Well, I might as well let the cat out of the bag. Yes, I did turn 65 on July 3.

What a milestone! One thing it means is that I’ve been working as a freelance writer at the Killeen Daily Herald for five years now.

I didn’t think I knew enough words to write five years worth of stories. Of course, I’ve got a good editor.

My wife claims that I’ve been a little squeamish about this birthday. I’ve been complaining a little more about each new pain that surprises me every day.

It’s like my doctor told me once in his explanation of the changes in my body: “Well, Bob, you are getting older.”

And that’s when I turned 60. Thanks, doc. I still love ya.

The number of birthday greetings has overwhelmed me this year. I guess there are more perks as the numbers get larger.

One friend did wish me a melodious 39th birthday. That was much appreciated. Another friend called me “youngster.”

My Facebook was filled with greetings from friends and family.

Some of the more interesting included: Happy Birthday, little firecracker; Oh, to be young again; Happy old canary; Enjoy your special day and many more; Happy Birthday to my most favoritest father-in-law; So many decades since LCC days; Happy National Bob Massey Day; Celebrate like a wild man; and Time for another lap around the sun and … new shoes.

My favorites are from my family:

Daughter — Happy birthday to the jolliest and kindest man that ever lived;

Son — (This conversation is one that my son and I hear all the time, so it’s good for all occasions) Person speaking to my son: “You must be Bob’s son!” ... My son: “Really? What gave it away?”

... My son: “I’ll tell you what gave it away: animal magnetism, ladies and gentlemen. I’m always proud to say, ‘Yes, I’m Bob’s kid.’”

Wife — Happy birthday to my sweet husband, aka Santa.

Can’t seem to get away from that Santa thing.

I’ve enjoyed my first 65 years. A friend of mine said yesterday, “Bob, it’s just a number. Make every day prosperous, joyous and filled with servanthood.”

That’s another thing that makes birthdays special. I’ve been granted another year to be nice to people, friendly and helpful.

That’s the most fulfilling part of life at any age.

My parents have been gone for a long time but the legacy they left me was to be good to people.

I like to be encouraging and lift the load of those who are burdened down. My dad didn’t tell me those things; he showed me. I don’t always get it right but my goal is to keep on trying.

What I’d like to accomplish in my next 65 years is to get my teeth fixed and purchase hearing aids.

Only kidding … sort of.

You’ll be surprised to read that I also want to sing as long as my voice holds up.

It’s been a blessing to others and me and it’s fun!

You don’t have to worry that when I retire for good — and it won’t happen anytime soon — I’m not going into gardening or yard work or woodworking.

I think I’ll write a book.

What will I title it? I’ve got a long time to consider it, so just add it to my bucket list.

Bob Massey is a Herald correspondent.

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