Many thanks to friends, readers, family and beyond for all of the wonderful birthday wishes, gifts, greetings, cards, and words of wisdom this week.

My old friend Patrick, who’s currently in Detroit touring with My Fair Lady, had a huge bouquet of flowers delivered.

One dear woman I’ve met only online told of how, when she turned 70, a friend a decade her senior, “spoke of her aging process in the following way:  ‘When I was in my 60’s I had a wonderful decade, but when I turned 70 life became kind of hard because I was learning how to be old but when I turned 80 it was much easier because I had learned to be old.”

Then there was my little brother Joe, who texted, “Happy Birthday, you brazen hussy!”

Joe is a 40-year veteran of the punk scene as well as the founder, lead singer and songwriter of the band The Queers.

We had a long zoom chat the other day, yukking it up about our childhoods on the NH coast, reminisching about our drinking years, and and giving thanks for having followed our respective callings, the result being our next…Conversation with an Artist! A glimpse of my family…hope you like it.


  1. I love the reminiscences about listening to music when we were kids. Those were great days. No one walked around with ear buds. We all shared our records with each other. I also like when Joe said it was good that he was unemployable. I really identify with that because I have no idea what I would do if I wasn’t a painter, so I better be a painter. It’s like St. Peter saying to Jesus: “Lord, to whom shall we go?”

    1. HEATHER KING says: Reply

      Right, Ron! Somehow we all have our little place in the mosaic…re listening to music as kids, right, back then buying a new album and listening with your friends was a big deal because not everyone HAD the album! We didn’t all have our own unlimited cache of music on our phones and we all also couldn’t afford to buy every new album. So it was very much more a communal experience, as music should be, or could be, at least at times…

  2. Thank you for sharing your brother with us! It was a delight to be a fly upon the wall. Among the many topics discussed, I was particularly touched by the reference to the impact of various teachers, especially those who dedicated their time and talent to their students (rather than pursuing more lucrative careers) out of love (love of students and passion for their art). I am a teacher by trade, and there is nothing as heartwarming as a former student returning to say one made an impact on their life. I look forward to your next interview with your plummer nephew! Beauty in all things 😉

    1. HEATHER KING says: Reply

      Yes, Theresa, I loved that part, too–in fact, I once also did an NPR commentary on Wayne Elliott, our junior high school teacher and all-around mentor, who Joe mentioned in the video! (And who gave him the fiendish spelling bee word…) Mr. Eliott kept archives on his students going back decades and when my first book was published, I had a chance to go back to my NH hometown and read at a local library. Of course Mr. Elliott was there…Years after the fact, I also sent a thank-you note to Barbara Hudson, my wonderful high school math teacher, who lived right up the street from us on Post Road…Anyway, isn’t it interesting how the older we get, the more we value the people who shepherded and guided us….It’s a joy to celebrate such people and I’m sure in your own work as a teacher you have impacted any number of former students…Thanks for watching!

  3. hi heather! a little late with my birthday wishes: happy birthday!
    i enjoyed the video of your brother very much. what a great person! your whole family seems to be of very good character.
    i miss that. i miss you. could i just go somewhere an pick up a part of you?
    you are like dinosaurs.
    well, it inspires me to be my best too. especially the work part and the no selfish part.
    and thank God you post on my e – mail.
    wishing you many good years and much fun!

    1. HEATHER KING says: Reply

      Ha, thank you so much, Tina–sure, you’re welcome to pick a part of me! Many others have…Wishing you many good years and lots of fun as well–I’m so glad you got a kick out of the video–

  4. Anonymous says: Reply

    ‘When I was in my 60’s I had a wonderful decade, but when I turned 70 life became kind of hard because I was learning how to be old but when I turned 80 it was much easier because I had learned to be old.”

    This is so true; with birthday 78 coming up soon, I have learned so much in the past 8 years. It’s all about letting go and letting God. Not so easy to do but gosh, it sure makes life simpler!

    Happy belated birthday!

    1. HEATHER KING says: Reply

      One week in, I seem to be speeding up rather than slowing down! But life will have its way with me, as it always does…we do get richer and deeper as we grow older, in gratitude and it is to be hoped, wisdom…so I look forward to this decade, fascinated to see what it brings…thank you, 78-year-old!


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