When I’m Sixty Five

Friggatriskaidekaphobia (Fear of Friday the 13th) is not something I worry about, since 9 of my birthdays have fallen on that day, and I was born on a Sunday, as a post war baby boomer in 1947. (No I don’t remember Harry Truman, Ike; yes second term) I remember that out of 5 sons (I’m the middle one) I was the only one with a SUMMER birthday.

So my birthday was celebrated at out summer house on Cape Cod. My father had six acres’ of land in the town of Yarmouth. So Prince Paul was the only son to have a Lolly-pop tree on his birthday. A privilege reserved only for middle sons. (Out in the woods behind our house, a sapling pine was selected and festooned with ribbons and decorated with lolly-pops, with birthday presents under it, do you see the Christmas symbolism there?)

My two older and my two younger brothers often complained of the unfairness of it, but I never really cared. It was my absolute right as the SUMMER born middle son.

As I grew older and left home and joined the service, I found that my birthdays were no big deal to my shipmates, and became no big whoopee to me too. I celebrated my birthday over the years in many strange and exotic places around this big ball called Earth.

I remember a Beatles song from my youth titled “When I’m 64” and thought to myself, whoa, that’s just too far away to even dwell on, and who knows if I’ll even make it? I guess I proved myself wrong, and I didn’t mind that at all.

Article continues below photos.  Click on the photo for a larger view.

But here I am, having turned 65 a few days ago and damn it I feel any different than any other birthday in my life. Except the lolly-pop tree celebrations from my mis-spent youth which I would like to do once more, but substitute beer for the lolly-pops, substitute the tree for a cooler, you, know where I’m going with this train of thought.

So here it is, the big day, I am now “65” I am now on Medicare that I’ll never use but I will pay for, forever more. But if that’s all it takes to live here in the Philippines with the people I love, then so be it.

Now a blow by blow of the big day; I awoke early around 04:00 and logged on to Face Book and LiP. FB, had greeting galore, and FB would let me read them, but not respond, not even to click “like”. So I went over to LiP and Yahoo mail. Around 09:00 after a birthday walk with Coco the Flying Labrador and my last cuppa coffee of the day, I went back online and FB had consented to allow me to click “like” and comment. I never really got angry at Face Book, well because it is free, isn’t it!?

Then Mayang, my gift in life that I never really deserved, asked me if she could take me to lunch for my birthday? You’ve already figured it out by now, Texas Joe’s! And I ordered a Tenderloin Steak with Corn on the cob, baked potato with extra sour cream, cornbread and iced tea. Mmmm Good! Note the ice tea, my daughters wanted to fix me supper and present me with a birthday cake latter in the day, and beer or cocktails have no place in that type of circumstances, as granddaughters and nieces would also be present.

They knew that we all like Spaghetti with meat sauce; I can take or leave pancit, so pasta it is with Garlic bread of course. Oh, I have to make the meat sauce, as a friend in Naples Italy had taught me eons ago. If left on their own it would end up sweet with hot hogs in it.

The cameras were out, the food was eaten, and Jaden and I were sharing a birthday cake, being that my grandson Jayden was born on May 13th (A Sunday like his Lolo) it was his 2nd month birthday? Hey, I love the tiny guy; did you think I’d mind? So until next year, this birthday has come to a close, I deem it a great one, as I was with my family, and it just can’t get any better than that.

Post Author: Paul Thompson (313 Posts)

Paul Thompson; has resided in the Philippines since 1993, living close to Subic Bay. I’m married to a wonderful girl named Maria (AKA Mayang).Who is from Gordon Heights in Olongapo where she grew up with her Mom & Dad and seven siblings Our two daughters are both grown up and have left the nest, the eldest married to a wonderful guy named Chris, and they have blessed us with our granddaughter Heather Colleen Our youngest daughter and her husband Cecil have blessed us with a grandson named. Jayden Logan. I’m a retired U.S. NAVY Senior Chief after 22 years of active duty. After retirement from the Navy I lived for 7 years in Puerto Rico as a Night Club owner. Then Hurricane Hugo told me to find a new line of work, I was hired by Military Sealift Command and went back to sea in Asia as a Merchant Seaman for 10 years. After 30 plus years at sea I buried my anchor on a mountain in the Philippines and am now residing in Dinalupihan (or DinBat for short), Roosevelt, Bataan where we built our home. And last but not least, anything I writes will be pure "Tongue in Cheek "If anybody is offended, I'll lose no sleep over it, but here's a quick Mea Culpa in advance!

How to Move to the Philippines Manual


  1. Ron says

    Happy B-Day one more time. Sixty-five is a good number. With your temperment and loving family you will live for many, many more. I totally know what you are saying about your spaghetti sauce. My gift in life has totally sweetened and salted my favorite recipes into a different world. I guess the world of the Philippines. I think spaghetti sauce and visions of tomato, garlic, oregano, diced tomato, ground beef, onions and maybe a little basil come to mind. The gift of my life grabs the brown sugar, molasses, etc….. Oh well they are after all a gift. Oh and for the last time Happy Birthday. I have seven to go so how about on my sixty-fifth and your seventy-third we share a beer as I hear (from you) that they are medicinal. Ron

    • Paul Thompson says

      Hi Ron;
      Pasta sauce is is something I’ll always be the one to make. My Granddaughter Colleen will tell everyone that Hot Dogs don’t belong in the sauce. She only likes the way I cook it. My daughter (Colleens mom) tells me that I’ve spoiled her daughter, I just smile, as I’ve converted one to my side.
      As for turning 65, my advice is to put it off for as long as you can, don’t rush it. Medicare will be Obamscare by the time you need it. I’m better off with PhilHealth! Laughter is the best medicine next to SMB.

  2. chasdv says

    Hi Paul,
    Great to hear you had a good birthday celebration, time to forget them now, lol.

    I’m old enough to remember when snap, crackle and pop was the sound my breakfast cereal made, not my body.

    Happy Birthday!

    • Paul Thompson says

      Wow are you right about that, I’ve found aches where I didn’t even know I had body parts. I’ll chalk it up to my sailing days where many times I’d been rode hard and put up wet.

  3. Gary Wigle says

    You never intend to use Medicare you can opt-out of Part B. Just write a letter to them. They will stop your payments right away. You will get a new card for Part A only, the free one. 😛

    • Paul Thompson says

      Herein lies the rub; because I’m retired military and have TriCare, I must have Medicare to keep my TriCare active (Catch 22). TriCare while being not the best health Insurance to use here in the Philippines, but it’s only a short flight to the Navy Base on Guam where they must accept it. For the little things I use PhilHealth which is pretty damn good for its purpose.

  4. Loren Pogue says

    You are a fortunate man Paul, and deserve the good life. I look forward in the coming years to celebrate your birthday with you a few days after your family birthday. Picture of you in Texas Joes made me home sick.

    • Paul Thompson says

      Both Jinky and Jho both have asked for you, and when were you returning. I told them 2013 and that you Tommy and I would be regulars again. I’m waiting to have a cocktail on your roof garden by your penthouse.

      • Loren Pogue says

        Not sure about the Penthouse but we can defiantly have an adult beverage and a barbeque in the garden. Tell the ladies in Texas Joes I am counting on them to keep a SMB cold for me.

        • Paul Thompson says

          A cold SMB is a given at TJ’s, I promise I won’t throw anything off your roof onto the folks below.

  5. RandyL says

    It’s good to know you had a great birthday surrounded by the people that love you. There’s really nothing more important than that. Now, reset your odometer for a new milestone and go get it…and don’t forget to bring a little SMB with you to enjoy along the way 😉

    • Paul Thompson says

      My next milestone? No, I think I’m on cruise control from now on. I was in the shipyards in Philadelphia in the early 70’s. Also there were 2 old 800 class destroyers being turned over to the Iranian Navy, one Iranian bought a custom Van, and while on I-95 put it on cruise control and went to the back to fix himself a drink. It was the joke at the PO Club that caused many a fight between the two Navies. (True Story no shit)

  6. Ricardo Sumilang says

    I love the title of your article, Paul. “When I’m Sixty-Five” reminded me instantaneously of Frank Sinatra’s, “When I was seventeen, it was a very good year.” Don’t know why I made the connection. LOL

    Then the second connection and the most poignant in my mind. Your mention of your birthday celebrated during a summer in Cape Cod, I am reminded of the beautiful movie, “Summer of 42”, starring the beautiful Jennifer O’Neil, which was based on a true story of adolescent love that occurred off the coast of Cape Cod, in Nantucket Island in the summer of 1942. Before your time.


    Happy belated birthday, Paul.

    • Paul Thompson says

      I thought only I remembered Ole Blue eye’s songs. Palma Spain, 1968, a girl from Norway named Hella, and Frank singing, “Strangers In The Night” Ahh!!!
      I used to sail my sailing pram out to Nantucket for the day, but never told my father I’d gone that far. I remember “The Summer of 42” very well, the movie that is. Cape Cod was a great place to spend our summers while growing up. My Brother Dan sill lives on the Cape.

      • Ricardo Sumilang says

        LOL Talk about reminiscing some old flame. Your Hella from Norway is my Gisela, a blonde and blue-eyed fraulein from Berchtesgaden/Nurnberg, Germany, and the song was Skeeter Davis’s, “End of the World.”

      • PapaDuck says

        I remember those Scandanavian women well on Palma De Mallorca lol. Turning 65 is just the beginning of a whole new life. Spending it with your love ones makes it a whole lot sweeter. The spaghetti sauce and garlic bread sure look good. Shouldn’t there be 67 candles on your b-day cake to blow out lol. Take care.

        • Paul Thompson says

          Palma de Mallorca, oh to use the Way Back Machine just one last time.
          67 candles, May I borrow your leaf blowing machine?

  7. Paul Thompson says

    My Brother once asked me; “Is it was true that a sailor had a girl in every port?” I scoffed at that very notion, I mean really, what sailor has been to every port?

  8. Lenny says

    Better listen to Sinatra’s “””” My Way”””…Happy Beerday dude……U and I are stuck in an old mans body with a young brain ………………Amen

  9. peter joy says

    happy brithday old mate it look like u dont need to be ask to put ur feet up and have one or two cold ones mate lol all the best and may god give u a lot more to come peter martin tassie

    • Paul Thompson says

      I’ve been waiting a long time for this to happen to me, and I’m still not showing any signs of wisdom or maturity. Just when does that stuff kick in?

  10. Mark G says

    Habby Birthday Paul! (again, lol) Sorry to say I don’t miss the Cape a bit but the drive down from the North Shore was probably more of a pain than the one out of Dorchester, lol. Ingat kaibigan!
    Mark G.

    • Paul Thompson says

      We used to drive down before the South East Distress Way was built during the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s. Driving through every tiny hamlet and burg; it was a plus 3 hour trip then. Also those North Shore types aren’t that welcome on the Cape. (LOL)

  11. ScottF says

    First, Happy Birthday Paul! I hope you’ve got many more opportunities to share with your newest family member.

    Second, your article was great. I laughed at the spaghetti sauce comments. My wife told me her aunt makes her sauce sweet, but she prefers mine. I just started making my own last year from scratch, and challenged my 100% Italian friends wife to a sauce challenge. It’s set for this September. We’re still working out the judging portion, but I look forward to the results.

    Have a great day, and thanks for the laugh today.


    • Paul Thompson says

      You are most welcome, making a great pasta sauce depends on what region of Italy the recipe came from, as each has its own, and all are good. Make sure you know what the judges are used to, or it won’t be a fair contest. As I said, I learned from friends in Naples, where the pizza is completely different from the rest of Italy. I sneak Italian sausage in with the ground beef and ground pork mixture.

    • Paul Thompson says

      Friday night the Captain and I had a bit of a sword fight, harsh words were spoken, and I capped him and went to bed. Oh, no fear, we’re friends again.

      • Jun Trinidad says

        Good Thing you capped him and not throw him out in your driveway in anger otherwise you’ll be needing a new set of tires for you new old car.

        • Paul Thompson says

          Break a bottle of Captain Morgan? Wouldn’t that be the true definition of alcohol abuse? The chemical sign for alcohol: C2H5OH

  12. says

    Hi Paul – As they say it only happens but once in a lifetime being 65. The other thing they say is, every year after is a bonus. What the hell have we let ourselves in for as I’m 65 as well. Lets hope we can celebrate many many more birthdays in the future and still write about it of course.

    • Paul Thompson says

      Beating the odds is how I’ve live life to this point, we shouldn’t stop now. I hope when Bob retires someone will let me write for them; hey, I work cheap, well for free anyway. But I enjoy LiP and the people I’ve met here. I hope we’re all around for a long time to come.

  13. Brian says

    Belated Happy Birthday to you. Was down in Hull, MA 4rth of July. A friend of mines mother rents a apt there the size of some bathrooms I saw in PI. It was two rooms a bathroom and a kitchenet price …………$2000 a month !!!! Isn’t MA great. I live on the border of MA in Vermont and that closes enough for me. Hoping when and IF I can retire the US dollar will still be worth something other then cheap toilet paper so me and my pinoy princess can move home. Yes, I said home. I felt more at home there then in my own country. Glad to hear your doing well and hope good health and blessings to you and yours in the future.

    • Paul Thompson says

      I remember when Hull was a blighted area, it was the place where people went who couldn’t afford Revere Beach and at that time Revere Beach was a total dump. But Hull had the better roller coaster. Oh how times change. I never spent much time in the US after I turned 18 and discovered there was more world out there and I wanted to see it. I’m very happy living here in the Philippines, and I wake up in a great mood every day. But I get angry with the direction my birth country is heading, but that only happens if I watch the NEWS, so I try not to do that often, because you can’t really trust the NEWS at all. Bring some good maple syrup when you come, because you can’t get it here!

  14. Hudson says

    You’re a lucky man Paul
    Health and long life to you,
    May the roof above you never fall in,
    And those gathered beneath it never fall out.

    Here’s to health, peace and prosperity. May the flower of love never be nipped by the frost of disappointment, nor shadow of grief fall among your family and friends.

    May you be poor in misfortune, rich in blessings, slow to make enemies and quick to make friends. And may you know nothing but happiness from this day forward.

    May your home always be too small to hold all your friends.

    May you live to be 100 years, with one extra year to repent.

  15. says

    Hi Paul – Happy, Happy Birthday. More beerday to come. Looks like you had a good celebration there. Cheers for 65 more years.:-)

    Really happy knowing you here on LIP Paul. Always enjoyed reading your post here.

    Have a good day and God bless!

      • Paul Thompson says

        Wow, I guess I guessed that above about it being Irish, I often think of my sainted Grandmother Molly, who got off the boat in Boston when she was just 17. She never lost that Irish lilt in here speech.

  16. Bob New York says

    Happy Birthday Paul. Sometimes I dont think it’s the actual numbers ( and I may not be too far behind you in that respect LOL ) but it may be more how old you feel.

    One thing I have thought about age, it sneaks up on you while you are sleeping, you don’t actually realize it.

    There were a couple of Frank Sinatra songs mentioned here. The one I think best fits this occasion would be the song ” Young At heart ” and one line of it fits many of your articles perfectly

    “You can laugh when your dreams fall apart at the seams ”


    and yes, I still have that on a 45 !

    • Paul Thompson says

      First I must help out the under fifty crowd; “I still have that on a 45” what Bob is referring to is a vinyl record that spins at 45 and 1/3 RPM, on a thing called a turntable (or Record Player), which is a mechanical device that will not play MP3 music.
      If one took the time one could find many songs sung by Frank that applied then and still do, as my friend’s hearse crawled through the streets of Olongapo City the sound system blared out “My Way” by Ole Blue Eyes. That was fitting for him.

  17. Lenny says

    You know… u hit the nail right on the head, been living it up… having good times and never watched the clock…woman, wine and song along with Poker and Horse Racing,…What did happen, catch myself looking at the clock once in awhile now heheheheh..oh well…HEY WAITER…Bring me another beer………..

  18. Larry Saum says

    Happy Birthday Paul! Many happy returns. I’m closing in on my 70th in Nov. My high school class wants to have a “we made it to 70 ” party, but I don’t think I will go to it.
    I often go searching on YouTube to hear old music. I was recently listening to Dinah Shore. There was also a medley of songs by her and Frank Sinatra together.
    link :

    I also have a favorites list that includes many others from Roy Rodgers, Gene Autry, The Sons of the Pioneers. I suppose that is enough here.
    Again Happy Birthday.

    • Paul Thompson says

      See the USA in your Chevrolet; wow I’d forgotten about Dinah Shore, I remember her TV Show. Good Music on your link BTW. I was home on leave in Boston after 10 years, in the Navy, and found my old High School friends to be beyond boring, a trip to Maine was a big deal to them, and not a one had a passport. So reunions held little interest to me. But I did go to a get together of old shipmates from one ship we were all on, and that was fun.

      • RandyL says

        I can remember going to my 15yr reunion and like you said…boring. One of my classmates was still driving the same PU truck his daddy bought him for graduation. When I left high school, the topic of the day was usually the price of corn and soybeans. 15 years later, the topic of the day was unchanged, only the price was different!

  19. Rose rollins says

    Happy birthday po! I always enjoy your post! You became an inspiration to me, always have positive attitude in life specially living in the Phil. I’m hoping and praying someday my husband and I will retire and enjoy the simple life, and hope to meet you n your beautiful family specially Mayang. I’m from Floridablanca, maybe 30 min from you and I have a lot of relatives in Dinalupihan. Hope to meet you someday Paul. God Bless…

  20. Paul Thompson says

    I’ve been to Floridablanca many times, as it used to be a great shortcut whn driving to to San Fernando, before the new expressway was built. But when you get home let Mayang and I know as we have friends who live in Pita close to you. I’ll bring the beer!

  21. RandyL says

    Paul, years ago I received a nicely printed poem from one of my favorite watering holes in Hong Kong called The Horse & Groom, and feel it fitting to share it with you on the occasion of your 65th (or in this case a few days later):

    The horse and mule live thirty years,
    And nothing know of wines and beers.
    The goat and sheep at twenty die
    With never a taste of scotch or rye.
    The cow drinks water by the ton
    And at 18 is mostly done.
    The dog at 16 cashes in
    Without the aid of rum or gin.
    The cat in milk and water soaks
    And then in 12 short years it croaks.
    The modest, sober, bone dry hen
    Lays eggs for nogs, then dies at 10
    All animals are strictly dry
    They sinless live and swiftly die.
    But sinful, ginful, rum-soaked men
    Survive for three score years and ten
    And some of us, the might few,
    Stay pickled till we’re 92.

  22. Wonderwall says

    A little late, but happy b-day Paul. Btw, that other Paul wrote “when I’m 64” and he’s now in his 70’s and is still rocking shows like a young man.


  23. Paul Thompson says

    Thank you for your birthday greeting, and just to let you know I don’t feel a day over 65! (LOL)
    As for my older namesake “Paul” what is that knucklehead doing getting married again? Didn’t he learn anything from that one legged girl Peg. (Linda) I figured out his divorce settlement with her, by dividing the days he was married into the amount of money she received. So let’s say he made love to her, each and every day, it cost over $45,000.00 per time. Call Girls charge $500.00 to a thousand per hour, and you don’t have to buy them presents. Just a thought!

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