Category Archives: age

31

May 18, 1980.  8:32 am in the southwest region of Washington State.

It’s been 31 years since the the old lady blew her top.

Her eruption was a real pain in the ash for those directly affected. You can see more photographs and read a good article from last year here.

Me at Mount St. Helens in 2005

Advertisements

Surprise!

It wasn’t that long ago that we were watching this together:

Happy 20th birthday, MusicMan!

I’m proud of you, and I’m glad you are bringing The Girl with the Magic Hair to spend the summer with us.

love,
Mom

Yeah, it feels like that

I have joined the sandwich generation and will likely be absent from blogging much of this month.  Please don’t feel badly if I don’t get around to visit you!

Generation “?”

Quilly asked me recently if I knew what a transistor radio was…  LOL, I am very familiar with transistor radios. As a child, I would slip my own little transistor radio under my pillow; after the lights were out, I would lay my ear over the speaker and listen to music until I was sleepy.

My dad bought a really cheap car (Plymouth Horizon Miser) when I was a young teen. The “Miser” edition — and yes, it was really called that! — didn’t come with a radio. Instead, he set a little transistor radio in the passenger seat, which would go flying off onto the floorboard every time he took a sharp corner.

Yes, I am old enough to remember transistor radios. I’m also old enough to have dialed a rotary phone through much of my childhood. In addition, I wore bell-bottoms (granted, they were hand-me-downs and slightly out of fashion) and learned to type on an actual typewriter (with carbon copies and liquid white-out).   If you’ve never had to use carbon copies, you don’t know how good you have it!
I have a somewhat sketchy memory but I do remember watching the first man on the moon — pretty impressive on our black-and-white TV!  My family owned a newer television set in time for Watergate, and I watched Nixon resign in color.
However, I was not yet alive when Kennedy was assassinated. To me, that is the marking of the end of the baby boomer generation. If you do not have that memory, you don’t really fit in with most Baby Boomers.  (Back in the mid-to-late ’80’s, there was an sure-fire way to make a Baby Boomer feel old: go out for drinks,  let them all talk about where they were when Kennedy was shot, and then tell them you weren’t born yet.)

Gen X-ers follow the Baby Boomers, so by definition, I am supposedly part of Generation X. I have read that Generation X ends with the last people to remember the Cold War, the Challenger disaster, the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the death of Kurt Cobain — and to have those things all mean something personally.

Cold War, check (I no longer think Russia will wipe us out with WWIII).
Challenger, check (I was at college, eating breakfast in front of the big screen TV to watch happy history being made… and then watched in horror).
Berlin Wall, check (you couldn’t pull me away from the TV – I watched the live images with tears streaming down my cheeks).
Kurt Cobain, ….  I didn’t even know the name until all of the publicity surrounding his death. To write this, I had to google him. So I feel a little lost with that last descriptor.  It makes me feel like I don’t really fit in with Generation X any more than I fit in with the Baby Boomers.   I didn’t rage against the machine. Grunge music* came into being after I went to college and was working to support myself. While I did wear flannel shirts in high school, they weren’t popular yet, just comfortable.  I had to buy them in the boys department at non-trendy shops because they weren’t sold everywhere.   It’s true, I wore flannel before it was popular and bell bottoms after they went out of style. I’m perpetually “off” fashion.

I guess that makes me part of a “lost generation” or something like that… those couple of years where we don’t really fit in either generation. There are probably some people born between Gen X and Gen Y that feel the same way.

_________________________________________________

*Small claim to fame: I graduated with someone who went on to become a member of Pearl Jam.

_________________________________________________

Where do you fit in? Tell me about your generation.

Thank you, Hilary!

45

“We’ve got nothing to fear but fear itself”
Not pain? Not failure? Not fatal tragedy?
Not the faulty units in this mad machinery–
Not the broken contacts in emotional chemistry–
~Neil Peart

Fear. It strikes at inopportune times. Worry is the shadow that steals its way into my brain. It is late at night and I’m trying to sleep and wondering, is that a pain in my shoulder?

My paternal grandmother had a heart attack at the age of 45. I’ve been told that she was lucky to live through it. Today is my 45th birthday.

Fear has my head in a vice grip as I consider what the beginnings of a stroke might feel like… is that a headache or just my imagination?  After more minutes of worry, I get up and take an aspirin — just in case.

Fortified with reassurance that my lifeblood is now going to be flowing more easily, the shadow of worry slips away, defeated. I look out the window at the stars and realize that sleep will have to wait. I have to write.

I didn’t know my paternal grandmother very well. She lived on the complete opposite end of the country from me when I was growing up. In fact, I only remember one visit when I was about the age of ten. She was full of love and laughter and stories of the cousins I didn’t know, and more importantly, stories of my father’s childhood.  I didn’t know her very well at all, but I loved her.

I have precious few photographs of my grandmother; I also have a packet of her writings. She wrote prose and poetry. If she were 45 years old today, I suspect she would be blogging.

And now this stream of consciousness brings me to a place of peace, for I have moved from fear (quite reasonable fear, as we share more than a love of writing — we share genes and body type) to warm memories. I hear the ticking of the clock, but it no longer sounds like the ticking of a time bomb.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
~Psalm 23:4

My husband is retiring this summer. He is going to become my personal chef and trainer, and together we are going to accomplish what I have been unable to accomplish on my own: successful weight loss, increased health and fitness. He might even blog it.

And on that note…

We spent Thursday evening watching old Batman movies. Wow, I had a kitschy childhood! I never realized how Crayola-bright Robin’s outfit was, but mostly my boys thought we were nuts for thinking it was such an awesome show way back when. They’re pretty sure 1966 was a really really long time ago.

Here are 5 for your Friday, the last of 2010:

1) Have you seen Melli’s new grandson? He’s absolutely beautiful and wonderfully loved by an incredible extended family. If you need a shot of cute or “awwwww” these pictures will make your day.  (There’s an incredible backstory of God’s Grace, too, but I’m going for “awwwww” today.)

2) Humorous-Juniorous, my 15yo son, has asked me to forward all of the College Board SAT prep questions to him (they’ve been arriving in my e-mail inbox for months). He’s apparently enjoying the chance to answer the daily questions and finding them to be correct. Someone get this kid a scholarship!

3) Speaking of scholars and proud families, MusicMan made the President’s Honor Roll at his college for the first semester (complete with an impressive GPA of 3.86). This isn’t a “mommy blog” but I can’t NOT brag about how proud I am of him!

4) Aside from the overwhelming amount of testosterone running amuck in my house this week, it has been soooo nice to have everyone home and together. I’m trying to savor it, because when MM flies back to school next week, we won’t see him for 4-5 months.

5) For the first part of the sentence on #4, I will be getting a ton of spam… and not the kind you can fry up in a camping fry pan.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Do you have any plans for the evening/weekend? And are your plans as exciting as old Batman movies? 😛

Suddenly, nothing… and fifteen

The entire month of November, I managed to post something every. single. day. And truthfully, there were only 2 days that were really challenging. I was in the groove of posting every day. I enjoyed it. I almost didn’t want NaBloPoMo to end!

But now? I find myself floundering.  My camera has sat untouched for an entire week. Prose and poetry escape me.

I gave myself the first few days of December “off” to pay attention to family needs and household responsibilities. It was good and important, but in the process I seem to have lost my writing mojo.

Oh, I’ve got plenty of little vignettes I could be writing about — how I had to lie to my 19yo on the phone this evening so that he wouldn’t know he would be opening a surprise gift from us within the hour; or how cold and blustery the wind has been here, with snow flurries seeming to come from miles away; or even what it is like to have my dad back in assisted living care and trying to joke with him and cheer him up while hearing him gasp for breath.

Fifteen years ago today, I held a newborn son in my arms; today that same son wouldn’t let me post his baby picture on facebook.
To my credit, I asked permission and honored his feelings… of course, it’s been in my archive album on my profile page for the past year [not tagged], and you could find it here one year ago today… but we won’t mention that to him!
Fifteen is the magic year when boys stop talking to their parents. At least that has been my experience with his older brothers. I am dreading the silence from this happy child and I fear it will come at the same time as a cross-country move.  How will I know what is normal sullen teenage boy behavior and what is sadness over loss of friends and familiar activities?

So while I wallow in responsibilities and the thoughts spinning ’round my head, I will probably be posting rather infrequently.
I’ll still be doing my best to read your blogs and hopefully even be a semi-faithful commenter.

[titleless]

One of the things particular to Military dependents is an identification card. For a teenager on a military installation, this card is a ticket into the Exchange, the Commissary, and the movie theater (although, for the latter, you do still have to buy an actual ticket).  It’s also required when checking in at the clinic or pharmacy because it is proof that the person qualifies for military benefits.  These cards must be renewed every few years, so we recently took H-J to the nearest Army post to get his new I.D. card. The difference in the photographs was startling to me. Obviously, I’ve been paying attention as he has grown from a little boy into a teenager, but looking at his sweet 10yo face for the last time before turning his old card in brought a flood of memories.

HJ four years ago

He’ll be turning 15 on Sunday. Where did the time go?

Longevity

I did it!

I managed to post something every single day this month.

However, that is not normally what I think of when I see November 30th on the calendar.

Today is Slim’s birthday — or rather, it would be if he were still alive and turning 102 years old. But he isn’t. He died 9-1/2 years ago.

Slim was an interesting character. He was my husband’s grandfather who threw himself a “kick the bucket” party and made a grand entrance riding a mule into the party hall (this was about 4 years before he actually did “kick the bucket). He was also a farmer for his entire adult life, growing and harvesting wheat and lentils (among other things) in the Idaho panhandle. Slim was 100% Swedish American who dunked his bread in milk and his cookies in coffee.

Hay rows on the Ridge

1989, Idaho farm
Turning hay rows in the field — like Grandfather, like Grandson

When we visited as newlyweds and I watched my husband working alongside his 82-year-old grandfather on the farm, I could see what kind of man I had married.  And then last night, I looked across the dinner table to see SuperDad dunking his bread into his milk.
The mule can’t be far behind.

In which I turn into a housecat

It happened when I was talking with my 11-year-old about things he hoped to someday see or do. I reached into my brain for an example and… came up with nothing. Not only was I lacking a list, I couldn’t even find the bucket!

Am I destined for a life of contented napping, purring, and walking in and out of the house countless times a day?
Or can you all help me with some ideas from your own bucket lists?