Monday, July 29, 2013


I reached the big "7-0" this week. I'm talking age, not height. Since we have been so busy, it came quickly, sort of a surprise. I've never really thought much about turning 70.  It's funny how old you think 70 is until suddenly you get there. Having a 70th birthday is better than not having one, though, so I'll gladly take it. When we left home two years ago, I hadn't considered that I'd be 70 when we returned. Of course I would still be this age whether we served missions or not.

Actually, my birthday was a wonderful day.  We didn't have the fun parade, picnic, boating or fireworks celebration our family usually enjoys together on the 24th of July in Utah, but we did have a great outdoor picnic with Visitors' Centre missionaries on the beautiful temple grounds.  The hamburgers, crisps, baked beans, salad, fruit, American root beer and delicious lemon cake reminded me of home. How cool to have my 70th birthday in England!

Sisters Walmsley, Berati, Stewart and Cardona.

Our good friend and neighbor, Edward, came for a hamburger.

The weather was perfect for a picnic.

Everybody loved the cake.

Birthday wishes from the VC missionaries.

 At age 70, I find that I have become a bit more reflective about many things. Life has been a series of ups and downs, for sure, but I know I've been blessed. Right now I'm just feeling thankful for the numerous blessings that have come my way:

~ 46 years of marriage to a wife who is a lovely person and excellent
~ A supportive family - it would be difficult to leave and serve without
     them sharing our values and goals.
~ Good health, the time, and the means to serve - I know that not all
     who wish to serve missions can.
~ Early upbringing in Cache Valley, with goodly parents, gardens,
     orchards, chickens, horses, and 4-H.
~ Teen years in Berkeley, with good friends, high school, Church, and
     cultural diversity of the San Francisco Bay Area.
~ Education at Berkeley, B.Y.U., U.of U., and career opportunities at
     Dixie, U.S.C. and the Utah Board of Regents.
~ Travel experiences with work, family, school board, international dance
     festivals, and missions.
~ Great memories of family life in Torrance, Cottonwood Heights, and
     Draper with wonderful friends and neighbors.

Spending some time with Ken and Marilyn Anderson
who are our temple missionary neighbors

I feel like I have been blessed more than I deserve, and I am very thankful. I look forward to my 70's and 80's (and maybe even 90's) and hope to achieve some of the following:

~ to live life with more charity and less stress, more concern for others
     and less worry about myself.
~ to spend more time with my wife, family, and friends, but with ample
     time to learn from and serve others.
~ to think more about ideas, truths, and principles -- and less about
     objects and things.
~ to continue to read, write, ponder and learn -- I don't want to die
~ to enjoy whatever life brings, while trying to help others to do the same.

It really is great to be 70.  I'll take it and love it!                      ~ Don~


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