A few weeks ago everyone

seemed to be playing with FaceApp,

which aged faces of young people.

You could see yourself in the future,

say, fifty years from now.

On our second honeymoon to Nova Scotia, we did the reverse.

He has loved airplanes since he was a boy. Fifty years ago, you could stand under the wing of a plane!

He has loved airplanes since he was a boy. Fifty years ago, you could stand under the wing of a plane!

Shirley on the Rocks

Shirley on the Rocks, 1969 and 2019.


Standing in front of the Citadel. Halifax. Clowning with flags after 50 years.

Standing in front of the Citadel. Halifax. Clowning with flags after 50 years.

Couldn't find any Pepsi in glass bottles, so I went with my water bottle.

Couldn’t find any Pepsi in glass bottles, so I went with my water bottle.

Nova Scotia with football jersey. Fifty Years Later!

Nova Scotia with football jersey. Fifty Years Later!

They were only the twinkles in the eyes of their parents, who were still twinkles in our eyes.

At Peggy’s Cove. In 1969 these three were only the twinkles in the eyes of their parents, who were still twinkles in our eyes.

These collages were much fun to make. They were taken almost exactly fifty years apart in places almost exactly the same, or as close as we could find.

True Story: We took three nights and four days at a Hampton Inn (using Hilton Honors points saved for this purpose) in Halifax before the rest of our family arrived to stay with us at a big AirBnB. We did not try to locate our original motel, although I knew the name. In June I had found a postcard I had pasted into the honeymoon scrapbook. It was from the Citadel Inn. While in Halifax, I decided to look up the address to see if we could walk past the place we stayed our first night in Canada. The closest thing I found was the Citadel Halifax Hotel, which I figured was the new name for the same place, but when I looked it up on Yelp!, it said it was closed.

Why was it closed?

Because just a few years ago, “our” motel/hotel was razed. Why?

So that the Hilton company could build a new Hampton Inn — the very place we stayed for three nights! We had returned to the same earth without knowing it.

Coincidence? Maybe. But the discovery gave me chills. And I made a new collage.

1960 Brunswick St. Then and Now.

1960 Brunswick St. Then and Now.

Have you ever done a photo collage with old and new pictures? Tell us about it. When was the last time you discovered a “coincidence” that gave you chills?

Shirley Showalter


  1. Elfrieda Neufeld Schroeder on August 13, 2019 at 5:36 pm

    Those past and present photos are awesome, Shirley, and you both look great! You have aged well, like good wine! I have had several coincidences that “give me chills” recently, but they are too involved to post in a comment here. One I can mention is hearing a voice very clearly calling my name when I am sleeping soundly. I wake up wondering who called me, and there is no one there! It always reminds me of little Samuel hearing the voice of God and saying “speak, your servant is listening.” It was one of my favourite bible stories, growing up.

    • Shirley Showalter on August 13, 2019 at 7:17 pm

      Thanks, Elfrieda. You are too kind.

      The story of Samuel made a deep impression on me as a child, too. I don’t believe I heard my name called in my sleep, however. If I did, I think I would wake up with chills too.

  2. Linda Gartz on August 13, 2019 at 5:48 pm

    Love the jersey (how great it still fits! Not the case for many). I think you’ve hardly changed at all. Of course we all look older after fifty years have passed. but I’d be able to pick you out in a crowd of photos from 1969! (P.S. 50 years ago I left for my senior year in Germany and Bill was in the Army Reserves – as Vietnam War was still raging.
    Lovely memories, and we’re both lucky to have them – and still be with our special guys!

    • Shirley Showalter on August 13, 2019 at 7:21 pm

      You are so right, Linda, we are both lucky in many ways, and especially to still be with our special guys.

      It’s easy to forget, in the midst of so much social turmoil in our country today, that the 1960s were also chaotic times.

      We lived through those. And, one day at a time, we will walk on.

  3. Erma Martin Yost on August 13, 2019 at 6:07 pm

    Congratulations, you both look great in all of the photos.
    Our June honeymoon was spent in San Diego, the first time I had been west of Chicago. A favorite place was the Museum of Man in Balboa Park. In a gallery of rotating exhibits was a show that I particularly enjoyed. I privately thought, “what a place to have a show!” Twenty-five years later on or near our anniversary, Leon got a phone call offering him a solo exhibit of his Australian Rock Art photos that fall in that very gallery. So that was where we celebrated our 25th, just a little late.

    • Shirley Showalter on August 13, 2019 at 7:26 pm

      Erma, you and Leon have your own return story. I love it. I’ll have to look up the Museum of Man. We missed it on our trips to San Diego.

      It would be fun to see your honeymoon pictures too!

  4. Marlena Fiol on August 13, 2019 at 6:08 pm

    Shirley, this is so much fun. Lovely to see the photos, and you look even better today than the beautiful young child fifty years ago!!

    • Shirley Showalter on August 13, 2019 at 7:35 pm

      Ha! You are right about being a child. I had to have my father sign my marriage license. I wasn’t 21 in time.

      Thanks for the kind words and for leaving a comment. Your website looks interesting!

  5. Marian Beaman on August 13, 2019 at 6:26 pm

    You and I (well, mostly) can fit into outfits from day of yore, but I notice that neither of our guys could do the same. (Wink-wink!)
    At this age and stage, though, we are lucky to have them at all.

    A coincidence to remember? Nothing as dramatic as yours, but this: Over time God has assembled a select group of friends and mentors to help me push my book to the publishing point. So grateful!

    • Shirley Showalter on August 13, 2019 at 7:39 pm

      Well, Marian. It’s good that jersey was quite big for me in 1969. I can assure you that the wedding gown and the “going-away outfit” (how quaint) would not have fit me. But, yes. We try to stay somewhat close. And we are each lucky to still have the man, extra girth and all.

      I am so glad you are about to launch your book. It’s been an honor to walk with you in the journey. Hurrah!

  6. Carolyn Yoder on August 13, 2019 at 6:57 pm

    Love the photos, Shirley. You both look great. And I love coincidence stories that give one the chills. How amazing that you spent those three nights on the same spot on earth!

    • Shirley Showalter on August 13, 2019 at 7:42 pm

      Thank you, Carolyn. Actually, we weren’t exactly on the earth. We were on the 15th floor, something our original Inn did not have. 🙂

  7. Jeanette Bontrager on August 13, 2019 at 7:46 pm

    What fun! I can’t believe you still have that jersey after all your moves! I’ve been reading old letters from college days; forgot how much time i used to spend with you and Stuart!

    • Shirley Showalter on August 13, 2019 at 8:18 pm

      I know, Jeanette. I can’t believe I still have the jersey also. If we make another move before the 60th anniversary, it may not be there. If you look closely, you can see it has some holes.

      I do recall some visits from you when we lived on South College Ave. You’ll need to visit us at the opposite end sometime.

  8. Larry Guengerich on August 14, 2019 at 12:53 pm

    So cool to see the sights we saw just a week ago. What a great idea to replicate the images. One question. Why a Jets football jersey?

    • Shirley Showalter on August 15, 2019 at 6:46 am

      Lucky you, Larry. You got some beautiful weather too, eh?

      Ha! the jersey was Stuart’s practice jersey for his high school team — the Broadway (Virginia) Gobblers!

  9. Dolores Nice-Siegenthaler on August 15, 2019 at 7:22 pm

    Your collages across 50 years are amazing. Thank you for sharing.

    I am also still remembering your wonderful suggestion from a couple weeks ago to keep a marriage going: “you may be right.”

    Your photos remind me of a favorite book of all time: YELLOWSTONE AND THE BIOLOGY OF TIME: Photographs Across A Century by Mary Meagher and Douglas B. Houston. I’ve hardly ever been to Yellowstone, but I still love to look at the two photos, studying shapes of peaks and hills and how the trees and grasses and rivers have changed.

    A recent ‘chill’ happened when I agreed to go on the first camping trip for my 2 month old grandson along with my daughter and her high school friend. I felt somewhat out of control because my daughter planned the trip somewhat loosely at the last minute. It was only planned for one night, and as darkness began to fall we all realized we forgot to plan for light in the night. I was comforted by the nearly full moon. Then both my daughter and her friend remembered that they always have a solar light in their camping gear. When we needed it, our darkness was well lit, and I was grateful for whatever sub-conscious, divine energy that was guiding and providing.

    • Shirley Showalter on August 15, 2019 at 9:09 pm

      Dolores, the book YELLOWSTONE AND THE BIOLOGY OF TIME sounds intriguing. Thanks for adding it to our discussion.

      And I think I would be terrified to take a 2 month-old camping. So glad you found the light and had a good experience. I love seeing you as a grandmother. Much joy and may all future camping trips have that same divine energy guiding you.

  10. Ruth Naylor on August 16, 2019 at 12:14 am

    Your collage shows both fun and long time joy. A few years ago, Stan and I retraced our honeymoon trip to the N.Y. Finger Lakes area where we had been approx. 58 years before. Before we left home, I checked our honeymoon scrapbook of motel business cards and recalled where we stayed. One of the signs was an unusual shape. Imagine our surprise to spot that very same sign in front of the motel. We went inside and discovered that it is still family owned and we had a good visit with the adult grandchildren who were in charge. Stan had made arrangements ahead of time for us to stay in a B&B so we didn’t stay in our honeymoon motel, but it was fun to check it out. Alas, Shirley, the clothes I wore in 1954 would not have fit me on that recent trip.

    • Shirley Showalter on August 16, 2019 at 8:57 am

      You had a honeymoon scrapbook too, Ruth! Who knew we would comb those artifacts, years later, for clues of our younger selves. It’s always a comfort to find old icons unchanged, just as it was to discover that we were sleeping in a totally new environment at the same address.

      Ha. I had the prescience to save the ONLY piece of clothing from my “trousseau” that would fit me today. I can’t begin to zip up my wedding dress. 🙂

  11. Laurie Buchanan on August 19, 2019 at 10:46 am

    Shirley — If you guys had any more FUN they’d have to issue you a ticket!

    • Shirley Showalter on August 20, 2019 at 12:36 pm

      Ha! True. Fortunately we had the fun without any tickets. Very grateful for thousands of miles of travel without any major problems for nine people!

  12. Elaine Mansfield on August 19, 2019 at 11:55 am

    I love the joy you share and the fun you’re having together. I had 40 years with my love, but still returned to the music and poems from the first year in my writing. We had trips to take that never happened, but many did happen, so I’m grateful for what was and how much joy and strength we shared. Thank you for sharing this goodness, Shirley. You look terrific in that ’63 jersey which is no small task.

    • Shirley Showalter on August 20, 2019 at 12:38 pm

      Thank you, Elaine. And I love the love you share from the 40 years which still power you through life!

  13. James Carter on September 17, 2019 at 12:21 am

    What a brilliant idea!

    • Shirley Showalter on September 18, 2019 at 10:00 am

      Thanks, James. Good to see you here.

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