By Lisa Karon Richardson
I often think of history as something quite removed from myself. I mean, history happened to people in other generations. Great events held sway and the fog of forgetfulness and distance have overlaid it all with a patina of romance. In comparison, my life is… mundane.
Then my husband had his 35th birthday last week. For his special day he had only one wish—to go to the historic final launch of the space shuttle. In Florida...
We live in Ohio.
There were some logistical issues.
In the end, he took a buddy and they made it a whole road trip. It became as much about the journey as it was about the destination. For a couple days it seemed touch and go as to whether he’d actually get to see the launch or not. Due to weather concerns and a possible lightning strike. But in the end, Space Shuttle Atlantis soared into history and he was there to witness it firsthand.
Thanks to him, I moved outside my typical myopia to realize anew that history is a living thing. I’ve witnessed its growth and been a party to events that future generations will be writing about. Some of the big ones:
- Ronald Reagan was elected when I was two. (He’s the first president I remember.)
- Fall of the Berlin Wall
- Operation Desert Storm
- Tiananmen Square
- The Columbine Shootings
- The embassy bombings in Kenya
- Princess Diana's death
- The war in Afghanistan
- The election of America’s first black president
- The capture of Sadam Hussein
- The Japanese tsunami
- The marriage of Will and Kate
- The killing of Osama Bin Laden
- The end of an era, with the last space shuttle flight
There’s supposed to be a Chinese curse that goes something like: “May you live in interesting times.” I don't think it's much of a curse. When I actually look back, I see that my grandkids will be asking me questions for their school history reports. History is all around us.
What are some of the most significant historical moments you recall from your life?
Influenced by books like The Secret Garden and The Little Princess, Lisa Karon Richardson’s early books were heavy on boarding schools and creepy houses. Now that she’s (mostly) all grown-up she still loves a healthy dash of adventure and excitement in any story she creates, even her real-life story. She’s been a missionary to the Seychelles and Gabon and now that she and her husband are back in America, they are tackling a brand new adventure, starting a daughter-work church in a new city. Her first novella, Impressed by Love, part of the Colonial Courtships collection, is coming in May, 2012.