Writing My Life

Now and Then


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… power sentences that sort of define my life – years birth through 10 …

Dear Self,

I have been an absentee blogger as of late. September was a roller-coaster month, complete with ups, downs, upSIDE-downs, cork-screws, and unsafe speeds. I am happy I survived, and I welcome October.

Before September turned psycho, I responded to one of WordPress’ pretty cool daily prompts:

For each year you have been alive, write a single sentence about the most important thing that happened to you that year. If you don’t want to get too personal, write a sentence about the most important historic event, or event most interesting to you, that happened in the world that year.

I quickly realized that 63 “power sentences” would take a long time to write and read, and so I decided to write 10 a day. I wrote the first 10 before September sabotaged my efforts. I also thought it might be a good idea to reflect upon why that event deserved its “most important” status, but that would double the length and quadruple the thinking. Suddenly, the whole idea seemed overwhelming, and I ended up saving the draft.

I just stumbled upon what I wrote nearly a month ago and decided “what the heck, push ‘Publish!'” And so I am. Whether or not these are the most important events of the year, I don’t know and I don’t want to think about it any more.

Signed, Me

  1. 1948: I was born on Memorial Day – the original, static holiday, not the rotating date that allows for a 3-day weekend to welcome summer.
  2. 1949: I entertained family and neighbors with non-stop jabbering, punctuated by slapping my own chubby knee for emphasis – early indications of the gift of gab and future chubbiness.
  3. 1950: Mom gave me a sister, and then worried that I’d feel displaced. She spent many years making sure we both felt equally loved. 
  4. 1951: I underwent a tonsillectomy, and swear I remember receiving a beautiful “Storybook Doll” from Daddy, but practical Mom insisted he return it as she deemed the luxury as  UNaffordable! 
  5. 1952: Because I have NO sense of direction, my family calls me Amelia (as in Earheart), but when I was four my sister and I found our way back to our new house from Sunday School. (Maybe Connie knew the way, and I followed her.)
  6. 1953: I remember, or at least think I remember, owning a puppy that was killed by a car, but I took solace in the fact that the angels truly flew him up to heaven.
  7. 1954: I started first grade at a brand new elementary school, and Mom packed “exploding” 7-Up in a thermos that drenched the food in my Annie Oakley lunchbox.
  8. 1955: Second grade in Mrs. Quidor’s class was highlighted by the pet parade where my reincarnated puppy showed up so I’d have a pet to parade.
  9. 1956: Third grade brought the beginning and the end to my dancing career as I officially performed in a dance recital and UNofficially presented an original dance number in Mrs. Q’s “Little Theater.”
  10. 1957: I really fell in love with reading because I wanted to earn a gazillion paper fish to win Mrs. Jorgensen’s Reading Fishbowl competition.
  11. 1958: I knew my 5th grade teacher didn’t like me, and so I wouldn’t ask him if I could be excused to go to the bathroom even if it meant wetting my pants – which I did one time.
Important events that should have made the list:
  • 1954: My grandpa died, and I knew that would be the end of sitting on his knee, licking the paper after he rolled his cigarettes, and eating his pink wintergreen mints.
  • 1954: I almost choked myself to death the day I wore Mom’s yellow scarf around my neck. I took it without her permission and kept pulling the knot tighter and tighter until I thought I couldn’t swallow. By that time the knot was so tight and tiny that my teacher had to cut the scarf off my neck. I had some explainin’ to do!
  • 1956: My first trip to the brand new theme park DISNEYLAND. I fell in love with the place and dreamed of working there when I grew up.