Woo hoo! For the Spin Cycle, I got a Free Spin. Now, Sprite's Keeper wanted me to get "quirks", but I got free spin. No worries, I'll do quirks another day.
But for today, I have something else in mind. Literally. Do you take mental pictures? Not real pictures, nothing you can physically touch. But memories that are visual. I do. I don't have many of them, and they're pretty random. Not the most important moments of my life. Not the most dramatic, scary or funny. Really, they're just moments in time that have stuck with me.
I wish I could say that some of them are from when I was little, but my earliest memories come from real pictures. The first mental picture is from when I was in high school. I lived in a tiny lake community. Maybe 20 houses around a lake, with lots of trees in between them. If you took the "back road" there were houses on one side and the lake on the other. The bus didn't come into the community, so all the kids had to walk about a mile to get from the bus stop to home. Sometimes you'd hope for a ride from a neighbor on their way home, but to do that you had to walk the front road. That was about the only good thing about going that way. The memory comes from a day that I was the only kid to get off bus. It was autumn, and I had decided to walk home by the back road. It was overcast, but the leaves were out in full glory. Reds and yellows, oranges and golds. (side note: one of the things I miss most about living in Ohio is that the fall colors are not half of what they are in NY. sigh) It was amazing. I have a clear vision of how the dirt road looked, with the calm lake on one side and the trees on the other. I can almost smell the clean, fall air. Feel the slight breeze, and the weight of my backpack on my shoulders. When I miss my home town, my parents, or my youth, in general, I always go to this memory.
One of the most amazing mental pictures I have comes from my rowing days. Another fall day, about 10 years later. I had agreed to cox for a boat of ladies who wanted to go to the Head of the Charles. It was the end of practice, after dusk before dark. I was getting ready to take them back to the dock when we came around a bend in the river to the most amazing sight. My first ever harvest moon. It was incredible. The moon hung over the water like a big pumpkin in the sky. You could almost reach out and touch it. It was huge, and it was glowing. It cast a reddish glow over the river, and over us. I turned the boat around and stopped so that they could all enjoy it. It was like the rowing gods were rewarding us for a hard practice with a little piece of heaven.
The last one I want to talk about happened this past fall (wait a minute here. Do you see a theme? Hmmmm.) It was my last day in the hospital with little o. The nurse had brought him in at around 4:am to eat and he had fallen asleep with his head on my chest when he was done. Arms and legs sprawled across me. Instead of chancing waking him by re swaddling him, I let him stay that way. I laid his brand new gray and white "grammie blanket" over him to keep him warm. He looked so sweet. So tiny, and innocent. Little hands like starfish spread out on my shoulders. His fuzzy little head under my chin. That sweet baby smell that goes away far to fast.
Little o is sleeping in his pack and play right now. He has his grammie blanket clutched to his cheek. The last light of the day is coming through the branches of the trees out front and then through the window, checkering his little body. His sweet chubby cheeks, and golden, corn silk hair. I wish my memories were like a mental camera. I wish this could be one of those times that I remember in my mind forever. But that's not the way it works. I don't get to choose what mental pictures I keep, and which ones get lost. That's why I keep my camera handy, I guess. So that I can keep my mental pictures close to my heart and the rest I can look at whenever I want on paper.
I hope everyone has a great weekend. PB gets home tomorrow, so we'll be celebrating. I'll have a Margarita for you, I promise.