Then and Now

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As many of you know, I occasionally include my newspaper column on this blog. It is the 14th anniversary of my column “On The Homefront….and Beyond”, so I thought I would share it with you. It appears on p. 5 of the Kingsville Reporter:

I have been writing this column for fourteen years now. It started out as a joint venture with another writer friend of mine, Liz Moore, but after about ten months she moved to London and this space became mine. A lot has changed in 14 years. I was a young (young being relative here) mother then, with a 7 year old and 12 year old. The topics I wrote about then were a bit different than the topics I write about now.

Then, I wrote about sending my kids back to the first day of class in September, and performing a ritual “happy dance” until my oldest asked me not to do it anymore because it made him feel like I wanted to get rid of him. I understood, and I stopped doing the happy dance. And I quit humming “It’s The Most Wonderful Time of Year” to boot. After a summer of wracking my brain to find things to do to keep my kids from being perpetually bored, I was probably ready to have them back at school, but I did not want them to know that. And if I were honest, they were pretty good at keeping themselves busy and happy.

Today, my kids are in their twenties. One is away at college and is a computer genius (which you have to realize that to me, anyone who knows the ins and outs of a computer is a computer genius— still, I think he is brilliant—but I am his mother after all.) I call my eldest son a Rock God, which he is not really comfortable with, but he is getting used to me referring to him as such. And he does play a mean lead guitar. His band is called Rodents & Rebels. Not a name a mother would choose, but hey, they like it.

Then, I would write about our adventures in the soccer field, at the baseball diamond, and on the basketball court. Today, my kids talk about being “buff”, which I think means there is a six-pack in their future, whether it be the liquid kind, or the “arrangement of six bulges in the human abdomen” kind (this definition thanks to all-knowing, all-seeing Wikipedia).

Vacations back then took the form of camping trips, which was and is not a favourite past-time of mine. But in retrospect, with the nostalgia factor kicking in, camping really was a great family time—even if you had to sleep on the ground and walk half a block to a washroom where the showers were always cold. I remember waking up in the morning to coffee and eggs and bacon being cooked over an open fire in order to get me to “stay just one more day mom” and of course I would acquiesce.

English: Camping by Barriere Lake, Barriere, ,...

English: Camping by Barriere Lake, Barriere, , Canada. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today, organized vacations take the guise of attending out-of-town weddings or celebrations together, and are not necessarily vacations, but as a mom, I will take any time together with my grown-up kids.

Fourteen years ago things were different. Fourteen years are admittedly a long time in a family’s life—we have all grown a little older—some us have to dye our hair now, some of us do not have as much hair as we did then, and some of us are not home all the time. Sometimes I would give my eye teeth to have that time back, but I also like things as they are now. We still have a long way to go on our journey, and I will continue to let you in on our lives as they change over time.

30 Years and Counting

May Evening Perception with Buxtehude (366/142...

May Evening Perception with Buxtehude (366/142 May 21, 2012) (Photo credit: ConnectIrmeli)

I do not usually write off the cuff this way–but today I had to update my “About LouAnn”. Before today I had stated that my husband John and I had been married almost 30 years. As of today, May 21, 2012, we have officially been married 30 years. I cannot believe it–we have had ups, downs, and all arounds, but we are still here. Our secret? Not sure – except that we can talk to each other and we enjoy each other’s company (most of the time–as anyone who has been married for a minute knows–there are those other times,….)

Our wedding was small. My mom made my dress, which I still have tucked away–and no, I cannot get into it (although I have lost five pounds in the last little while–I would need to lose a few more–as I weighed about 120 when I was married–I do not weigh 120 now).

We were married in the small country church that I grew up in, with my sister as my maid– I guess matron of honour since she was married. The most important people were there — my family, and some friends. The reception was at my parents’ house, and I still  remember walking into the house after we had dinner in the banquet room of  a local restaurant, and finding all the candles in the house lit–it was so pretty. I remember a few things from the day–but whenever the focus is on me I tend to get overwhelmed–and if ever there is a day to get overwhelmed–I guess it is your wedding day.

Published in: on May 21, 2012 at 3:23 pm  Comments (27)  
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