"I'm going to speak my mind because I have nothing to lose."--S.I. Hayakawa

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Retrospective of Seven Decades

On a Sunday evening a long time ago, I was responsible for my mother missing a dinner she'd been looking forward to.  I heard about it later.  Several times.

Back then, however, I was exhibiting behavior that would become a life-long pattern.  It's called "impetuosity."  There's probably some psychobabble term for it nowadays, but I know it as my predictable response when there's something I want or want to do.

When my mother missed the Sunday evening chicken dinner, I was demanding to be born.  That was 70 years ago today.  Yes, today, November 23, I turn 70 years old and I can tell you this for certain:  It's the funniest thing that's ever happened to me!

Haha!  Mommy missed dinner.

Two weeks to the day after I was born, the Japanese Imperial forces attacked Pearl Harbor.  They missed me.  I was still in Detroit.

Is this little whiner a year old yet?  Don't think so.

Dad and me on the left, Uncle Willard and Cousin Bud on right.

I'd guess it's 1942  and I'm one year old.

Looks like I was 2 in this picture, 1943.

Looking for adventure at 3.

Christmas in Alaska with my brother, circa 1948 or 1949. I'm 7 or 8.

Can't count the candles but I'd guess circa 1950.

Probably 8 or 9?  Maybe 10.

1951 and 10 with brother Jim and sister Karen.
Maybe 1953?  Maybe 12?

High school, 1959, and I'm 17.

I'm 19 and a bridesmaid.

I'm 21 in 1962.

It's 1963 and I'm 22.

1973, with my dog team at Trout Lake on the Resurrection Trail.

On the Oregon Coast in 1973.  I'm 31.

On Sheep Mountain in Canada, 1975.  I'm 33.

With Ken at Copper River, 1977.  I'm 35.

Making moose sausage, 1978.  I'm 36.
Circa 1981.  I'm about 39.

With the woodshed I built.  I'm about 40.

With the rare frog fish, Kona, Hawaii, 1982, and I'm taking SCUBA lessons at 40.

In Japan circa 1985.

In Japan, circa 1985, and 43 years old.

At Kennicott Mine with Ken.  1985, and I'm 44.

On Amchitka Island, the Aleutians, Alaska, in 1988.  I'm 46.
Snow machine para-sailing in Moose Pass.  I'm about 50.

With a small catered Christmas party, circa 1993.  I'm 52.

Snow machining in Yellowstone National Park with friend John.  It's 1997 and I'm 55.  I also have double walking pneumonia.
Kayaking Tern Lake near midnight in 2006.  New sport for me at 60.

In the Outback of Australia, celebrating life at 66 in 2008.

Onstage--and not by choice-- in Alice Springs, the Outback, Australia, proving to everyone I can't play the didgeridoo.  I'm 66 and you'd think I'd know better.

At the Kachemak Bay Writers Conference in 2009.  At 68, I am preparing to read one of my compositions to the gathered writers, instructors, and agents.  Gulp.  This was a first!

Before St. Basil's in Red Square, Moscow.  It's 2009 and I'm almost 68.

Horseback, leading the group out of Haleakala Crater on Maui.  2009, and I'm 67.

Looking at huge brown bear tracks at Yakutat Bay, 2010, I'm 68.

At my 50th high school class reunion in 2010, with Elvis and The Royal Coachman, Ron Moore.  I'm 68.

On the road with Pablo, in 2009.
In Lhasa, Tibet, 2010.  And I'm pretty close to 69.

Hiking in the upper part of the Grand Canyon, 2010.  I'm almost 69.
It's 2011.  I'm 69.  Only a few people will understand why I'm sitting in this very old chair and what it means to me.  Old women deserve to have secrets.
Summer of 2011.  I'm 69 and catching red salmon in the Kenai River.
I'm 69, a few months from 70, and certainly old enough to know better when I struggled into a 40 lb. backpack and hiked 28 miles of the Resurrection/Devil's Creek trail.  By myself.

Can you read the tee shirt message?


  1. Happy Birthday! What an incredible life you've had so far with many more adventures to come.

  2. Happy Birthday Dear Friend. Onward and upward.....there's still a lot of world for you to see.

  3. Happy Birthday, Gully, from a big fan who threw the big seven in the crap game of life back in February (and greetings also from the feminist d'une certain rage, who's still relatively wet behind the ears at only sixty-four).

    I like to remember the comment made by a ninety-year-old Pablo Casals (the cellist, not the famous parrot) who, when asked what he considered the highlight of his life, responded with 'You mean, so far?'

    You keep goin', girl.

  4. Thank you for sharing your photos. I recognize many but a few were new to me. You experienced a whole lot more than most people have, much, much more than I have.

    I can't wait to read about the next ten years and beyond as they unfold for you.

    Happy Birthday, friend.

  5. What an incredible time line in pictures. I can't wait to see what you do in the next 30 years.

  6. This is too much Jeanne .. what a job it had to have been .. I am really impressed .. wow !

  7. You are such an inspiration! I hope that I have a life as full of adventure and travel - You'd be suprised at how many people I've told "You absolutely HAVE to read my grandma's blog! She's amazing!" I love you and congratulations on living and experiencing life the way you have. -Carol

  8. Love these pictures!!!!!!