12.30.2009

My Decade

The New York Times posted a collection of reader's photograph's from the past ten years and I spent some time scrolling through them this morning. It occurred to me that this has been my decade, my coming of age period, the one whose events created my adult personality.

At the start of this decade, I didn't have a cell phone. AIM Instant Messenger was just taking off. I didn't know what "high speed" internet, or blogs or wikis were. Even after I got a cell phone, it was for talking to people, not texting them.

Pittsburgh has gotten a lot shinier since then...I remember when the Waterfront shopping center was being built. M lived on Beechwood Boulevard, overlooking that lot, which was just an ugly Brownfield for a long time. One day, blindingly bright lights appeared as the movie theater and Giant Eagle opened. The Nabisco factory still filled the East End with the warm and inviting smell of cookies baking several times a week. All the old high rise projects are gone from that neighborhood and the factory is being renovated into luxury condos and high end retail. As the gentrification creeps through East Liberty and Garfield, I wonder where all the people are going who can't afford to stay in luxury condos, but I also hope that it creeps down Penn Avenue towards my little piece of the city.

In the year 2000, I, along with most Americans, could never have imagined the 9/11 attacks, but war has been the background buzz for nearly the entire decade. In the year 2000, you could still go and hang out past the security gates at the airport. Al Qaeda had been around for a while, probably at least 10 years, but none of us knew who they were.

M and I traveled around the country twice, driving well over 10,000 miles each time. We spent six months living in the woods as we thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail. We downed malaria pills and went to Africa. Thousands of pictures and postcards and blog entries document these adventures. We were forever changed by each person we met along the way.

2009 was largely spent preparing for Laurel. Pregnancy overshadowed practically everything else from my 30th birthday party to the Rachel Carson Challenge. She will be 8 weeks old tomorrow, the first day of the new year. I imagine that Laurel herself will be a prominent fixture in the coming decade. It will be her milestones that mark the passage of time.

Happy New Year, readers.

1 comment:

Joe said...

Hi Katy,
That's a good summary of an eventful decade. I have many fond memories of new babies, weddings, graduations, a confirmation, and time spent in Pittsburgh. I am very proud of our family as we came together and pitched in when things got tough. I am curious to see what 2010 will bring.
Happy New Year,
Uncle Joe