Thursday, September 22, 2011

CountDown to the BIG 50!

On October 2nd of this year (that's 10 days away folks) I will turn 50 years old. When I was young, I had trouble wrapping my mind around the fact that I would be 39 in the year 2000. Remember how "Y2K" was such a big event before New Year's Day and, dangitall, the earth didn't grind to a halt? Back then 39 seemed awfully old. (Like Radar in M*A*S*H said once, "I'll be in my 30's...THAT'S ALMOST DEAD!" *rofl*

I'm also entering this post in the following blog hop:

Isn't that a great graphic? The thought that popped into my head was that I haven't been that skinny since puberty hit. Anyway there are other great posts on the hop so go check it out

And easy division to make would be to cover 10 years in a post...and I'm all over easy these days. So, here goes:

I was born in Monaca, PA, USA, which if I remember correctly is about 30 miles north of Pittsburgh, in 1961. The only thing I remember about that place is visiting there with my family at some point before I turned 10. It seemed to be one of those teeny-weenie towns that you miss if you blink. Before my first birthday, my family moved to Cumberland, MD, where we lived until January 1972.

There are still a few scattered memories from those years. I remember sitting on the couch at some point before my 2nd birthday, my father kneeling in front of the couch with his forearms resting on the couch and my brother (then 2-3 yo) riding piggy-back. I suppose I remember that because there is a picture in the family photo album. I have kind of inherited that role of family memory-keeper as both my parents have passed on and it's just not a priority to my brother. I also remember my 2nd birthday party, because I got on of those pull-along phones where the eyes roll up and down as you walk. There's a picture of that too, with me holding the receiver out to my mother because it was for her.

Other memories, in random order, because I'm just trying to get them down for now (organization comes later), so I can free up brain power to remember other things ... like where I put my keys, last week, and my kids names ... stuff like that:

Being paired up with the neighbor boy (in a kind of "ooh, aren't they cute together" sort of way that moms have (and that seems totally reasonable to

Losing control of my tricycle going down the hill by our house and crashing into the neighbor's yard at the end of the block.

Being hustled downstairs in the middle of the night with my brother, by our father, and hearing our mother upstairs screaming in pain. She went to the hospital that night. She never would talk about it later, except for to say that the doctors had deemed surgery necessary for her survival one weekend, and no surgery because "it was gone" early the next.

I remember being invited by a family friend to go swimming at their country club (not that we were well off by any means, but that's not the point. Walking up to the ramp to the clubhouse, there was a sign by the door, "No Catholics allowed." Even then, if I had known what "WTF" meant I probably would have thought it. I wouldn't dare saying it out loud, because no sooner had those words left my lips but I would be over my mother's knee.

Not all the memories were bad, though, and this list is FAR from exhaustive.

When my 5th grade teacher, Miss Shaner, found out that we were moving, she had each of my classmates write a story about my soon-to-pass adventures in the "wild west". (My father's company transferred him from MD to UT.) One story that sticks out had me saving my older brother from disaster at the bottom of the Grand Canyon! Ahhh, I was a super kid!

My mother was born in Switzerland, and met my father at the University of West Virginia in Morgantown, where she was a nanny for a local prominent family. In the summer of 1971 we were fortunate enough to travel to see her homeland, with a stopover in England to visit her brother and family, who were living there at the time.

My mother and I were outside Buckingham Palace one morning watching the Changing of the Guards. There was a large crowd and it was difficult to negotiate the sea of people and meet up with my dad and brother at our next destination. Mom said I just took her hand and followed a "bunch of hippies" that were passing through easily. That memory makes me smile.

My brother and I participated in the "Erste August" (1st of August) lampion (paper lantern) parade in Bern, Switzerland's capital. At the end of the parade, each child got a gingery cake-let with a picture of a bear on it. We were sitting at an outside cafe afterwards, when the father in the family friends with whom we were staying came up with a 2nd cake for my brother and me. He told the folks he had two children visiting from the US and he didn't think we had gotten our cakes yet.

On that visit to Switzerland, I discovered my taste for "Vivi-Cola" and "OvoSport". OvoSport is kind of like pressed bars of ovaltine...that's the best I can describe it anyway. Another memory from that time (which literally just popped back into the foreground of my mind after how many years gone) was in a cafe in a mountain village, my brother ordered a Coke float and the waitress, nor indeed any of the staff, and any clue as to what he was talking about. So he explained you put ice cream and Coke together in a glass. So they brought out a mug of Coke and a small dish of ice cream. If that village had had a newspaper I'm sure it would have made front-page news when my brother scandalized the locals by placing the ice cream in the soda!

We went to Washington DC on vacation at one point. There is a picture of my brother and me, standing in front of some building with dark glasses on. I call that our "FBI Agents" picture. We visited the Smithsonian where he was all about planes, trains and automobiles and I was all about the Hope Diamond, the First Ladies' inaugural dresses and Dorothy's Ruby Slippers.

All of a sudden, 10 years seems an awful lot of ground to cover in one blog post. But dates are a little fuzzy without memory prompts and goodness knows I don't want anyone's coffee spilling on their keyboard because they have fallen asleep on me! *lol*

Years 11-20 will probably show up tomorrow or the day after. I'm currently working on another blog series about "The Mom Pledge"...just in case you are interested, it starts here. I'm also going to link those posts together, which is something new for me. Heck, writing four blog posts in a month is something I haven't done in my life isn't over yet!


  1. Hi! I'm your newest follower from the blog hop!

    My daughter was due Oct. 2, but I had her on Sept 13th. Hope you have a wonderful time celebrating the Big 5 0!!!!

    I would love it if you followed my blog:

  2. You have a tie to WV :) I hope you have a great 50th birthday! I love your look back post. Following you back, have a great weekend!

  3. I remember when I was 13, I thought 30 was old! Then I reached 30 and thought 40 was old..., well, I am 42 now, and having survived cancer, I celebrated happily on my 40th birthday because it was the one they said I would never reach. Celebrate 50!

    I found you via the FNF Hop. Following you now.

    best wishes, and have a wonderful birthday!


    Art & Craft Blog:
    My Cancer Battle:

  4. Hi Ashley, welcome to the back porch! Yeah, my kids never could stay inside the whole 40 weeks either. *lol* DD (now 8) was born 2 months early. Thanks for leaving your info, too, so I can follow back! :O)

  5. Thanks for the visit and follow back, Frugal! I'm gonna have to stop commenting and go get something to eat because I'm hungry since I saw your pasta recipe on your blog today!

  6. Miranda, I'm so glad you took the "Big C" and throttled the dickens out of it. My father passed away at the age of 47 from heart disease, so I figure I'm already ahead of the game. You are welcome on the back porch anytime!

  7. I'm a new follower from the FNF hop. Hope you can stop by

  8. Hi! New follower from the FNF blog hop! Hope you follow back! Thanks! :)
    Through the Eyes of a Tiger

  9. New follower from Finding New Friends blog hop! Hoping you follow back!! =0)

    My Crazy Life

  10. Happy Birthday! On you actual birthday :0)!! I hope it was a lovely day for you.