Midnight is almost here, and I await its arrival as if it’s New Year’s Day. It is for me, the mark of turning another year older. I was born fifty eight (big gulp) years ago today. With all due respect to a former colleague, fifty eight seemed so old thirteen years ago. Yet here I am, wearing the year on for size and it feels like a heavy cloak, one pound for each year.
I decided to take a look back at all the 8’s in my life, starting with the big 0-8.
1965: How could I not remember this year, most especially because The 1964-65 World’s Fair in New York was still a go to destination? It was where I first saw the “It’s a Small World” exhibit. I believe it was part of the Coca Cola Pavilion. I also went to my very first drive in movie “Help!” starring The Beatles of course. I had a crush on Ringo back then. And there was a water shortage that summer.
1975: Turning eighteen back then in New York meant being of legal drinking age! I walked down to the liquor store that was probably a good two miles or more from home in the neighboring town of Great Neck. I don’t remember what I bought, but I do recall the disappointment of not being carded. The news that spring showed Vietnamese orphans being airlifted from Saigon to the U.S. In June, I graduated high school. My father and I went to Tucson for the second year in a row in July. Then autumn brought the start of college and the beginning of an awesome show called Saturday Night Live.
1985: My baby girl, Jana, was born. I had a rough last seven weeks of pregnancy, starting with a three day hospitalization to get myself stabilized from pre-eclampsia. I was so scared. It was strictly bed rest from May 13th until Jana’s debut on my husband and sister’s birthday, June 24th. The only other big event was buying our first home just two month’s before Jana’s arrival.
1995: Finally at what I thought was old then – haha – thirty eight, I got my ears pierced. I also had my first medication called Acebutelol for normal PVCs. My heart throws in an extra beat making it feel like it’s either missed a beat or is racing. I describe it as being like hiccups, and I’m on the medicine still twenty years later. My kids were ten and seven that year, and I remember us enjoying time at Roslyn Lake which no longer exists. And we celebrated helping our community put together “Fantasy Forest” – a huge play structure in the local park.
2005: The big thing at age forty eight was that only one month before, we lost my mother-in-law. It was different carrying on without her because she was a huge part of our lives. My kids were so much older — Jana 20 and Tim, 17. I just don’t remember a whole lot from that year, other than time with my sisters in the spring and trips to the beach, including Thanksgiving at a beach house where the oven was broken! An emergency trip to Wal*Mart for an electric roaster saved the turkey and the day.
And here I am today. We’re overlooking the Siletz Bay for the weekend. I’m enjoying the now — the sound of the waves as the tide comes in, a strange noise that’s almost like a goose, and the occasional rush of a car or two from nearby Hwy 101.