By : Sally Valentine

January 02 2018

December 31, 2017 50! 50! 50!

This is a follow-up to my September post about my 50th high school reunion. I was ruminating about the passage of time and wondering where 50 years had gone. In an attempt to answer that question and before we embark on another new year, I decided to come up with a list (doesn’t everyone love a list?) of 50 ways that I have spent my time in the last 50 years. Here goes. These items are in no particular order.

  1. I’ve loved and been loved.                                                                                                 50
  2. Endured the pain of childbirth.
  3. Held seven newborn babies in my arms. (two daughters and five grandchildren)
  4. Spent hundreds of hours in prayer.
  5. Taught math to hundreds of students from kindergarten to calculus.
  6. Solved thousands of crossword puzzles.
  7. Cried when my children were broken hearted.
  8. Pushed my father and mother in wheelchairs.
  9. Wallpapered a dozen rooms.
  10. Strolled down the Champs-Elysees.
  11. Earned BS and MS degrees and NYS teacher certification.
  12. Straddled the Great Meridian in Greenwich.
  13. Saw my reflection in the mirrors of Versailles.
  14. Marveled over and over at the miracle of air travel.
  15. Walked down sunlit paths and snow covered roads.
  16. Raised (with Gary’s help) two daughters.
  17. Suffered through their teenage years.
  18. Became my mother-in-law’s best friend.
  19. Suffered through anxiety and depression.
  20. Rode in a VW Beetle to California. (no air conditioning)
  21. Waded in the Great Salt Lake.
  22. Sipped hot chocolate at the top of Pike’s Peak.
  23. Hung off the trolley cars in San Francisco.
  24. Screamed on the Jack Rabbit at least once a year.
  25. Been to Disneyworld more times than I can count.
  26. Learned how to be a friend to someone who is dying.
  27. Wrote six books and co-authored two more.
  28. Sat on the sunny side of a bullfight in Mexico.
  29. Rode the NYC subway.
  30. Cried at the 911 memorial.
  31. Ate too many hot fudge sundaes.
  32. Sang too loud in church (and other places.)
  33. Celebrated 44 anniversaries with my husband.
  34. Donated time, talents, and treasures to my community and beyond.
  35. Smelled the lilacs in Highland Park and remembered my fallen classmates at the Vietnam Memorial there.
  36. Watched my daughters become beautiful, loving women with children of their own.
  37. Read every Agatha Christie novel and Sue Grafton mystery..
  38. Took writing courses and joined critique groups.
  39. Drank too many cups of coffee.
  40. Walked close to 500 miles along the Erie Canal.
  41. Saw the sunrise from Cocoa Beach.
  42. Rode a bicycle down Mt. Haliakala.
  43. Sneezed through 50 Labor Day Weekends! Hay Fever is evil!
  44. Screamed over Neil Diamond music when I was 17 and when I was 67 and all the years in between.
  45. Sewed my own wedding dress and years later cut it up to make Baptismal outfits for my grandkids.
  46. Played hundreds of games of euchre, Scrabble, Sequence, Yahtzee, etc.
  47. Never tired of looking for rainbows.
  48. Delighted in dozens of snow days and the excuse to make chocolate chip cookies.
  49. Forced myself to become computer literate.
  50. Made lots of mistakes, but lived and am living in the grace of God.

One thought on “December 31, 2017 50! 50! 50!

  1. Tarri Bandemer Mundt
    February 17, 2018 5:46 Reply

    A truly amazing recount of a truly amazing lady…my own very sweet, dear to my heart cousin❣ I am in awe of your creative writing talents, and have thoroughly enjoyed reading your Blogs here, as well as your delightful children’s books❣So very proud and pleased to call you cousin, and be a part of the awesome Bandemer/Valentine family❣

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