by so
quickly, I sometimes can’t remember what I packed into all of them. Gone are my girls’ jack o’lantern grins with missing teeth and the box of tiny ballet slippers marks an age that seems so long ago and yet remains so recent in my memory. Gone too are the times of reading books on Mommy’s lap and playing in the mud on a warm spring morning. I can’t remember when my kisses stopped being magic for boo boos, or when the girls got too big for flying high on the swing set, looking as if they could touch the sun.

Could it be only a few short weeks until Finny #2, Fog Under Finny’s Nose releases? And how is it possible that book three, Treasure Under Finny’s Nose is complete? I will certainly miss Ruth and her crazy town filled with colorful characters and plenty of villainy. Maybe we will meet again sometime. I suppose the miles we’ve traveled together helped me to appreciate this amazing God given journey, to taste the sweetness of the days, like hidden fruit left on the tree to soak up the sun for a while longer. I will count myself blessed to savor my life in the middle, and the wonderful company I’ve enjoyed along the way.

7 comments:

Ausjenny said...

Dana Tell me about it! Although I didn't have a big problem with 40 (a couple of years ago) but 30 was an issue.
I cant beleive how quick the years going in just over 8 weeks im going to Canada and Im starting to panic! i have so much to do and time is just going way to quick.
I have your first book on my TBR list. and that may happen this week if the blog books dont arrive today.
(my goal for the day is to do my stocktake as its tax time in aussieland)

Dana said...

I think it's true, the older I get the faster time goes! I wish you good luck with that Canada move, friend. Dana

CHickey said...

Time is definitely speeding! I'm over the 45 mark now and groaning with every step.

Your Finny books are great!

Dana said...

Thanks, Chickey.

I try to remember that I've earned every one of these wrinkles the hard way and I should wear them proudly!

Ausjenny said...

Oh i should have said its a holiday to Canada not moving there. I have my stocktake almost done!
church library is next.
and as the blog books didn't read im reading another cozy mystery

Linda Kozar said...

Dear Dana,

Great post. You make-a me laugh, woman! I think your next book ought to be Milk Out of Finny's Nose! (That always used to happen to me when I was a kid.)

NancyMehl said...

Dana,

I will miss Ruth, too. I've fallen in love with her and her odd little family of "birdbrains."

Maybe someday we should all write a special reunion story where all our "retired" character meet! What fun...

Nancy