A Birthday Announcement (with very bad language).

I’m 63 today.


HOW did that happen?

I used to love getting older.

When I was 10 my best friend’s mother said: “You must be so excited to be 10!”

I thought for a moment and replied with something which surprised me: “Well, I’d rather be 40.”

She gasped, and furiously told me how these were the best years of my life.

This scared me. THIS was the best? I’d spent much of my first ten years (and later years) being physically, verbally, and sexually abused. THIS was the best?

In my mind, being 40 seemed like an age when, perhaps, I would have finally gotten far far away from all the abuse. So, each passing year made me happy. I was suddenly 20! Suddenly 25! Then 30! Squee! Then — at last! at last! — 40! And, the funny thing is that my life DID get much better after 40! Much, much better!

Then 41, 42….46! With each year I was happy to grow older.

Then I hit 47. Oh, that hit hard. To my shock, I didn’t want to be 47. 46 was fine! Let’s just stop there! Then 48, 49, and with each passing year I grumbled ever more.


So, happy the fuck birthday to me. I rushed as fast as I could through my youth and, now, what I wouldn’t give to be 20 again. Well, the body at least, not the mind! I love my old mind!



  1. B.davis on February 13, 2020 at 8:15 pm

    Happy happy Birthday Ross!! From all my cats dogs and me, to you! Love Krystal.

  2. Barb Sanford on February 13, 2020 at 8:17 pm

    Happy, happy birthday, Ross! Lunch is on me next time I’m in Emporia. Can’t wait to see you and celebrate! Because you love your birthday soooooo much 🙂

  3. Marcia on February 13, 2020 at 8:24 pm

    And we love it too! So much wisdom and that mind comes with a generous heart. Bravo for 63! And here’s to many more.

  4. Drew on February 13, 2020 at 8:32 pm

    Happy birthday! Best wishes to you and the Cross House!

  5. Architectural Observer on February 13, 2020 at 8:37 pm

    Don’t think about the number. It’s irrelevant. Think of your “old” mind, and how much more desirable it is than a recently minted, vacuous and technology-addled mind is. Celebrate its superiority! Celebrate its abilities! Celebrate its astute perception of cats and their rightful place in the universe! No matter how old you get, you will always be a LOT younger than the Cross House! Happy 40th birthday now and every year hereafter!

  6. Stewart McLean on February 13, 2020 at 8:38 pm

    In nine months and three days I’ll be 63 too, so I feel you brother.
    There is something about the word fuck that expresses it perfectly for our age group. The young don’t get the impact of the language, the secrets we tried to hide the way we did, and are missing out on the thrill of saying, being, and doing forbidden things.

    Are there even any of the great gay dance bars that haven’t closed and been replaced with a (enter your favorite generic pharmacy chain’s name here)?

    • Architectural Observer on February 13, 2020 at 9:14 pm

      I agree! Life was much more fun in the 70’s when we had to sneak around and keep things quiet. All the adventure and risk has been taken away and replaced with boring, accepted, normalcy. I miss the code, the subtleties, the mystique. All gone. Some “victory”!

  7. Sandra Lee on February 13, 2020 at 8:46 pm

    Happy Birthday Ross! Some birthdays are hard re: the number😱

    I find the number is not the problem it’s the change in my body with each advancing year….

    You are blessed with good health and I alas am. It….

    In spite of the shock it will get easier!

    I hope it’s been a fun and productive day and a blessed birthday!

    Hugs to you!


    PS I hope this post is not too wacky…I don’t have glasses on and can’t se3 what I am typing..l misplaced glasses….

    • Cindy A on February 14, 2020 at 2:07 am

      Happy Happy Happy Birthday Ross!!!!

      I love you Ross!

      You’re the best!

  8. Mona in MN on February 13, 2020 at 9:00 pm

    Happy Happy Day to you dear Ross who makes the world a better place. Thank you!

  9. Christine on February 13, 2020 at 9:06 pm

    Oh Ross, my fellow Aquarian, we are almost birthday twins. Yesterday I turned 56!! I had a very sobering moment when I realized that for sure I have already lived more days than I have left. I can totally relate to the whole “aging body” thought process. I am rounder, softer, less flexible. However, I am not going gently in the soft night. Every day I strive to learn something new. Usually, I work diligently at sucking the marrow out of life.
    And, I see the same traits in you. You don’t take the quick and easy way. You don’t scrimp when a splurge is in order. You WANT to learn new things, you crave doing things the right way.
    Truly, Ross, you inspire me with every post. You challenge my thinking and make me want to do the right thing, always. With sincere heartfelt congratulations, I wish you a very happy birthday. May your wisdom continue to abound, your waist line continue to abate!

  10. Cindy Belanger on February 13, 2020 at 9:19 pm

    Happy Birthday Ross and many more to come. Go out and celebrate this weekend. Getting older is better than the alternative. 63 is not that old, you don’t even qualify for Medicare yet. Working on the Cross House makes you young at heart and keeps the body in shape. I hope you had a great day.

  11. kim on February 13, 2020 at 9:36 pm

    63 and WISE!

    Each age has its high and lows- now we need gto rush those highs and avoid those lows – which is what Cross house is all about. Enjoy !

  12. Mary Garner-Mitchell on February 13, 2020 at 10:10 pm

    Happy. Birthday, Ross and I love your “old mind.” As cliche as this is for me to say, cherish 63 every single year come. You are so very much loved!

  13. Tamara on February 13, 2020 at 10:34 pm

    Happy Birthday, Ross. Don’t stress the numbers. They don’t mean squat. I stopped counting mine years ago and honestly couldn’t tell you how old I am without stopping to think about it and do the math. If your mind is strong and your body is healthy, then all the important stuff is covered and the rest is just fluff. You have a house that needs you, friends that love you, and fans that adore you. And cats. They seem to like you too which is sort of a big deal.
    I hope your day was a happy one. 🙂

  14. Kelly Prentice on February 13, 2020 at 11:06 pm

    Happy Birthday ! I will be 65 Saturday . l am telling my self it is a privilege to grow old. Take care.

  15. Rick S on February 13, 2020 at 11:12 pm

    Happy Birthday Ross. You’re only half as old as the Cross House. Just a kid.
    May you have many more birthdays and adventures.

  16. Colin Boss on February 14, 2020 at 12:07 am

    Hi Ross. Sending many happy returns. I can only agree with most of the other comments – your mind and wit are ageless, and the work you’re doing on the house is keeping you at that perfect. Hope you had a great day. Colin

  17. Jenine on February 14, 2020 at 12:32 am

    I can commiserate. Somehow the years have snuck up and mugged me as well. Don’t compare me to a fine wine… just give me the wine and don’t mention the “B” word.

  18. Miss-Apple37 on February 14, 2020 at 2:10 am

    Joyeux anniversaire Ross!!

  19. Kelly on February 14, 2020 at 5:51 am

    I’m a day late so happy unbirthday for today…and heck, tomorrow too.

  20. MICHAEL J BAZIKOS on February 14, 2020 at 7:31 am

    Alles Gute zum Geburtstag, Ross! If I knew it was your birthday, I would’ve baked you a cake!

  21. MaryCarol on February 14, 2020 at 8:02 am

    Happy Birthday! Yes, old minds are the best!

  22. Joshua Crow on February 14, 2020 at 10:09 am

    Happy Birthday Ross! Old is 50 years older than you are as my grandpa says every year on his birthday, he’s 94. So old is really 113 for you.

  23. John Blick on February 14, 2020 at 11:07 am

    Happy Birthday Ross. I’m sorry to learn of the struggles of your youth. That is a terrible thing to have to endured especially as a child. I hope you are OK now.

    You shouldn’t complain too much about the age. Anyone who can consistently do the kind of work you do must be in pretty good shape for 63.

  24. Amanda on February 14, 2020 at 11:57 am

    Happy belated Birthday, Ross! May this year bring you health and happiness, and lots of progress on the Cross House. 🙂

  25. Leigh on February 14, 2020 at 7:10 pm

    Happy birthday to one of the world’s lovely hearts. Thank you for being an inspiration.

  26. tura wolfe on February 14, 2020 at 9:23 pm

    Happy Birthday Ross! I think you are very young at heart and body too! Just remember we have all seen you up to the Cross House roof looking like 35. But I do agree where did all the years fly by as I was so busy in the rush of living. It does seem that my old mind makes me realize that the progression of time is indeed a very good thing. On this the start of your personal new year I wish you and the Cross House the best yet to come. Happy Birthday, oh did I say that already, well since I am a decade older than you, guess my old mind is allowed! Ha, ha !

  27. Kim on February 16, 2020 at 11:00 am

    🎉Happy Birthday, Ross!💫
    I’m not too far behind you so … I’m not gonna say much about “time”. Do what you can, with what you got. 😉

  28. Phyllis on February 16, 2020 at 11:02 am

    Happy Birthday,to a beautiful old mind!

  29. Janice Ramey on February 16, 2020 at 4:23 pm

    to be young in body, but old in knowledge!

  30. Mike on February 19, 2020 at 9:19 am

    Happy belated birthday, Ross! I hope your 63rd year is the best yet, and that by the end of it you are living in the Cross House.

  31. Linda A. on February 20, 2020 at 7:52 am

    Happy Belated birthday, Ross. Be so grateful for your 63 year old self. All of us are!😆💕. Getting up on that darn scaffolding is a feat in itself. I just turned 56 and couldn’t remember the words “solar panel” the other day and kept referring to it as a “sun catcher”!! Your mind is still an agile, wonderful thing so celebrate that!

  32. Karen Spencer on February 23, 2020 at 9:29 pm

    Happiest belated birthday dear Ross. We are fellow Aquarian’s. My birthday is 4 days before yours, and I am 6 years older than you are.

    Interestingly, I am ok with getting older. I find that there is a lot of freedom in it. You are not longer so concerned about what others think, and you realize that you must grab life and enjoy it.

    And, compared to most of our Dem candidates, we are mere babes! Bernie and Nancy are fabulous models for aging.

    Wishing you a belated happy birthday and a truly wonderful year.

  33. David McDonald on April 10, 2020 at 4:09 pm

    Just found this post, still making my way through, …..
    HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY!!! Mine’s at the end of this month, I’m turning 50. Saw your timeline face pix(last one was HILARIOUS!!-yea, the vitamins ARE working-lol) ,seriously, tho, you dont look a day over 45! You’re really cool!! And, man, wish I could come and help you work on that house!! Luv the way you think about stuff! But, alas…..
    So, heres to you!! 🥂… 🎆 🎉….😁

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