15 years ago… a #DecemberReflection

Well, the years start coming and they don’t stop coming
Fed to the rules and I hit the ground running

I am participating in the Instagram #DecemberReflections photo share from Susannah Conway. I am not really sure why, I guess my friend Ruth got me going on it, and you know how I feel about finishing what I start (we’ll say: strong.) So today the topic is “15 Years Ago.”

Taking it back to 1999.

There I was. Engaged to be married. Living at Lake Tahoe. Being judged and upstaged by my potential mother-in-law at every opportunity. In my fourth year of teaching. Immersed in really questionable music. Coaching my first basketball team all by myself. Trying to figure shit out.


This photo is from the outrageously ridiculous wedding that my 58-year-old potential mother-in-law began planning for herself as soon as she found out her son had proposed to me. Not that I am trying to draw unfair connections. But seriously.

My mom, step-dad, my dad, and his (thankfully ex-) person all came. It was at a beautiful estate in Zephyr Cove. Buck Owens was there wandering around playing music and gave the “newly”weds a guitar. There were a lot of bigwig politicos there. The food was average. I almost lost my job to be there as the wedding was on the first Friday of the new school year and I had to ask for the day off… and I had just started teaching at Incline that year. Not ideal. The mother of one of my soon-to-be basketball players was hired to do hair for the event, and I am sure that Kathy would corroborate my claims of the weirdness of that whole day. I was wearing my insanely amazing engagement ring, having a fantastic hair day, and pretending that I was totally unaware that my fiancé was facing a one year mandatory minimum (if we couldn’t somehow convince the local politicos present that it might be very beneficial for them to change this course of events.)

As history clearly shows, my course of events was soon to diverge wildly, if not that of my ex. My mom likes to say we all really dodged a bullet with that whole thing.

So much to do, so much to see
So what’s wrong with taking the back streets
You’ll never know if you don’t go
You’ll never shine if you don’t glow

As a strange coincidence, I showed my seniors the film Bowling for Columbine today – most of whom had never seen the film before. They really wanted to talk about the events around the shooting at Columbine… so I was really in 1999 today more than I anticipated. I remember that April well. I remember that particular day well. I remember how so much changed for me as a high school teacher that day. I remember thinking that would never happen again. And then I considered how there have been more than 150 fatal school shootings in the US since then.

Suddenly, the realization that I had dodged a bullet in 1999 took on a new level on meaning.

Here we are. Fifteen years later. I am in my 19th year of teaching. I do not have the amazing ring. I still have great hair. Still grateful for my parentals (especially grateful that dad ditched the ‘mare.) I still know those girls, my first girls that I coached all by myself: Kendra, Steph, Kelly, Lauren M, Bets, Danielle, Vern, Addie, Little Lauren… so glad to still know you all and see the amazing young women you have all become. School shootings are more prevalent than ever.

I guess I’ve dodged more than a few bullets in the end.

The ice we skate is getting pretty thin
The water’s getting warm so you might as well swim
My world’s on fire. How about yours?
That’s the way I like it and I’ll never get bored.


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