52 for 52

An update of one of my favorite posts.

I’ve been extremely lucky. While the past few years have definitely been challenging ones, the bulk of my 50 52 years have been filled with lots of magic and adventure. I know a number of people who hide their age, but I’m of the mindset that I want to recognize these years. On a whim, I decided to see if I could capture and compile 50 favorite memories and put them on paper (ok, digitize them in Searching for EMWA) and I accomplished my goal. This was a fun challenge to complete and put a big smile on my face. Now 2 years later, these memories still make me smile. So, without further ado, here are the original 50 plus 2!

50 52 Favorite Memories…In No Particular Order

  1. The year I swam 80 miles over the course of the summer at Whiting Park on Lake Charlevoix–and my Grandpa Cooper paid me 25 cents a mile. I was so proud of that $20!!! 🙂
  2. The summer I was 16, fixing up the rusted out Datsun B210 my parents got from our Aunt Irene with my sister and cousins, Chris & Jimmy, under the watchful eye of my grandfather. Sanding off the rust, Bondo-ing the holes and sanding down the Bondo–so that Dad could get it painted with an Earl Scheib $99.99 paint job.
  3. My 1998 Trip to England, Scotland & Ireland…flying from O’Hare to Heathrow, Bristol, London, Stonehenge, Stratford, Dublin with my friend Anne and a couple of her colleagues, Inverness, Glasgow, Stirling Castle (where I actually ran into an English professor I had at Northern Michigan University, Dr. Glenn), St. Andrews, golfing on a community course near Bristol with my friend Paul and his mates, and Edinburgh.
  4. Being a member of the crew in the 1998 Chicago to Mackinac Sailboat Race.
  5. Traveling to Antigua with Terry January 2017.
  6. Terry and my 2nd Anniversary trip to Montreal.
  7. Being picked up by T at the Louis Armstrong International Airport and instead of heading to our new home, we made a detour to the Louisiana SPCA and T introduced me to our Zoey Girl.
  8. Stage sword fighting with Elyse while we were roommates in an apartment in West Hollywood.
  9. My first outdoor concert: Billy Idol at Castle Farms in Charlevoix, Michigan at 16. I drove.
  10. The Women’s March in DC in 2017.
  11. Taking the train to Denver, Colorado and beginning my winter of ski-bumming at Keystone.
  12. Our wedding party–10 months after our wedding!
  13. Eastern Caribbean (EC) 58 Peace Corps Staging in Miami.
  14. Seeing Pearl Jam in concert at Voodoo Fest in NOLA with Terry and our friends Jen & John.
  15. Traveling home to my beautiful Caribbean sister, Marcella’s, Dominica during Easter Break 1993.
  16. Going to see Mumford and Sons in concert with Barb at Chicago’s Montrose Beach Park and a special party at Grace’s.

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  17. Going to New York City my junior year of high school with my Approaching the Arts class, led by Barb Masters & the Thompsons.
  18. Running into former students–be it at the grocery store, the Apple Store or even on Facebook.
  19. Skiing Loveland Pass at night–with only a  full moon to light our way!!!
  20. My 30th birthday…including an amazing surprise party.
  21. Sailing the Grenadines with some amazing fellow PCVs.
  22. Working & living at Keystone…did I really live in the employee dorms at the base of the mountain thanks to my little job as a ski check girl? So fun.
  23. Go ROW!!!!!!
  24. Experiencing the amazing beauty of the UP while a student at NMU and with Terry.
  25. Terry and my stay elopement in Chicago.
  26. Traveling to the Cottage the weekend after 9/11 to be with the Family.
  27. Slumber party when I turned 10–did we really go to see Pete’s Dragon??
  28. Easter ’94 trip: St. Maartin, Dominica, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, & Barbados.
  29. Playing in my parents’ basement as kids…dressing up in my mom’s fancy 50s dance dresses, forts, building blocks, singing to truly old school 45s
  30. Golfing at Ye Nyne Old Holes.
  31. The Cottage in Summer.
  32. The whole family history thing.
  33. First kisses…
  34. My 5 years as a Peace Corps Regional Recruiter. While being a Peace Corps Volunteer was ‘the toughest job I’ve ever loved’, being a PC recruiter was my favorite stateside position.
  35. Driving with Barb to Cali when I moved to LA in a Ryder truck, towing my Civic. The Grand Canyon, the Bates Motel, Corvette convention making finding a hotel our first night a challenge, the World’s Largest McDonalds, the Cadillac Ranch.
  36. Living in New Orleans…Mardi Gras, our home on State Street Drive, teaching AP and IB, yummy food, parades, Zoey & Bleu
  37. Grad school and wrapping my head around all of these topics in history.
  38. Kayaking Isle Royale and Pictured Rocks with T.
  39. The doll house & skating rinks & snow forts…
  40. Going to the movies.
  41. Ski trips to Boyne Mountain and Boyne Highlands with the Fam…including AL & UR. Extra special that the Cottage (and skiing) was half way between Mom & Dad in Plymouth and Northern Michigan University in Marquette where Barb and I went to college.
  42. The first time I went scuba diving on Antigua. Such a kick…especially after my PADI certification dives in Lake Superior in April!
  43. The Cottage in May. So peaceful.
  44. Being a founding member of NMU’s Platform Personalities and meeting Elie Wiesel, Maki Mandela, Yolanda King and a number of others as a result.
  45. Family trips to Kentucky…Kentucky blackberries, lemonade and marbles at Aunt Rita’s and Uncle Stout’s, learning to play pinochle, watching ‘Guiding Light‘ and pony rides.

    Barb & I riding with Mr. Cryder.

  46. Karaoke and bonding during Peace Corps Pre-Service Training on Saint Lucia.
  47. Spring break trips to Florida.
  48. Dinners and parties and special friends.
  49. Becoming an aunt.
  50. Laying out on the dock at the Cottage at night watching the stars sparkling above–and once in awhile even catching the Northern Lights.
  51. Zooming in 2020: Peace Corps & Family reunions; cool history related professional developments; ROW erg practices & mindfulness classes & nutrition classes & bookclub meetings; CPS town halls (where I’m in the screen next to a certain US president and his wife)…

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  52. Recovery on Water’s Sprint for Recovery in 2019–the first year I was able to go out on the water for the St. Patrick’s Day row!

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