3rd Generation - Since 1907
100 Water Street
Skowhegan, Maine 04976
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The Shape You're In
Except for the fact that it was my 40th birthday, this was just like any other Tuesday for me. Get up, fix breakfast for the kids, help Toby get his track gear ready, fix Mary a sack lunch, and then off to the gym for a workout.

As usual, my husband Chuck was up and gone early, grabbing coffee and a bagel on his way to work. "I wish that man could get his mind off of work for just two minutes" I muttered as I jogged on the treadmill. It would have been nice if he had rolled over this morning and at least said "happy birthday" or, even better, had made me breakfast in bed. That was a lot to wish for, but it sure would have been nice.

As I picked up my pace on the treadmill, I considered ways to get Chuck to join me at the gym. The last gym Chuck had ever seen was the one in the jungle -- as in jungle gym at his grade school playground. No matter how much I tell him that I worry about him working so much and that he isn't taking very good care of himself physically, he just ignores my pleas.

"Oh well, enough of that" I told myself, looking around to see the usual familiar faces. As I finished up with my run and stepped down, my girlfriend Julie walked over and said, "Marge, I'm having trouble getting this weight adjusted over here. Could you give me a hand for just a second?"

I said I would and we both walked over to the abdominal "cruncher". I have to admit that I was subconsciously aware of a larger than normal group of people sort of milling around in the area but it didn't really sink in since we were chatting about the new aerobics instructor.

All of a sudden, a loud chorus of "Happy Birthday" broke out. When I realized that everyone in the gym was singing to me I just couldn't believe. I hadn't told a soul it was my birthday so who leaked it?

Then I got my answer. There stood Chuck right in the middle of the group singing "Happy Birthday" and I was even more shocked to see that he was wearing workout clothes. Wow! What a wonderful birthday gift! He walked over and gave me a big hug.

"Honey, I've finally decided to give in to your coaxing to start working out with you. That's one of your birthday presents. The other is in this box," he said as he held out a box gift-wrapped in shiny gold paper.

Opening the box with shaky hands I found a stunning watch inscribed with the words, "Time together well spent . . . Love, Chuck". Two wonderful birthday gifts made my 40th birthday an especially happy one.