Upcoming birthday prompts attempt at writing chronology


Tomorrow I turn 54 and no, this is not a request for birthday greetings. While walking the dog today, I was speculating on random thoughts, which happens when I walk sans iPOD or husband. Well, technically, that’s a lie, because I speculate on random things when I’m with my husband. I have a lot of random thoughts.

So…54. I’m not sure what that means except that 30 years ago, I was just about a month away from my first wedding. My only wedding, that is. I remember thinking how young and clueless I felt at 24. Which was true — I WAS young and clueless. Now, 30 years later, I’m not feeling particularly young but definitely still clueless. Wonder when that will change?

Among my random thoughts today was the repeated thought that I should write my autobiography — just like my Portfolio students have to do. They start this by compiling a chronology from the year they graduate from high school to the present. Their challenge is to come up with a few significant events that happened during each of those years. Fortunately, most of them are MUCH younger than me so don’t have 30 years to cover.

So…wonder how much I can remember from the past 30 years? May as well start now.

1980 — Got married
1981 — Bought first house (this I know because I told my husband I would live in that rental heap for only one year)
1982 — Saw my husband REALLY angry for the first time (this involved the phone company)
1983 — Birth of first child (talk about being completely clueless)
1985 — Birth of second child (still clueless, and obviously losing my mind because now I’m skipping years)
1987 — Started tailoring business (even more clueless)
1989 — Sent child no. 1 off to kindergarten (this might have been 1990, which I’m sure she’ll clarify)
1992 — Send child no. 2 off to kindergarten (again, child number 1 will clarify this)
1995 — Started working at Bluffton University, a decision which prompted the following question from my dad (who taught there for 30 years) — “Are you sure you want to do that?” This is the only time he ever questioned one of my decisions except the time I walked barefoot to the site where he was setting up the tent, which had rusty stakes. Yep, I stepped on one.
1997 — My sweet, funny, intelligent, and always tolerant dad, died. Still miss him. Every day.
2001 — Daughter number 1 graduated from high school and headed off to Ohio University. Daughter number 2 announced she would now get to be an only child for awhile.
2004 — Daughter number 2 graduated from high school, daughter number 1 graduated from college (she decided three years was enough), and I graduated with a master’s degree. Daughter number 2 headed off to BG, so we could bother her more regularly than we had her sister.
2008 — Daughter number 1 graduated from BG and headed off to her first job in Cincinnati. Daughter number 2 was immersed in a master’s degree. The house really felt empty.
2009 — Daughter number 1 began PhD and began comparing her teaching syllabis to mine. Well. That’s interesting.
2010 — Daughter number 2 become shift manager at her store. I developed mysterious staph infection and had major surgery. Long recovery. 30th anniversary Sept. 27…anniversary trip to Tybee Island postponed.

So there you have it. Yes, I realized I skipped a lot of years. When I have time, I’ll fill in the blanks. Soon. Before I forget any more. Because you see, one of the drawbacks of getting older is that one’s memory isn’t quite as efficient as it was 30 years ago. But hey, that’s not such a bad thing — it’s easy to forget the stuff you’d rather not remember. Or something like that.

Besides, I’m a few steps behind my brother, John, who turns…ummm…62.. on Thursday. And Don Pannabecker (oops, sorry Don, now everyone knows) is 20 years older than me. His birthday is Friday. Happy Birthday guys! Hope to read your chronologies soon.

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2 responses to “Upcoming birthday prompts attempt at writing chronology

  1. My dad died in `62, and I miss him still, so you’re not alone in that.
    What I note in your chronology is that an awful lot of if has more to do with your offspring than with you. Your years before marriage didn’t exist? Where did you graduate, and in what. What do you do with your life besides mother and run? See — I don’t know you well enough to know these things, but I really enjoy what I DO know of you, and i love your writing, so keep at it!

  2. Pannabecker Steiner Mary

    I was only focusing on the last 30 years….and actually only a few of them. Lots happened before that, which is why I said some day I’ll complete this process. I suspect that I list things relating to my kids because those more quickly come to mind.

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