Monday, March 11, 2019

Forty Nine Memories

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Today is my birthday!  I am forty nine!

Todd and I celebrated my birthday yesterday, since he had to work today.  We went to lunch at Bluewater Boathouse Grill at Coronado, where I had the ciopinno.  Then we had ice cream at Moo Time Creamery, followed by book browsing at the independent book store Bay Books.  It was perfect!

In honor of my birthday and 49 trips around the sun, I made a list of 49 random memories, in no particular order!

  1. When I was three, my parents went out and the babysitter let me play with water in the bathroom.  I got water EVERYWHERE!
  2. I had a yellow canary as my first pet.
  3. I learned to ride a bike when I was seven.  I LOVED my blue glitter banana seat bike!  I was sad when we moved to the US in 1979 and couldn’t bring my bike with us.
  4. My paternal grandparents were farmers and lived in the countryside in Taiwan.  They had chickens everywhere, including inside the house.  And they pooped everywhere, including inside the house.
  5. One time when I was 6 or 7, there was a big earthquake in Taiwan.  Our apartment was shaking and I didn’t know what was going on.  My mom threw herself over me and my little sister.  I asked her what happened and she said there was an earthquake.  The love and protection of a mom!
  6. Eighth grade school dances where Journey and Spandau Ballet ballads ruled.
  7. Tenth grade social dance during PE.  Ugh.
  8. Meeting Todd for the first time on our dorm floor.  He was new.  I was an older sophomore!  We lived in the geek dorm Taylor Tower at Ohio State.  We owe the Ohio State computer for putting us on the same floor.  I don’t think we would have met otherwise, since he was in Engineering and I was in Arts & Sciences and Business.
  9. The first time I realized my parents were humans with faults and frailties. 
  10. The $20 bill that my dad gave me when I was a junior in college.  I was going to graduate in three years with a Psychologoy degree and was going to pursue grad school and Psychology.  But a comment by the Psych professor that I was doing research for (work study) led me to quit that work study job and re-consider going into Psychology.  I was worried about finding another work study job, I really needed the money.  I had scholarships and grants, but it was not enough.  My dad stopped by my apartment and gave me a $20 bill and consoled me and told me it was going to be alright.  And it was.  The event changed the direction of my life forever.  I never spent the $20 bill.  I still have it in an envelope.
  11. Moving to San Diego in December of 1999.  Getting into our rental car at the airport with our two cats and the first song that came on the radio was “Bright Sunshiny Day” with the lyrics, “I can see clearly now the rain is gone”. 
  12. Finding out my mom had cancer.
  13. Being there when my mom passed away.
  14. Meeting Todd’s family for the first time.  His parents were younger than I am now!  And his sister was only 11 years old at the time, LOL.
  15. Making the 8th grade cheerleading squad in middle school.
  16. Going to the library for the first time in the US, and checking out books with lots of words I couldn’t read. 
  17. The first day of school in 4th grade in a new country.  I didn’t speak English and it was very scary.  But I had to put up a brave face for my younger sister, who was in kindergarten.  They came to find me in my classroom because she wouldn’t stop crying.  She cried and asked me, “Why don’t they speak Chinese here?”
  18. Todd playing in rock bands and touring in Austin, TX.
  19. Todd making me a silkscreen sweatshirt as a gift.  It was much harder back then.  You had to draw on the screen and cut it out with an exacto knife.  No such thing as an electric cutter back then!
  20. When I got my first job offer out of college.  I still have the offer letter.  The company has been spun off twice, but I ended up working with the same company for 25 years.
  21. The first time I had pizza in the US.  I thought it was so gross!
  22. Our 10 year anniversary party.  We rented a boat for 30 people and had dinner catered on the boat.  Cruised around San Diego Bay and got to see the sunset.  Best party ever.
  23. The day I started talking to my friend Peppermint on the internet and we became fast friends.
  24. Going to San Diego Comic Con and getting squished on the trolley and in the halls, everywhere.  It was so crowded!
  25. Running into Geena Davis while walking around in La Jolla.
  26. All the times I worked as an extra on the TV show Veronica Mars.  Making television is very tedious and takes forever, filming the same scenes over and over again.
  27. Building our first house in Miamisburg, Ohio.
  28. Buying our first house in San Diego, which was up the hill from our current house.  Oh the sticker shock!
  29. Seeing our current house for the first time during open house and falling in love with it.  We immediately went home and I calculated all kinds of numbers to see if it would work.  That was 18 years ago.  It worked out.
  30. Discovering the internet for the first time, in 1995.
  31. Going to the San Diego Charger Girls tryout in 2004 and trying to follow the choreography to Britney Spears’ “You Drive Me Crazy”. 
  32. Our first home fellowship church group of young married couples in Dayton.
  33. Todd playing trumpet in the orchestra and me singing in the 80 person choir at our church in Dayton.  I miss a church with a big choir and full orchestra.  It was so fun.
  34. Adopting our first two cats, Pete and Pepe, in 1995, a month after we moved into our newly built house.
  35. My college pet, a hamster named Buddy.
  36. Being a candy striper at John Muir Memorial Hospital during 9th grade.  My day was Mondays and I’d watch Monday Night Football with the patients while feeding them or chatting with them.
  37. Discovering digital cameras for the first time!  What a life-changer!
  38. My girls trips with my friend Sally to Puerto Vallarta and Cancun, Mexico.
  39. Going to Maui for our honeymoon and having to be in five airports to get there (Columbus, Chicago, Los Angeles, Honolulu, Maui). 
  40. Loving Hawaii because people looked like me, and couples looked like me and Todd.  In Ohio we still got stared at occasionally. 
  41. My parents taking care of teenage kids every Saturday because we had youth group at our house.  My mom worked tirelessly cooking for everyone.  It was like a second home for some of those kids.  My dad was a church pastor and the youth group impacted the kids so much that two of my friends became pastors as well.
  42. My dad having an ulcer and had to go to the same hospital that I volunteered at.  It was sad seeing him in the hospital bed. 
  43. Growing up poor and really not KNOWING it until I was an adult.  We had everything we needed.
  44. Going to Jalapa, Mexico to visit my sister while she was on a one-year stint there working with college kids. 
  45. My sister living with us for a year before getting married.  Our cat Pepe used to sleep with her every night, she was his favorite.
  46. The last day at my 25 year job.
  47. The first day I opened my Etsy store.
  48. Going to Arizona for baseball Spring Training with our good friends AJ & Meera.
  49. Snorkeling for the first time and seeing colorful fish and other undersea creatures.

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