But next summer my family will have a celebration of major importance. My grandmother will turn 100, and you can bet we're all going to gather in one Michigan town to honor her. The enormity of this accomplishment is something I'm having a hard time getting my arms around. It bends my neurons just thinking about how the world has changed in this short time since I've grown up, heck, since I've been in grad school. But thinking about what Grandma has seen makes me dizzy.
The same woman who is on Facebook (yes! it's true) and sends email to me was born in the same year that the very first coast to coast airplane flight occurred. It took the pilot 49 days to make the trip, and he suffered 16 crash landings during the voyage.
The year that Grandma was born there was a horrible fire at a garment factory where 146 young women perished, prompting greater attention to factory safety and working conditions. The Giants (while still based in NY) lost the World Series to Philly 4-2, but this year they handily defeated the Texas Rangers in 5 games.
In the year of my Grandmother's birth, the ancient Incan city of Machu Picchu was discovered by a U.S. explorer. Her mother could have sent a first class letter to a friend to share the news for a couple of pennies.
Ronald Reagan was born that year, along with Lucille Ball, and Vincent Price, and Madam Curie won a Nobel Prize for discovering the element radium, and women in California earned the right to vote. I proudly exercised my right to vote today.
Grandma has always heartily celebrated the accomplishments of her growing family, which now includes great grandchildren, and now it's our turn to celebrate her life, in a big way. I can't wait!