Sunday, December 30, 2012

Ten memories from the 80s

After two weeks' hiatus while I recovered from surgery, I'm back on my Monday Listicles schedule. This week we were given three options: ten things totally 80s, ten tweets, or ten crushes. I'm opting for some of my memories of the 80s--a great, adventurous decade for me!

1. Legwarmers and big hair!
Being silly at the beach with my brother and sister
2. Youth Encounter

With Youth Encounter friends Jeannette and Amila
When I was a junior in high school I went on a weekend retreat called Youth Encounter, which was sponsored by the Episcopal church. I'm not sure how I first heard of it, or how I ended up going alone (that first weekend I knew no one!), but it's a good example of something I've did independently even though I was nervous and scared. It became a big part of my life during my junior and senior years in high school...a group of girls would go out to a beautiful old house overlooking the Columbia Gorge and have a weekend retreat that consisted of girls giving talks about their spirituality and singing songs. After the first experience, we could return to serve on the team running the weekend. It was run by girls, for girls, although we had adult supervision and a priest onsite. (The boys had a separate program.) It looks like they still have something similar, but it's in Lake Oswego, coed, and called "Teens Encounter Christ." I became the music leader on a few Youth Encounters and I made some wonderful friends through the experience, especially my friend Jeannette who now runs a charter boat company in the San Juans with her husband and her homestay sister, Amila, from Sri Lanka. It was also my first experience of religious division, because I wanted to be rectora (leader of the weekend) and I couldn't because I was not Episcopalian. In spite of that, it really grounded my spirituality as a teenager and was a blast!

3. College life

In my dorm room during junior year
From 1982 to 1986 I attended Pacific Lutheran University and first majored in education before I switched to English. PLU gave me a great foundation for life!

4. Travel! My best memories:

  • Cross-country trips: The first vivid memory was in 1981, when my family took a 6-week trip across
    Meeting up with a childhood friend
     in Salem, Massachusetts
     the U.S. in a Buick Regal and three pup tents. We camped all the way, in addition to staying with friends and family in Ohio, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Colorado. It was a phenomenally fun journey...and all before technology. We had Sony walkmans and books--that was it. We headed out through Montana, Wyoming, and South Dakota, through the Midwest, and to the East Coast, and headed back through Kentucky and Colorado. We hit most of the big cities with the exception of Chicago. I had just studied American history in school so loved visiting all the historical spots, especially in Philadelphia, throughout Massachusetts, New York, and Washington DC.

    In 1986, after graduating from college, my friend Debbie and I flew to Boston and spent a week there...and then flew down to Washington DC, where my aunt was doing a sabbatical at the Smithsonian. We drove their car all the way back to Seattle for them, with my friend Peary from Colorado. It was quite an adventure!
  • First airplane ride: I flew down to the Bay Area with dorm friends to visit another friend whose family lived in Sacramento. We spent time in San Francisco, floated down the river, went to an amusement park, and hung out in her family's wonderful pool, ringed with rosemary. So much fun!
  • First weekend in Japan
      First trip abroad:
      In 1986 after I graduated from PLU I left for a year in Japan with my college roommate Debbie, and the following week my parents said goodbye to my sister who spent the year in China. I ended up staying in Japan for three years, since I met the love of my life there!
    • Christmas in Chengdu, 1986
    • First big solo trip: For Christmas in 1986, I took a boat from Kobe, Japan, to Shanghai, China, and spent a night in Shanghai on my own. That's another blog post in itself. Then I flew to Chengdu, where my sister lived, and I'll never forget getting off the plane and bursting into tears, because I missed her so much! We spent a wonderful and unique Christmas in China together.
    • Global travel: Traveled to Korea, Thailand, Taiwan (one night only), Hong Kong (several times), Macau (twice), Singapore (twice), Malaysia, Indonesia, and India between 1986 and 1989. By the end of the 1980s, I'd been to over half of the United States and 11 countries.
    5. Graduations

    First, from high school in 1982:
    I loved my Gunne Sax dress!
    and then from PLU in 1986, with a B.A. in English and minor in religion:
    My lei was sent to me by a PLU friend in Hawaii
    6. Spending time with children (not my own):

    I've always loved children and knew I wanted my own (I'd planned on becoming a single parent had I not gotten married). I spent tons of time as a teenager babysitting and teaching Sunday school and formed close relationships with many children. 

    With my little friend Emily (now a nurse and mother
     of two with another on the way!)
    With her brother Aaron, at a shower my mom and I threw for him
     (now a Portland police officer!)
    My sweet cousins who I nannied for two summers (and had a horrible,
    tear-soaked time saying goodbye to when I left for Japan in 1986!)

    Same cousins in 1988, when Mike visited Oregon for the first time
    Found some Japanese children to cuddle

    And another one

    7. Karaoke!
    Debbie and I singing karaoke in Osaka, the first weekend in Japan
    I was singing Karaoke before it hit big in the U.S. The company I worked for liked to send us out with Japanese businessmen--we enjoyed the nightlife even though we were being used as pseudo hostesses. Fortunately they behaved themselves, except I remember two of them who had a hankering for Debbie!

    8. Romance!

    In Japan, fall 1988
    In college I dated a guy named Todd for about a year. He was just the rehearsal for the love of my life! I met Mike in Japan in 1987 and my life changed. Between early 1987 and the end of 1989 (when we got engaged in India), I was having the time of my life being in love!

    9. Music!

    I remember listening to a lot of Billy Joel and Cyndi Lauper in college...interspersed with Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith. My college boyfriend Todd loved Toto and Chicago (not my favorites!) and we saw both of them in concert. My favorite college dance tunes were "Tainted Love," "Don't You Want Me," "Rock Lobster," "Karma Chameleon," and "Modern Love." And let's not forget Michael Jackson and Prince.

    In Japan my Scottish friend Cath introduced me to UB40, Steve Winwood, the Gipsy Kings, and the Eurythmics. I introduced Mike to James Taylor and Billy Joel, and we saw Billy Joel, UB40, and Bryan Adams perform in Osaka. We listened to Squeeze and Simply Red a lot when I visited Nadine in China. Madonna was hugely popular in Japan at the time, and some of my students even said I looked like her! (They also said Mike looked like Bruce Willis, so you can tell how accurate they were. I think we must all look alike!)

    10. Maturity

    In Udaipur, India, in September 1989, Mike asked me to marry him. At the end of that month I went back to Oregon and Mike returned to England until January. I started planning our wedding and looking for a job. And I grew up. So by the end of the '80s, I was 24 and officially an adult!

    Listicles is brought to us by Stasha Check out her blog and the links to the others!


    1. You did some serious living in the 80's! What great experiences you had! I can't believe you took a six-week trip across the U.S., that is totally cool! Enjoyed reading your Listicles!

    2. Thanks, Kate. Yes, it was a really fortunate experience as a 16-year-old!

    3. Wow, you did some great traveling! I'm probably in the minority, but that road trip with your family sounds amazing. I have an inner desire to do a cross country road trip like that. Loved the list, especially since I can relate to all the Northwest locations!!

      1. You definitely have to like your family to travel like that. My sister and I had great adventures in the back seat and in our pup tent!

    4. Those are awesome memories and experiences. My 80s was all about angst. lol

      1. Thanks Bee. Sorry about your angst. Guess I was lucky that way.

    5. The clothes is these pictures are totally 80's, but the experiences are totally awesome:)

    6. Wow! The 80s were filled with lots of fun adventures for you. :)

    7. I just LOVE the pictures!! The 80's were just so awesome! Great list! :)

    8. What wonderful adventures and memories for you! Great list!

    9. I loved Amy Grant. The Collection is still one of my favourite CDs.

    10. I'm thinking I missed the mark in choosing which list I went with. I'm loving all these 80's photos!

      1. I wish I had even more 80s photos! My parents didn't take that many of us, in comparison to how many I take of my kids!

    11. I am so happy you are feeling better!! What a great life, good times and beautiful memories. Also you look totally amazing in all the photos. Magazine cover kinda amazing!

      1. Thanks Stasha; I appreciate it. You are good for my ego!

    12. I hope you are recovering nicely. How are you feeling?

      Your travel experiences are wonderful. Wow!


    13. Wow you traveled so much! Amazing! I loved seeing all the pictures :)

    14. Gosh you accomplished a lot in the 80s! I suppose I did too, and thought I met the love of my life and future husband, but he broke up with me New Year's Eve 1990. For whatever reason, I've not had as serious a relationship since, although he married a woman he met through me a couple years later. Never say never! Great to see you here again at the blog.