Thursday, August 13, 2009


I made Spaghetti with Tomato Basil Cream Sauce and Chicken Parmesan for dinner last night. It's not a difficult meal to prepare, but it does require the oven and multiple burners on the cooktop so it heats up the kitchen. After dinner, it was still awfully warm inside, so I left all of the dishes right where there were and my husband and I went outside to sit on the back porch and cool off.

We had eaten rather late, so it was already dark outside. Our neighborhood was uncharacteristically quiet and the only sounds were that of the crickets chirping and the faint whoosh of cars passing by on Main Street. It was a perfect summer evening, the sort that you dream about in the middle of February.

I asked my husband what he thought we might have been doing at that exact moment one year ago. Had we been sitting in the same place enjoying similarly beautiful weather? Had I made the same meal for dinner? What about five years ago? How about 10, 15, and 20 years ago?

I know I've taken a walk down memory lane more than once in recent posts, but looking at your life and the world in five year increments fascinated me. Have you ever thought about it that way before? Some things change so gradually that you hardly notice the difference from one year to the next, but when you look at five year intervals things can be dramatically different.

My timeline, starting with yesterday, then one year ago and then jumping five years at a time, looks something like this:

August 12, 2009 - Our children are 9 and 16. My husband and I have been married for 20 years. We've been living in our current home for 13 years. My husband has been working for a major communication company for 15 years.

August 12, 2008 - Our children are 8 and 15. Our son has begun counting the days until he turns 16 and gets his drivers license. In two short months, my brother in law, Gordy, will lose his life in a house fire. You can't turn on the television without seeing a dozen political advertisements.

August 12, 2004 - Our children are 4 and 11. Our daughter will be starting preschool in a month and our son will be starting his second year in middle school. This is our dog Molly's last summer, but of course, we don't know that. The top grossing movie is Shrek 2.

August 12, 1999 - Our son is 6 and I'm pregnant with our daughter, but we don't know it yet. My husband and I have been married for 10 years. We're in the planning stage of some major renovations to our house. The number one song in the US is Genie In A Bottle by Christina Aguilera.

August 12, 1994 - Our son is 19 months old. My husband has just started working for a national communication company. We're living in a beautiful house in Detroit, but the neighborhood is so bad that I can't take our son outside unless my husband is home. We're considering getting a dog as a family pet. This is my maternal grandmother's last summer, but we don't know that. The number one television show is Friends.

August 12, 1989 - We've been married for four months, still newlyweds. We're living in an apartment in the suburbs about a mile from the house I grew up in. I'm working as a tax specialist for a major retailer, where I will also work as a legal assistant in the near future. My husband is working at the corporate offices of a lumber company. My paternal grandmother has recently passed away. Tomorrow, the Sega Genesis will be released in North America.

How does your timeline look? Looking at mine makes me appreciate today and the people I love all that much more.


Special note to Joanna - You're so thoughtful! I've sent you an email with my address. Thank you for thinking of me!


Amy said...

Deeeelicious dinner! It was a good idea to sit outside and cool off after dinner. There was a lovely, cool breeze here last night, I hope you had the same. I love those dark, quiet nights when you hear little noise but know people aren't far off.

I love your memories of years gone by and the time increments. It gives you an entirely different perspective on your life when you look at it in this way. It's amazing how the good and the bad go hand-in-hand and how one day you're walking around living your life and 24 hours later something unknown or unexpected will occur in your life.

I'm going to think about my timeline, thank you!


holly said...

Wow! When I think of my my life just five years ago, I am amazed at how it has changed!

5thsister said...

What a great subject. I may be stealing this idea (with proper credit to you, my friend) for a future blog post.

Lissaloo said...

What a neat post! I remember hearing Genie in a bottle being played over and over on the radio when I was pregnant with my 2nd. Ugh, lol.

Tattoos and Teething Rings said...

I'm such a nosey person, this post is right up my alley! It's so fun to look back, especially at times that seemed rough but turned out to be just fine (like, jr. high).

Purple Flowers said...

I have a b-day coming up, and it's at this time, I allow myself to look back and see where I've come from, who I've had the pleasure of calling my friends, and who I've had to say goodbye to, on this earth. Life is complex, yet beautiful at the same time. I enjoyed reading your timeline.

Kathy said...

Such a nice post! I has really gotten me thinking about the past. One milestone coming up is my oldest turns 21 on Aug 17th. I cannot believe that all that time has passed.

PurpleHoodieChick said...

That dinner was amazingly good. But they all are!!

5 years ago i was 12. I had just met Alex i think. I didn't know i would come to love you him and your whole family so much!!

Heidi said...

What a great post! I loved reading it and thinking back to my own timeline.

Deidra said...

Thought provoking. So much changes in the span of five years!

Chicago Mom said...

What a great idea, it really makes you think. And what if we look the other way? We might think we know what the future holds, but don't really, and that is scary and exciting!

Gracey said...

This post was great! It gave me the nostalgic and insightful feeling I usually get from your posts.

I might use your idea for a future post - thanks for such a thought-provoking (and feeling-provoking!) reading!

glovin said...

I love your memories of years gone by and the time increments. It gives you an entirely different perspective on your life when you look at it in this way. It's amazing

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