TENNESSEE ERNIE Ford had a hit song, 16 Tons, that has one line I paraphrase to express the status of my life. My recent birthday illustrated it well - another year older, deeper in debt. And the bad part is, I can never repay that debt, not even a little bit.

MY DEBT is owed to many, many friends and family members who are so wonderfully kind, generous, helpful, and thoughtful to this old gal who gets blinder (is there such an adjective??) and feebler mentally and physically every year. Their many deeds get me to church, Kiwanis, Bible study, beauty shop, library, bank, Enterprise, grocery, drug sto re, eateries weekly and Depot, Watt Center, Chamber of Commerce and Community Foundation meetings monthly. There are increasing numbers of trips to the doctors office and funeral home.

THEN THERE are so many things which my family provides such as taking over our family gatherings at my home; they phone daily.

TYPICAL OF the debts I accrued during my birthday week, my younger Hoosier daughter arranged for a substitute at work so she could make the 700 mile trip to surprise me on my birthday. Unfortunately, a flu bug hit her at the last minute.

Many of those wonderful friends, mentioned earlier, surprised me at a birthday luncheon at Annie Ks on the actual date. Then, older Hoosier daughter drove through Saturday mornings blizzard to get here and arrange for a family dinner at Red Lobster and birthday cake etc. after at my home.

ALL OF this plus many phone calls and cards add to my list of debts I can never pay. I can only tell everyone how very grateful and thankful I am for their love and friendship. To have lived my life in this great small village and to have been able to have so many rewarding experiences and opportunities, and to have acquired countless lasting friendships is truly a real blessing.

jeanealities is compiled by Jean Palmer Davies, lifetime Barnesville Enterprise associate. She may be reached at jeandavies@comcast.net.