I recently celebrated my 70th birthday. For those of you who read that line with horror in your hearts, remember that I deal in words. Words tell the truth. I have never hidden my age. As a matter of fact, I usually make myself a year older than I really am. I tend to count the 9 months in the womb as almost a year.

Do I feel 70? Some days. Do I act 70? Never. My 7-year-old grandson Conor challenged me to a swim across their inground pool. I beat him. He looked at me and said, "I didn't think you could swim that fast. You're 70"

My answer? "Neither did I." I had visions of being left in his wake. However, I stuck my head down, paddled like crazy, and won the race. My husband said, "Gee, honey, you can beat a 7-year-old." I retorted, "Gee, honey, I never thought I could beat anybody."

My granddaughter Kiele said, "You should have let him win, Grandma." I answered, "I'll never let anybody win. You have to beat me fair and square." She laughed and challenged me to a race. Naturally, she won. I might be able to beat a 7-year-old, but a 13-year-old is a different story. Plus, Kiele is extremely fit. She is a soccer player and has muscles on her muscles. Grandma didn't have a chance.

After the swimming competitions, my family had a birthday dinner for me – homemade crab cakes, hush puppies, cole slaw, and key lime pie. And, they gave me a tricycle! I had wanted one for a long time, and now that we are going to live in a development with a bike path, I'll really have fun. And, as an added attraction, Jennifer gave me a gift certificate for a pedicure. Now, when I ride my bike, I'll have the flashiest toes on the path!

I also got a great birthday box from my niece Kris. She and her two children had fun choosing gifts for my box. They know me so well and they knew exactly what to choose for me.

What did I get? A book about families, two coloring books, Twistable crayons, a book marker with my initials, a deck of cards, an oven mitt and dish cloth to match, and other good stuff. It was a lot of fun opening the box and seeing all the goodies.

When you truly know and love people, finding a gift for them is a snap. You don't buy something you like; you buy something they like. You discover their likes and dislikes and try to ferret out the perfect gift.

My husband bought me black jelly beans and took me out to a Japanese steak house. He knows exactly what matters to me – good food. He also gave me an excellent birthday foot rub.

Some women get diamonds and furs. I get bikes and black jelly beans and coloring books. To me, my presents are worth a million.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO CONTACT DR. SMITH, SHE CAN BE REACHED AT HER EMAIL ADDRESS: JSMITH798@SC.RR.COM OR IN CARE OF THIS ENWSPAPER.