Monday, August 19, 2013

Lately I've Been Thinking

How many times have we said this saying? But lately, I have been thinking. As I approach another birthday, I see lines on my face which weren't there a few short years ago. I feel the ache of my bones, joints creaking when I sit too long, or the overuse of muscles from a hard day's work. I sigh in melancholy thinking about days gone by, pondering long over old photos, my hand resting upon them, willing those times to return.

I remember as a child, the trips we took as a family. Not the magnificent Walt Disney vacations most people go to now. These were simple, short trips. West View Park, about a half-hour away, playing games, riding kiddie rides, eating too much sticky, sweet food. And the very special overnight trips to Conneaut Lake Park, about an hour-and-a-half drive. Staying in old bungalows, some with sagging roofs, evidence of rodents, with the stuffing pulled from old sofas, the smell of mold and mildew. Cold, rainy mornings, but brilliant sunshine later in the day. A nighttime nip to the air staying in the old slightly haunted Conneaut Hotel by the lake.

I've been thinking about beloved pets long gone, the dogs who happily licked my face, the cats that spent hours listening to a little girl's tales. Birds, fish, a parade of hamsters and when they'd breathed their last, my mother always telling me they'd ran away to spare me of the pain of their deaths.

Mom and Dad. Older now, still beautiful people with beautiful hearts. Mom, as she made stories up, giving me the love of an imagination. Dad, as he patiently built crystal radio kits, helped me with homework, or explained football to me on a Sunday afternoon.

A baby brother born fourteen years after I'd been an only child. The closeness we shared as I watched him grow. The friendship, laughter and special secrets shared.

My own son. Now twenty-six years old, a young man with visions and his own dreams, own memories.

Yes, I'm all grown up now and I have been thinking. . . Yet the promise of future and hope is on the horizon, the events to look forward to with anticipation. Treasure your old memories, but don't linger with them too long. Let them pass as you make room for new ones.