pink and purple birthday cake

Another Year Older!

Today I am another year older - 51. Wow! I used to think my parents were so old when they were this age. I’m not old! My body and lungs may feel that way, and sure, I may be forgetful, but in my mind, I still feel so young.
I don’t know how I got here but I am so glad that I did. I feel blessed to have another year. Another year with my husband, another year with my kids, another year with my grandkids, and another year with my other family members and friends. I am so blessed!

Vacation getaways

My husband and I usually don’t do anything special for our birthdays. When our kids were younger we wanted to use any extra money that we had on our kids. Now that we are older and we never know what tomorrow will bring, we save our money for vacation getaways.

On our getaway last year, we took a road trip to Florida. We drove to Nashville first and stayed there a night. With Covid still going on, we didn’t go indoors anywhere but just did some site seeing and took some pictures. We headed toward Florida and on the way stopped by Alabama Safari Park. It is a drive-thru park that you can feed the animals. They came right up to our van and ate from cups that we had animal feed in. It was nice to be able to do something like that where we didn’t have to worry about being around crowds. We were off again and headed to Treasure Island, Florida.

Jackie English standing beside a statue of a dolphin in the sand in front of a hotel.

Me on Treasure Island.

A hand holding a cup of food out of a car window toward a zebra.

Feeding a zebra at Alabama Safari Park.

Jackie English and husband standing in front of a giant statue of an acoustic guitar.

My husband and me at the Grand Ole Opry.

Paradise on earth

While on Treasure Island, we walked to the beach and enjoyed a couple of days there. It was a long trek, but with my husband's help, we made it slowly but surely. We collected shells for the grandkids, put our feet in the water, and just enjoyed relaxing in the sun and listening to the waves of the ocean. Of course, we went shopping and got t-shirts and souvenirs for the kids and grandkids. 

We enjoyed the resort pool and hot tub and we were lucky to have them both to ourselves. Between Covid and being "cold" there, we seemed to be the only ones to brave the 75-degree weather (which was amazing to us after leaving a cold and snowy, Illinois). We also got to see beautiful sand sculptures that are sculpted every year at the resort next to ours. I can't believe how talented some people are! We hated to leave Treasure Island, it was paradise on earth for sure. We would have loved to stay for the whole winter...someday, hopefully!

Leaving the cold

We feel so fortunate to be able to do these road trips. This December we plan on going to Arizona and traveling Old Route 66 on our way back home. If it wasn’t for us scrimping and saving and my husband working extra hours we would never be able to do these trips. But these are our Birthday and Anniversary gifts to each other. We hope that in the future when my husband retires, we can make these trips last 3 months to get out of the cold winters here in Illinois.

Make it count

When I was first diagnosed with COPD eleven years ago, I never thought that I would see this day or if I did, that I would have new lungs by now. Listening to the doctors or reading online articles about the type of COPD I had (emphysema from Alpha-1), gave me little or no hope about my future. I’m so glad that I didn’t stay focused on that for too long. I just enjoyed and cherished every minute and started taking better care of myself.

So if I have any advice for you it is to never rely on what doctors tell you about your lifespan, only God knows when that day will happen. Enjoy every moment and make it count! Do you know of some great destinations that we can add to our annual winter trips? I'd love to hear about them.

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