Friday, August 10, 2012

Summertime Memories

You must take several minutes out of your day to watch this video from Kinfolk Magazine.  You won't be disappointed in the loss of those moments, I promise.

Tell me though, while you were watching it were you taken back to your childhood?  To the lazy days of summer and the simpler times?  To the beauty of nature and glorious pleasures we celebrated as we were growing up?  Missing the freedom and the slower pace of life as it was then?

I long for those days ~ I really and truly deeply miss how life once was.  I somehow feel like those moments are etched in my mind so deep but yet I find I forget that they are there.  It seems that life and all the hub-bub tends to monopolize all the space in my brain and I don't always go back to that place....the place where the living was easy and the pleasures were bountiful and more often than not free.

Recently I made a last minute road trip back home.  I realized my dad's 65th birthday was coming up as well as my mom's 64th so since I had missed the big party thrown for my dad's 60th, which was the same year as my 20th class reunion (which I also missed) as well as the year I remarried, I decided that since I was unemployed I would make the trip to surprise both of my parents.  I made the journey alone and had a week to prepare myself as well as the family for my absence.  Preparing to be gone is so much work that most of the time I dread even knowing I am leaving.  The music was loaded up on my iPod, my old iPhone as well as my current iPhone because if you have done any amount of traveling by car you know that if you do not have satellite radio (which we did but no longer do) dealing with terrestrial radio is annoying.  In the end having enough music was definitely not an issue and I think during the entire trip there were only two or three songs I heard more than once.  I brought my own food and drink with me so that I could eat on the 'go' and only stop when I needed gas or to use the glorious restrooms along the way.  I figured doing that would cut off some time and I think it probably did although I made up for the time by having to spend probably an hour each way dealing with road construction and being at a standstill literally in the middle of nowhere on a two-lane road for some of it.  I realized about an hour from home I had forgotten my DSLR which was probably the biggest bummer of the entire trip.  

I spent 14+ hours on the road until I pulled into my mom's place.  Her husband knew I was coming but it was a surprise for her.  When I walked in she had no idea I was even standing there.  I probably stood there for at least 60 seconds until she realized that there was someone in the house with her and her reaction when she noticed someone was there was priceless.  All she could see was a silhouette of someone standing there so she had to actually get up and walk up to me to find out it was me!

I spent about 36 hours at her place and then took off to spend some time with some other friends for a day before heading home to surprise my dad.  While I was hanging out with my friend sitting at Starbucks my step-mom calls.  In the part of the conversation where she tells me she had just gotten done talking to everyone to invite them over to celebrate my dad's birthday she says how much she wishes my sister and I were closer so that we could be there as well.  What she didn't know was that I was less than an hour away and would be there to surprise her as well in less than six hours!  So perfect this trip was progressing I even surprised myself!  So after spending the day with my best friend ever in the whole entire world I headed home.  I had not been to my dad's new home so I had to find it and once I did I pulled into the driveway but saw no cars and was thinking they must be parked in the garage.  I was hoping no one would see me out the window because I could not get a true reaction if that was the case.  I went to the door and rang the doorbell several times but no one answered.  I finally decided to check the door to see if it was locked and it was open so I let myself in.  As I did that the door on the other side of the house opened up and my step-mom came in from the back deck.  She looked at me a moment and had only a silhouette to go by (same thing as my mom since it was dark in the room and the light was behind me) and when she realized it was me she ran to me and hugged me and started crying.  She squeezed me so tight!  Then she took off out the door to go find Taryn only to find out I was alone.  Just about then I ask her where my dad is and she tells me he just left for the chiropractor and to go down and surprise him so that's where I headed.  I am again concerned that he will be sitting there and see me out the window but when I got there I wasn't even sure if he was there since I didn't recognize the truck.  I went in and found that once again I was safe and that he was already in a room having treatment.  I went to the back and assisted the chiropractor in removing the hot packs and playing a bit of a chiropractic assistant!  Don't worry...that's old hat as I used to work in a chiropractic office.  So as I am talking to him and finding out about what is bothering him I tell him that maybe his aches and pains are because he's getting old and about then I could tell he wasn't amused anymore.  He still hadn't recognized it was me so this was going awesome!  Anyway, the doctor had him turn over on side and just as he did he realized it was me.  The look on his face was priceless!
And oh my gravy was that trip priceless goodness.  It was good for my soul and it went off without a hitch.  I don't think I could have planned for the surprises to work out any better than they did.  I got to see my family who I have not seen in years, more years than should truly be acceptable and I got to see friends that I also had not seen in years and years.  And I got to see my dad's new home which is absolutely beautiful.  It was by all accounts blissful.

As I was making the trip and listening to all that music I brought along to keep me company I was taking in all the beauty of the countryside.  I had flashbacks of things I had forgotten about.  Living  in a concrete jungle can definitely lead to forgetting what is out there, especially if you grew up somewhere much smaller like I did, where the town is small (population roughly 6000), where everyone knows everyone including their business (which isn't exactly a perk) and where it takes about two minutes to drive to any edge of town where you find nothing but fields and countryside.  The things that I had forgotten were the beauty of wheat blowing in the wind, the flowing fields that look like patchwork quilts, the country roads that are gravel and the smell of the country complete with the infused cow manure scent wafting through the air as well as the smell of freshly cut grass on the farm.  The sight of silos and the beautiful red barns living here is a rarity because we do not often escape the city.  It was so quiet there I had actually forgotten what that was like and was realizing I was a bit lost without the noise I am so used to living with in the city.  I'm not saying that's a good thing ~ it's just something that I guess I've gotten used to over the 22 years since I left home.  In fact, that 22 year mark literally just passed by the other day and was something I forgot to consciously acknowledge.  And it's official, I've been away from home now more than half my life.  I did find myself calling Texas home several times throughout the trip and actually hearing it was a little surreal.  I found it odd because each time I would say it I felt like I was offending my true home, the place where I grew up but I don't truly have a home there anymore since my parents are divorced and they both live in a different home than where I grew up.  I still feel like I'm a little girl and I guess that security I felt is something I have never wanted to part with, knowing that without a doubt I always had somewhere to go.  I guess it's like being a little girl knowing she can go home to her parents.  I guess my roots are there but my home is here, where my children are.  I know how silly that sounds but sometimes it's hard to wrap my head around it and even though I might be an adult and even though I know how life has changed and how things are......I still just want to go back and be that little girl who lived that carefree life amidst all those wonderful memories that are safely tucked away to be pulled out one by one and not have a care in the world.


Shan in Japan said...

What a very cool trip! So glad the surprises went so well. After 5 years in TX, I think I was calling it home sometimes, too. But, after moving to Japan, I definitely call this home now. Madison is where I grew up and have absolutely wonderful memories. I still love going to Madison, and even sometimes call it home still, too. Yes, there is something about going to my parents' house that makes me feel like a little girl and long for those carefree days when we biked all over and swam all summer and hung out at the Lincoln school playground in the evenings. Hope you find a bit of that today!

Art Studio 522 said...

That is sooo cool how you went home to surprise your parents! Love the deal with your Dad in the back doctor's office! So great! Glad you had a wonderful trip and the video you had posted was wonderful too. Made me think of old times when I was a little girl. Hope to see you soon at a Banders meeting!
Donna G

Andy said...

nice post i like

Ursula Schneider said...

I actually stumbled upon this blog via CD McCuscky's blog and a comment you left there about wishing things were different and relationships that can never be the same and I wanted you to know that you are not alone. I can certainly relate.


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