I remember when my grandparents turned 60. I thought they were really, really old.

I remember when my parents turned 60. They weren’t really that old. They couldn’t be. After all, our youngest child was just a year old at the time!

Well, today is that day for me. I’m the big 6-0 … and I don’t think I’m nearly as old as I thought my grandparents were when they turned 60!

Whether we like it or not, time marches on, and if we are lucky enough, we get to keep floating along the stream of life in relatively good health.

So far, so good.

Turning 60 makes one reflect.

Just 10 years ago I celebrated my 50th birthday with my wife and two daughters taking a swamp tour in New Orleans. It was on my bucket list. I was born in N’Awlins and had never been on a swamp tour.

On my 50th birthday my oldest daughter was a senior at Texas A&M and my youngest daughter was a junior at Texas A&M.

Since that day my life has changed dramatically. Both daughters graduated and got married. I’m now the proud Poppie to five grandchildren – three boys and two girls – from six months to five years of age.

And who can forget a little thing called Harvey that has taken up much of our time, mentally and physically, the past two years and two months.

Through all the ups and downs of the past 60 years, 21,900 days, 525,6000 hours, or 31,536,000 minutes (you pick), it’s been a pretty good life.

I’ll celebrate my birthday this weekend with my wife and best friend of almost 35 years, my two daughters, two sons-in-law, and five grandchildren.

What more could a 60-year-old man want?

The swamp tour was pretty cool at 50, but it won’t hold a candle to this weekend … even if my grandchildren can’t understand why I won’t be sad if I don’t get any toys.

As I was getting the information for “Pages of Past” for this edition, I ran across the column I wrote 30 years ago when I turned 30. In it, I wrote, in part:

“What does a married male with two lively children think about at 30 years old?

“It’s not whether on not you can still dunk a basketball or come in second place to the Texas A&M running back in the All-University Intramural 220-yard dash. It’s not what are you going to do Saturday night. Friday nights now are nothing like they use to be (they’re better!).

“It means taking care of your family with an occasional night out without the kids.”

Okay, reading that made me feel old!

I’ve been known to say, on more than one occasion, that I’ve loved every stage of my life, but wouldn’t want to go back to any of them.

As long as I can keep saying that, I think life is rocking along just the way the Man upstairs planned.

My gift to me

Our smart phones are like another appendage nowadays, but I’m going to try out the “Three ways you can benefit by giving your smartphone a rest.”

With the smartphone’s capabilities for Internet access, social media interaction, running all kinds of apps, and texting, its screen has become the nation’s preoccupation - while face-to-face human conversation seems more of a second option.

Speaking of that, I read about the following three benefits of “giving your smartphone a rest,” … read, of course, on my iPhone!

When you give it a rest, you can enjoy real conversation.

If you know me, you know I enjoy engaging in conversation with others. I’ll be the first to admit in the old days, before smartphones, my wife and I talked a lot more. The good thing is we talked a lot before smartphones came along, so we still know how to engage in conversation.

In a nutshell, conversation is “more fulfilling” without a smartphone in your hand or in your spouse’s hand.

The truly sad part is many in the younger generations may never understand the power of true conversation.

A second benefit is by keeping one’s head up, he or she sees and feels more.

Simple observation of nature’s beauty is enhanced.

I can only imagine how much of the countryside I would have missed on all those road trips growing up, or how much I would have never experienced in the outdoors had I been glued to a smartphone in my house.

Every day is a new discovery, and it can’t all be learned on the Internet (see final thought at the end of my column).

I have to admit the last thing I think of is my iPhone when I’m with my grandchildren. I can’t imagine it any other way.

The last thing noted in what I read is putting away the smartphone helps one re-learn how to relax.

How many of us stay “connected” while on vacation?

It was noted in the article, “You’re robbing yourself of the full experience of a road trip if you don’t unplug.

“The same is true in life; you’re not getting nearly the most out of it if you stay glued to a screen and miss many of the moments and people around you.”

I love having my smartphone, but I love my life and family a whole lot more!

Had to share this

Saw this the other day and made me laugh, because it’s so true:

“Do y’all remember, before the Internet, people thought the cause of stupidity was the lack of access to information? Yeah. It wasn’t that.

Until next week, have a good week.

Mike Probst can be reached at publisher@rockportpilot.com.

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