THEN - 7 December 1941
The family legend about this photo is that mommy and daddy were taking pictures of baby Ronni in her bath when a shocking announcement was made on the radio: Pearl Harbor had been attacked.
This image began a snapshot journey that covers more than a hundred years. It ends today in the present. The world has changed since I was a little girl. We have television now, cell phones, the internet and we know that the moon is not made of green cheese.
I wonder if little kids today see the face of "the man in the moon" as I did on clear nights many decades ago or if, in our new knowledge of the Sea of Tranquility and other moon landmarks, they no longer imagine such things.
NOW - 31 October 2005
In sorting photos for the Timeline, I learned a lot about myself, my family and friends, and my world. I remembered old stories I hadn't thought of in years. I realized how public events sometimes colored my personal life. I changed my mind about some people, places and things. And - there are still so many stories left untold.
All in all, it's been an interesting trip most of which has borne no resemblance to what I daydreamed as a girl about my adulthood. Would I, should I have done some things differently? Of course. But we all do the best we can with the tools and strengths we have at the time and I have no regrets.
It has been a little more than a year since I began the Timeline and ending it today, feels like a beginning. It feels as though I've put old mysteries to rest, put a button on my adulthood and I'm ready for a new adventure.
Is it serendipity that the Timeline reaches the present just as I close the book on one era of my life and embark on another in a new city? Or is there an order to the cosmos that perhaps provides symbols and markers for us if we are willing to pay attention? Personally, I believe that - and not - depending on the day of the week.
Although I had been researching aging for several years before I began this blog in March 2004, and have been writing on aspects of "what it's really like to get older" for 20 months since then, right now all that feels like a prelude.
There is a strong sense of reaching a divide, of crossing a frontier into new territory. Perhaps all my protestations on this blog of embracing old age have been practice, preparation, and now I am ready for the real thing. Should I take after my great aunt and grandmother and live to my early 90s, I've got a quarter of a century of doing that in front of me.
The Timeline has only reached the present. As time moves on and events and photo documentation warrant, it will be continued.