I Remember the Days of My Life, and Miss Them



life


Carol and I had absolutely no money. I don’t mean just a little. I mean nothing. We were invited to a Halloween costume party my wife wanted to attend. We had recently moved into our first real apartment, and getting to know some people was a top priority. Unfortunately, buying a costume was not in the cards. Of course, that did not stop me. I picked up a plastic tiara my niece left at my sister’s house, gave it to Carol, and I told her she was as beautiful as a princess. She was in. Lucky for me, Mobil Oil had been running a TV commercial featuring Mr. Dirt as a sludgy character that could ruin your automobile’s engine. I hit the garden on the side of the building, scooped up a couple of handfuls of potting soil, rubbed it on my tee shirt, and to the party we went.

I remember visiting Bath, England on a particularly rainy day. We thoroughly enjoyed spending precious time with a grumpy, complaining couple, who liked neither the Roman ruins nor the teeming weather, which is part of the charm of the UK. After we listened to everything wrong with the creation of the Earth, the lady we accompanied stated that we should have gone to the theatre, instead of wasting time getting soaked. In any event, the sun always shines, so Carol suggested we head to the theatre. Of course, our happy friends scolded us for not being aware that the Royal Shakespearean Theatre at Stratford-upon-Avon was booked months in advance. We went anyway. They were sold out, but as I was speaking with the woman at the ticket counter, there were four cancellations. Unfortunately, the tickets were prohibitively expensive for the best seats in the house. I thanked her anyway, and she said, “You seem like nice folks and the performance begins in little more than an hour. I’ll sell them to you at the basic price.” Twelfth Night was fantastic!

As they were growing, our children loved to camp and fish and hike. Carol and I took them camping and fishing and hiking every chance we got. Some of the canoe trips were terrific too. Occasionally, all our kids remained in the canoe and I did not have to jump in after them.

I miss my wilderness trips a lot. On one of my most memorable, I took my oldest daughter with me. We flew into Spokane, Washington and drove to the foothills of the Cascades. We hiked for one month, through the mountains, 257 miles into British Columbia. Living off the land meant fishing, or eating the little dried food we could carry among the rest of our gear.  We encountered more animal species than I had ever seen at a zoo. One morning was particularly memorable. I awoke at dawn to find my daughter sitting on a log about fifty yards from our tent. She had been feeding two mule deer apples by hand. They had obviously never seen a human before. That is an impressionable scene I will never forget.

Tonight, my wife and I will hit the town, so to speak. We’ll park in the Ancient City and meander through the streets, stopping at small galleries, walking along the harbor, and crossing the Bridge of Lions. Who knows, we might even drop by a local pub and bump into a few friends. We both really love St. Augustine. I am starting to miss it already.

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Comments

  1. Nice to remember. Where are you going. Perhaps I missed something or some posts.

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    1. Manzie: Hopefully, I will be here a long time, building memories every day.

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    2. I see, you are in reverie. I thought you were maybe going to move to Montana. LOL

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    3. Manzie: No, I'm not moving, but if I did, Montana would be on my list!

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  2. I am not sure which of these memories I enjoyed most. I think it was the canoe trips. I could just see you jumping into the water to fish one of your wayward children out of the river. It must have felt like a Real Success Story when you made it all the way through and everyone stayed in the canoe!!!

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    1. Robin: Oh yes. I did that often. In swift water, your bodies float down river at the same speed regardless of weight. I remember swimming a long distance as fast as I could to catch up to my second daughter, while Carol and my oldest clung to a felled tree that capsized our canoe in the Battenkill River in Vermont. There was a storm the day before and it raised the difficulty level considerably. Then, I had to hike back carrying my daughter as quickly as I could so I could rescue the other two. I had a long day. Maybe that's why my back hurts a little today.

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  3. The title of this post made me stop and read it, which will most likely be the only one I read for another few days. We recently moved and I've been doing lots of unpacking and all that goes with it, and not having time for blogging. I just signed on tonight to post a small update and then noticed YOU in my blog roll!
    I love your memories and share your feelings about missing the past. I've felt that way often the past couple of years, although I'm very happy and not depressed about it....I just miss it and wonder how the heck all those years went by so fast....
    Thanks for a great read tonight!

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    Replies
    1. Becky: Good luck with the new move, and continue to build great memories!

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  4. I always enjoy going down memory lane with you.... if you have the good love of a family, what more do you need?

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  5. Your story about the Halloween improvising made me think about my son James. One of the advantages of his autism is that he has no box to think outside of. This makes him very creative. He once created a whole cast of costumes for his version of The Lion King out of sticks and paper grocery bags and markers and tape and string.

    Like others, I always enjoy your memories!

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  6. LOL, thought you were moving.

    Happy memories are the only things we can take with us. Yours sound so much fun.

    Thank you for the reminder that to have fun and make happiness, we don't need money to spend!!!!

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  7. What a cool set of memories. I know you have more than those, LOL.

    Thank you for the reminder that richness comes from happiness and creativity. We don't need money to be happy...nor to make grand happy memories.

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  8. Such a nice trip down memory lane! I'm not often nostalgic myself and yet your own sweet telling of these tales makes me realize it is worth the trip. Moving forward is good and appreciating the past is also worthwhile.

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