I have a little story to tell. Earlier this spring, my husband won three tickets to a concert presented by the symphony orchestra of a nearby city–featuring Mozart’s Requiem. We debated for a few days about taking Trinity, our four-year old granddaughter, to such an adult event. In the end we decided to give it a try. After all, the tickets were free, so we didn’t have a great deal to lose if we had to leave. (There she is in the picture, all dressed up and ready to go hear, “my Mozart!”) You may wonder why we would consider taking a preschooler to the symphony, but this child loves Mozart and listens to a CD nearly every night at bedtime. Once I tried to sneak a CD of Bach in, and she cried, saying, “Grandma, that is NOT Mozart.”
She was hopping with excitement, but we gave her lots of coaching, and when we arrived she gazed about with wonder at the lovely venue, and when the orchestra began to tune up she sat up straight and gazed, enraptured, with her mouth literally open. It was pure delight to watch her enjoying brand-new sights, sounds and surroundings.
This experience led me to remembering times of discovery, of new experiences. Some were my own experiences and some were remembered from my children, or those of others. Share with us today about five memorable moments of insight, discovery, awareness–from childhood or later, something you experienced or something you shared with someone else.
1. First ride on Space Mountain (or probably any roller coaster)
I was five when we took our first trip to Disneyland. We had family in Pasadena, so we could stay with them and we all piled in the car and headed for the Happiest Place on Earth. This was 1977 and it was the days of ticket books. For those of you who are only familiar with these heady times of general admission, let me assure you that things were not always so general back in the day. Upon paying your admission price – a whopping $8 – you were granted a ticket book. The tickets were lettered from A – E and different rides corresponded to different letters. The A rides were the little kiddie rides and the higher you went in the alphabet, the bigger the ride. Consequently, there were fewer of those lettered tickets. There may have been 2 E tickets.
Keep in mind, this was 1077. The world was safer and parents more trusting. Also, my brother was an infant and was basically a millstone around my eager, adventure-seeking neck. I don’t have a ton of crystal clear memories from this trip, but I do remember Space Mountain. I think my dad went with me the first time and I was completely hooked. My aunt & uncle were in their 40’s (gasp!) and my mom was tethered to my brother, so I went through all their ticket books (with their permission) and took out their E tickets. They all sat at the end of the ride patiently as I went back over and over. By myself. At age 5. Again – 1977.
2. First Movie
1978 – The original Jar-Jar Binks-free Star Wars movie the way God intended – on a GIANT 70mm screen with major sound for its time. I got to go with my friend Cindy Hart after my sixth birthday party to see Star Wars. It was a re-release because the original was released in 1977, already a banner year for me (see above).
3. First Trip Overseas
My first time on an international trip was 2001. I was a seminary student and a team of us from the music school went to Kenya to teach for 2 weeks. I raised enough money for my trip and some extra to buy some instruments that we brought with us and left with the students there. It was a 10-hour flight to London, 6 hour layover, then 17 hour flight to Nairobi. Then a 2-hour drive to where we were staying. To say I was disgusting would be an understatement. Kenya is such a beautiful country and the 2 weeks I spent there were amazing. After that time there, my mom met me in London and we spent a week there. That was her first international trip as well. We had an amazing time and discovered that while we don’t live well together, we do travel well together. We’re hopefully taking another European adventure together next spring – can’t wait!
4. First Car Accident
1980 or 81 – I was 8ish and my brother was 3. We were in our super sweet brown 1979 Pontiac Bonneville. Jealous? I don’t remember the exact logistics of the situation but I do know that I was in the rear passenger seat and my door was hit by a motorcycle driven by a big scary dude who kinda looked like this:
Obviously, I was shocked & then scared & then I start to cry. Our car barely stopped moving and my brother was out of the car like a shot. He ran up to the biking behemoth and proceeded to bang on the man’s knee caps and yell at him: “You hit my dad’s car & you made my sister cry!” The guy was abjectly apologetic. He bent down as far as he could and begged my brother’s forgiveness over and over. It was quite hilarious.
5. First Trip to San Francisco
1987 – The first time I came here was when I was a freshman in high school and we were here for a choir trip. We flew in to San Francisco & spent the day and then went to a competition in San Jose. I was absolutely blown away by this beautiful city. We only had one day and we did only touristy things, but in my gut I knew I would live here someday, and I moved here in 1998.