Over the Hill.

Reflections on turning 40

Travis W. King
8 min readNov 14, 2023

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When I was 10, my mom died from breast cancer. A few years before that, my dad turned 40. We threw a party for him at our ranch-style suburban house. It’s one of the strongest memories I have of us as a nuclear family.

I remember the sunny day at our beige and brick home in Bayside, Wisconsin, 15 minutes north of Milwaukee. I remember the plates and cups. They read “Over the Hill.”

A photo from one of my early birthday parties at the same beige, ranch-style house. I’m still good friends with a number of the kids in this photo, including Kurlo laughing in the foreground, and Carl with his bright blond poof of hair in the back. But for me, my mom steals the photo.

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Travis W. King

Traveling, writing, & working abroad for 10 years. Former Remote Year Dir. of Community. Check out my travel memoir—Not That Anyone Asked—at www.traviswking.com