My mother joined our household, of four, for a family Easter. One grandson, who is only home in the summers now, is working in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Our oldest daughter and family (with three grandsons) had their own celebration in So Bend. Eight other grandchildren, who live in Wyoming, have long been missing from our embrace. It was a comfortable and enjoyable day, with the two grandsons who live with us.
Dinner was ham, mashed potatoes, corn, deviled eggs, guacamole and chips, baked beans and Easter Bread. We remembered the salad on Monday. No one was about to forget the blackberry pie, nor the two pineapple pies. We try to make sure that everyone has something that is their favorite.
I am not a game person, feeling that I should, and would rather, be painting or writing or sculpting, rather than playing with cards. Sometimes the noise of it is just too much. But, I even joined them for a game of Tryce. The fifteen year old took over after that. They continued to play games until it was time to take my mother home.
Sunday evening, I started thinking about what I would consider my most memorable things in life to be.
My family would have to top the list. Moments I have spent rocking a child, having one come to me with problems or happy events, or just to show me a flower or rock they have found. This makes me incredibly sad that I have never even met my youngest granddaughter.
Other memories are:
My mother serving me tomato soup and grilled cheese when I was ill and home from school. That’s traditional mid-western comfort food.
Dad always bringing me a treat in his lunch box is another great series of moments. One, where the child, me, never really realizes that it’s food right from our own cupboard/refrigerator. It always tastes better out of his black metal lunchbox. Do I sense a pattern of food developing?
My oldest daughter remembers things from when she was two. She remembers odd things. Not those things you remind them about every holiday. She remembers moments you just would not believe someone that young would remember; just plain, ordinary, everyday moments.
My first memories involve my paternal grandfather. He had familial palsy or Parkinson. We are not sure which really, but by the time he was in a wheel chair and visibly shaking, I was around two years old. I remember bringing him a glass of water. The next memory is from his funeral. My dad was crying. This is a family thing I have inherited. I could write a whole blog on the things that make me cry, (not blubber cry, just a few tears down the cheek) but should tv tell me about someone doing something nice for someone else. Or, should the time be when I am sitting and watching a parade. (Don’t even ask.) Anyway, my aunt took me for a walk during my grandfather’s service and I remember the patterns of the sun shining through the trees on the sidewalk and how beautiful they were.
To this day, I still love shadows: venetian blind shadows or trees on the wall, or just a glass sitting on the window sill.
Here is a list of other moments I remember:
A whale breaching off the eastern coast. They are so right when they say, “If you have to ask. It’s not a whale.”
Petting a lion.
Feeling the skin of an elephant. I monopolized my spot, in amongst a row of children at the zoo, but it was just soooo cool. It felt like a balloon full of water.
A Harrier jet stopped in mid air over Chicago skyscrapers. I have never heard the streets of the city so deadly quiet. Then slowly it’s nose pointed toward the sky and BAM! It disappeared skyward, in an instant.
Sitting on the porch, when I was maybe five, watching a storm come in over the field behind our house.
Wrapped in a blanket, I sat and watched a full lunar eclipse, in the quiet wintery night, in Wyoming. Sometimes I just have to experience the world alone, with no talking going on.
Another night, I went out alone and the house was surrouned 360 degrees by lightening storms.
Wyoming skies are great. One day after a storm, I saw three rainbows in the sky at once.
Coming home and getting out of the car every night for “x” days and seeing Haley’s comet.
Laying in a sleeping bag, in the sand, watching a meteor shower.
Sitting in a hot tub, after skiing, and sort of seeing the aurora borealis. I didn’t have my glasses or contact on, so it was rather blurry.
The sound of a bagpiper in a quiet campground in Nova Scotia.
The sound of a bagpiper in the college quad after the death of a friend.
The feeling of immersion in the music, and being in sync, when playing a violin duet with, my teacher, Rainer Schwartzkopf. The one thing I miss more than just about anything in the world is studying with Rainer. He is in Wyoming and I am in Indiana.
Watching the sun set within sight of Indian cave homes from my van and not getting ejected from sleeping in a National park where I shouldn’t have been, sleeping in my van. Thank you to whomever I owe a thanks. Karma, I hope. It was a sight I will always remember.
They all are.
Hope you have dozens too.