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  • Writer's pictureDavid and Jennifer Cook

The big 50

Updated: Mar 21, 2023

If I were to be honest about turning 50 I would have to say that it was more of a relief than anything else. Turning 50 is a definite milestone moment in life. Some women feel anxious while others celebrate. For me, it was a bit of both. I have never worried about grey hairs or aging before, but turning 50 had me a little out of sorts. There was a little bit of melancholy, a little bit of excitement, and a whole lot of uncertainty on exactly how I would feel when the big day arrived.


The past year leading up to my 50th was definitely different than anything I had imaginged my life looking like. On one hand, I am essentially homeless, my lady tribe is spread around the United States, and I miss having my kids close to me. On the other hand, I am living a life full of exploration, wonder, curiosity, growth and satisfaction. It turns out that I wasnt at all fussed when my birthday arrived. In fact, it was sort of like taking a huge breath, holding it, and finally letting it out. It felt good! I feel content in my own skin and I am unaplologetic for living life on my terms.

Of course, David was stressing about taking me on some exotic trip, throwing me a huge party, or whisking me off on some grand adventure. Poor guy! He really wanted to do something "special" on my big day. The issue is that I turned 50 on a Tuesday following our weekend move to Washington. There wasn't time to plan another trip (we JUST got back from Hawaii for goodness sake) and planning a party didn't make a lot of sense with family and friends being spread out across the US. What was a loving husband to do? Well, he finally quit worrying about external opinions or thoughts on what he felt he "should" do and went with what he knew I'd want. My wonderful husband knows me better than anyone- so he whisked me off to spend the day in Gig Harbor and out on the water.


First he took me out to a great little restaurant called Tides. We got a great seat looking out into the harbor, the staff was friendly, and the food was incredibly fresh. We got appetizers, drinks, lunch AND dessert for that experience- YUM! I am also happy to report that they make a mean cup of chowder!!

After lunch we walked downtown toward the pier for my much anticipated boat tour around Gig Harbor.

Those that know me the best also know that I am at my happiest on the water. Luckily for me, David also loves the water and is willing to gift me these moments as often as possible. For my birthday, David booked us some time on the water with a guided tour.

David and I have found that the best way to learn about an area you are visiting is to take a guided tour if possible- walking, bus, or boat- you are sure to find an interesting fact or two that you didn't know before!

We saw plenty of sailboats (our favorite type of boat), cute houses along the harbor, a small lighthouse, plenty of sea life (sea lions, seals, and even a whale!), and even got a fuzzy glimpse of Mt. Rainer (the recent wildfires made a clear view difficult). My favoite part was learning all about the history of the Tacoma Narrows bridge (once known as Galloping Gertie). The new bridge is much more stable- but the original was destroyed by aeroelastic flutter in 1940. The entire tale is pretty interesting. Thankfully only one fatality occurred (Tubby the dog) but since we cross the bridge frequently to get into Tacoma that bit of history does give you a slight pause when you do cross over it.

All in all, I have to say that turning 50 isn't too shabby. I'm living my life without regrets and cherishing each day God sets before me. I still struggle with day to day challenges and worries, but overall I sure am happy to be where I am in my life. Who knew being "over the hill" would look so grand?


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