My Own Forever Ago

Michael Branson Smith kicked off the Fall 2011 #ds106 with High School Is Everyone’s Forever Ago. It’s his beautiful self-introduction, well thought out, great story, and includes a photo of him from the 80s, and a portion of a passed note on the topic of taking a driving test. It reminded me of all the notes I passed during high school. My best friend Allison would write part of a story and pass the paper to me to continue the plot. I’d pass it back to her after adding my own plot twist. And so it would go. I’m pretty sure I don’t have those notes anymore, but I saved them for a long time.

1980s big hair me

big hair, big glasses, big smile

Michael encouraged me to share the rocker chick photo of myself that I thought would make him laugh, but I have no idea where it is, so instead I scanned this one, which is, I have to say, the biggest my hair ever got, and don’t you love my nerdy glasses? I really had it all going for me.

I’m supposed to be introducing myself and instead I’m sort of riffing off Michael’s post. I think that’s okay – you’ll get to know me as we go along.

Michael talked about those moments in life where so much is happening, and you’re taking it all in and really feeling those momentous shifts, and time slows down or speeds up in a way that those periods of time become distorted. High school is everyone’s forever ago, and your kids were born a few weeks ago even if they’re on their own way into high school.

And then there are some moments that get frozen, or repeat, or echo through time.

I went on a month-long trip through Great Britain, courtesy of my mom, the summer after I graduated from high school. I guess when you spend that amount of time away from your normal life, without the same responsibilities and daily grind, and when you spend those days making epic memories, well, those things tend to reverberate around in your personal space-time continuum. Back in 1987 during that month of travel, I saw so many places that have a lot more known (to me anyway) human history than anywhere in the United States. One place in particular stuck out as pretty incredible to see with my own eyes, and that was Stonehenge. It knocked the wind out of me when I saw it in person. I was just awestruck at the almost tangible feeling of how long it’s been there.

I’ve always been grateful to my mom for making that experience possible for me. I was really excited to take her to visit some of the same places I saw in 1987 when we went to Great Britain together this summer, 24 years later.

But my mom had a knee injury during our second week that kept both of us from doing any traveling at all for about two weeks during our trip. We shared the experience of being scared at facing an unknown medical problem in a foreign health care system. We shared stress and frustration and a slow healing process, too. We felt happy and lucky to be together no matter where we were and what was happening. But we were both a little crushed that we didn’t get to see many of the things we had planned together.

On our last travel weekend, we managed to rent a wheelchair, and Mom braved the long train and bus trips, and we went to see Bath and then Stonehenge together. When I saw Stonehenge from the bus window I burst into tears. It felt like such an epic journey just to get back there, and such a privilege to share it with my mom. Goosebump city.

Why am I writing about this? I guess Michael’s post makes me a little sad that I don’t have kids of my own, but it also reminded me there are plenty of wonderful experiences and memories for me with the family and friends that I do have.

Mom and me at Stonehenge, 2011, yes the British wheelchair came with the plaid blanket

Oh, and you better believe I wheeled Mom all around the monument as I babbled out every single thing I could remember about it from art history and British history courses.

me at stonehenge

victory photo at Stonehenge, 2011 - smaller hair, smaller glasses, bigger hips... but still fabulous

This entry was posted in #ds106, digital storytelling, family, history, travel and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to My Own Forever Ago

  1. Alan Levine says:

    Definitely fabulous.

    There is so much love in the photo of you and your Mom, sharing your past, present, and future together in that magical place.

  2. Lou McGill says:

    most definately still fabulous…

    I think it’s good to revisit places – time to reflect

  3. Pingback: Futures away | loumcgill

  4. cherylcolan says:

    Aw, Alan, thank you. That means a lot. A lot. I’m aching to go look at the Alan artifacts and read your blog posts about your mom. But that and my cookie love will have to wait for the weekend.

    Can’t wait to go read your post, too Lou.

  5. Pingback: Beyond Forever Ago - CogDogBlog

  6. Giulia says:

    Hummingbird Crow often takes me to Goosebump city.
    Selfishly, I am so glad you are back home again after your summer journey because I get to see more awesome #ds106 art & writings from you. (And share some #SonambulatorySips on the twitter)
    Thanks also for taking us here. I can relate to the HS big hair & big glasses and like your other friends, I agree: you are absolutely still (or more!) fabulous.

  7. Pingback: I just finished High School |

  8. Cheryl,
    Thanks for stopping by my blog. Michael hasn’t answered my e-mails (yet–I imagine the work week will bring word via carrier pigeon), so I was starting to feel like an orphan in this class. Thanks for reaching out; I really appreciate it.

    I love seeing you and your Mom. My Mom is 85 and my husband and I just spent a week with her on an island up in the Georgia Straits off Vancouver Island. She’s more mobile than your Mom, but they look like they have equal degrees of spunk.

    Hey! Big hair, small hair…fabulosity is all about the smile!
    Sandy Jensen
    Eugene, OR

  9. Big hair and big glasses, but I’m fixated on and loving whatever is going on with your collar there. Is it like a piece of collar closure jewelry? Does it have a name? Now I have to search around and see if I still have my collection of bolo ties – my neck feels naked, and besides, I want to look like I’m in The Alarm.

  10. cherylcolan says:

    @NoiseProfessor: you made me LOL! I loved The Alarm by the way. And somewhere I have a Joshua Tree bolo tie bought as a souvenir from a U2 concert…

    You have such a great eye for detail. I bought a guy’s tuxedo shirt from a thrift store and it needed me to wear something at the collar line. I owned a bow-tie but I thought I’d take inspiration from clothes the girls wore in John Hughes’ movies of the day, so I bought that pin to wear in place of a tie.

    I think you would call it a rhinestone / beaded dangle pin (or brooch) and it would fall under the costume jewelry category since the dangling teardrop pearls are plastic and the rhinestones going across the horizontal part of the pin are not real diamonds (unlike Molly Ringwald’s character Claire’s earrings in The Breakfast Club).

  11. cherylcolan says:

    I should mention that I have quite an extensive collection of bolo ties just by virtue of growing up in Arizona. I now own my grandpa’s and dad’s bolo ties in addition to my own.

  12. Ahhh, this is great. Love the big hair. Very beautiful. I am getting a bit behind on my DS106 but I promise a High School post soon.

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