10, 20, 30 Years Ago

by Jonah

I’ve been tagged to report what I was doing 10, 20, and 30 years ago.

10 years ago, I had recently finished college and was teaching my younger brother an American history course by driving and camping up the East Coast and down the Appalachians, visiting every fort, battlefield, museum, or other historic spot along the way. We even visited Cara, who graciously put us up while we exhausted every item along the Mall. We headed east from Mobile to St. Augustine, where it all began, and made our way all the way to Maine before heading back again. We even attended an amazing re-enactment of the Battle of Antietam, the largest re-enactment up to that time and still the biggest re-enactment of that battle ever. To make it to the pre-dawn beginning of the second day’s re-enactment, we dozed in a rest stop because all the campsites within a huge radius of the event were all taken already.

20 years ago, I was in my second year both of homeschooling and living in Colorado Springs. My family was very involved in our church and the local homeschool support group, probably the largest in the country at the time. We made frequent trips to the state capital to lobby to legalize homeschooling (folks were getting prosecuted for truancy at the time), and Mom wouldn’t take us to the store during school hours, lest someone ask too many questions. I was foundering around with algebra and reading the first books that included romance that I truly enjoyed.

30 years ago, I was enjoying being a big sister, finally having a younger sister to play with, although she just wouldn’t grow up fast enough! I watched Captain Kangaroo in the morning and in the afternoon Mr. Rogers and “Sunny Days” (though my mom would insist it was called “Sesame Street,” I knew better). We lived next to the Cummings; Mr. Cummings would call me “George” for some reason. Behind and catty-corner to our house was the Reeses’ who went to our church and we were really good friends with. Amy Reese, who would have been one and a half at the time, called my sister Stephanie, who would become her best friend, “Nanny” and me “Nana.” So I guess I’ve been Nana for a long time; my little brother called me that for a while, and my nephew Elliott calls me that now. My very favorite thing to do was to go over to my friends Cara and Janna’s house and play some bizarre combination of “house” and “good guys and bad guys” and make stroganoff out of mud and privet berries and feed it to the zoo animals. Get three big imaginations from three little people, and you can occupy yourselves for hours.

2 Responses to “10, 20, 30 Years Ago”

  1. Steph Says:

    Yeah, THEY were probably trying to play house and YOU were trying to play bad guys and good guys!

  2. Jonah Says:

    You got me. I’d tell Cara something like, “Okay, you be loading the gold into the armored truck over here.” And she’d say, “First I need to change the bank’s curtains. Won’t pink gingham be pretty?”

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