Happy Days

“The happiest days are when babies come.”
– Melanie,
Gone With the Wind

These are happy days for my family.

On Tuesday, June 13th, my beautiful niece, Kelly and her husband, James, became the proud parents of a baby boy. He came in at a sensible 7 pounds 15 ounces and, unlike most Smit/Kolkena babies, he has a nice head of dark hair. I wish I could visit them tonight but they live in Tokyo, Japan.

On the SAME day, on the other side of the world in Portland, Oregon, my beautiful cousin, Collette, and her husband, Steven, became the happy parents of Isaac Grant Luttmer. He looks like his Opa (Dutch for ‘Grandpa) and weighed 9 pounds 5 ounces. Big boy!

It is really wonderful to be part of such a large family. My mother came from a family of eleven children and they all had three to eight children. That’s a LOT of first cousins for me!! And I’m so happy that Collette and I live in the same town. Susan and I are at the top of the babytending list. We can hardly wait.

And, my oh my, but it was good to hold a baby. Here I am with Isaac in my arms. It’s been a very long time since I held a newborn. My dear Lizzie is going to be 24 next month!!

But let us, for a moment, ponder the miracle of life. Babies can remind us of what is truly important. Let us honor these happy parents and wish them everything well.

Welcome Lucas.

Welcome Isaac.


On April 15th I turned the respectable age of 50 years old. Of course, as any American citizen over age 50 knows, it is now my opportunity to join the ranks of AARP. A week before my big day this envelope arrived in the mail.

So what does this signify? Am I retired? Hardly. Yet, I’m invited to join the American Association for Retired Persons. Is it a nefarious political movement? Perhaps. If I were 25 years old I’d worry about the legislation that AARP supports because it probably means that you’ll be supporting us more fully as we move into our sunset years. Do I get discounts? Bingo! That’s a reason to join AARP. The Regal Cinemas won’t be giving me the movie discount for a few more years but my AARP membership will get me a discount on long-term care insurance and other things that older persons think about. SIgh. I’m an older person.

But all month-long friends have been telling me that 50 is the new 30! How can I be a member of AARP?!

I think I’ll tuck this in the very back corner of my purse.