Getting Outside Saturday: Birthday Edition

categories: Cocktail Hour / Getting Outside


Ah, but the kids keep you young!


They say it’s my birthday, nah-nah-nah-nah-nah!  A year of no importance: 59.  Next year, major party (“A man of sixty has spent twenty years in bed and over three years in eating.” ~ Arnold Bennett ).  This year, meh.  I feel a lot like I’ve made it up the hill like the little train that could, crested the hill  proudly, lingered a moment at the top, and now find myself plummeting down the other side at speeds unheard of, and no brakes!  It’s all in the mind, my sister-in-law said this afternoon (she’s visiting with her lovely kids from Los Angeles).  No, I replied, It’s all in the body!  And I’ve got some new bumper stickers to counter all the pabulum about aging I’ve been hearing: FIFTY-NINE IS THE NEW FIFTY-NINE!  Or how about: YOU’RE ONLY AS OLD AS YOUR AGE!  Or this: YOU’RE NOT GETTING OLDER, YOU’RE GETTING FATTER!  Mick had it right: What a drag it is getting oh-0ld…  I took my birthday walk this morning through the forest and was rewarded with a huge King Bolete (Boletus edulis, or in Italy, porcini), dreams of a fine lunch, slices sauteed in butter.  But I took my safety nibble and found it bitter, bitter, ptooey!  I’d found not a King Bolete but an unusually pale Tylopilus felleus, or Bitter Bolete!  Perfect gift for the sorrowing birthday boy!  But never fear, a swim in the stream, a birthday party (cake made by daughter and her cousins), surprise guests (Wes and Diane, Elysia’s honorary grandparents), and, I mean, well, okay.  Wes’s jokes aside–“You think you’re taking a walk, but suddenly you realize you’re walking the plank!”  Salut!

Tylopilus felleus, or Bitter Bolete




I’ve heard that song before!


So that’s what they’ve been cooking up all day!





  1. monica wood writes:

    Bill, these photos made me so happy!!!

  2. Tommy writes:

    The way I heard it, 59’s the new 62! Blink your eyes and one of those kids will be in College, and the other two will be driving! But all those candles, Bill, could about set the house afire, and don’t get Dave started on their carbon footprint! Happy Birthday!!

  3. Richard Gilbert writes:

    Happy Birthday, Bill! But ya gotta listen to the Beatles, not the Stones. Specifically “When I’m 64,” written by Paul McCartney . . . when he was 16.

  4. Pat shipley writes:

    Agree with the comment that by the looks of it your life is pretty sweet. Lovely family, book launching, swimming hole, cake…how good does it get?
    Come to work with me some day and hang around the 18 to 108 (my oldest patient) crowd and you will see age is just a number. That’s why I’m going to start lying about mine.
    I’m inviting myself to your 60th.

    • Bill writes:

      Pat, you’re right, and you’ve inspired another bumper sticker: AGE IS JUST A NUMBER, AND YOUR NUMBER IS UP! Can’t wait to get to Virginia and see my (much younger) high-school pal!

  5. nina writes:

    Happy Birthday Bill! As your friend and reader, my life is better because you were born.

  6. Susan Pearsall writes:

    A swim, a homemade cake, family and friends, a serenade? AND your new book is coming out soon? Ah, life is good. Don’t sweat the number. Happy 59 Bill and many more!