Shannon Fennell's Blog

My life, cooking, make-up, travel, art and the occasional rant!

Looking forward … after looking back

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So here it is, 2012.

I used to think about the future when I was younger and 2011 was way off in the future – the year I would be 50.  I don’t remember ever thinking about anything past that, yet, here we are on the first day of 2012 and I am well into my second half-century.

In Grade 5 or 6 we had a new textbook, for English I think.  In it was Mother Shipton’s Prophecy that had a verse that ended “and to this world an end shall come, in nineteen hundred and eighty-one.”  That stuck with me…. all through the 70s I was waiting for something to happen.  Then 1981 came… and Ronald Reagan was elected President of the United States… I though uh-oh, here we go.

Well, guess the world didn’t end that year… but maybe something was started that will ultimately lead to it?  Or… maybe not.

I know now that Mother Shipton probably didn’t make that prophecy… when we were in England we were near where she was supposed to have lived and it was a theme park… and apparently all the “prophecies” were written well after the woman was supposed to have lived.  Oh well… another childhood belief tossed into the ditch along with Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Toothfairy, the Boogy Man, the planet Pluto and the big black dog that ate my soother…

Things have changed… up until I was 5 we lived in a two room shack with an outhouse (with a can that my mom had to empty, not a hole in the ground), a pump for water, a wood stove for heat and cooking.  Then we moved to a house in White Rock… a rat infested beachfront house.  We weren’t allowed to play in the lower two levels of the house due to the rats.

On the upside… I had a pet Brontosaurus that protected me when using the outhouse!  Unfortunately, the Brontosaurus (which isn’t technically correct as what was named a Brontosaurus was actually a mismatched head and body so I guess my pet dinosaur was an Apatosaurus or maybe a Diplodocus?) is now in the ditch with the rest of them… [sigh]

I’m beginning to think I was deprived … d’you I never had a Barbie doll?  I saved up my babysitting money and when I was 13 (yes, I was in high school… so what!) I bought myself “Francie” who was a “cousin” of Barbie.  She had a blonde bob, hairpieces, a blue dress with white trim, and I built her a condo out of cardboard boxes… built furniture and everything.

On the other hand, many girls would think I was lucky because I had a horse.  We actually had lots of them… that needed feeding, watering, and care… and a stable… that needed cleaning.  I did love my horse Velvet … she broke my arm and would dump me every Spring.  Then there was Barney who gave me multiple black eyes and broken toes… I really should have worn boots into the stall, not thongs… [sigh]

I also had some frogs… well, sort of.  I only met them when I accidentally stepped on one in the bathroom… in the dark… You see, although the house we lived in on the farm was “new” – as in custom-built for us in 1970 – it was not really great… the contractor was a crook and it was sub-standard.  Anyhow, there was a leak in the bathtub plumbing so the ex-parental unit’s method of “fixing” the plumbing was not to hire a plumber to actually FIX IT, it was to pound a hole through the cement slab foundation under the tub, so that the water would drain THROUGH it, then he dug a trench so that the water would drain out and along the house out to the ditch that ran across the back… so, of course the wildlife liked to come in where it was warm and damp.  We even had those flat tree fungus things growing up the wall…  but I digress.

I remember watching the moon landing on TV, I remember the whole school gathering to watch the September 28, 1972 Canada vs USSR hockey game on a TV that the vice principal had brought in special for the occasion, I remember watching Challenger exploding on the TV at work, I remember watching the World Trade Centre live on the morning news on September 11, 2001… strange how our memories are of things we saw on television isn’t it?

Technology has made it possible for those with access to it to be a part of what happened… even if separated by thousands of miles and hours of time… we still feel at if we were there and were INVOLVED in the events.

I’m old enough now that I will say to people “do you remember when….” and most of the time I get a blank look.  [sigh] I gotta get me some friends in my own age group.  Sheesh.


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