I bookmark wonderful memories. At will I call forth a slide show of perfect moments that cycle through my mind’s eye. They flash so quickly that one photo is still struggling to come into clear focus when the next is embedding itself on the screen. The pleasure centers in my body sparkle with the visuals of life unfolding.
When people ask for my favorite memory, I am hard-pressed to choose, although, I often cite one glorious day in the life of my family that I chronicled in a post about Dancing.
At my daughters wedding: the DJ had played the songs we had chosen, and we had fulfilled our social obligations to friends and loved ones. The crowd was enjoying the party. My entire family was on the deck. We were dancing, watching and taking turns carrying our young granddaughter as a partner. The music changed to “Into the Mystic”. Van Morrison wailed and sang to our hearts. In some grand union of thought we gathered into a circle of movement, love and good will. One or two of us would move the the center as we swayed and sang. We rocked our gypsy souls.
Now I have a newer, fresher memory that will elbow its way to the fore until the next one comes along.
It is late on Thanksgiving Day. Because most of us joined a game of Ultimate Frisbee (and maybe also due to a bit of poor planning) the turkey was late for dinner. Twenty hungry family members milled around, picking at a few hors d’oeuvres and at the crisp bacon that was waiting to join the green beans. Some people sat in chattering groups, others wandered from person to person or bustled from the kitchen to the dining room buffet area in hopes that the culinary guest of honor would settle enough to be carved and placed on the waiting tray.
The food, though plentiful, wasn’t all perfect. If the table was an indication of family favorites, we are all fond of Grandma’s jello, sweet potatoes and pie. The greens were outnumbered by the yellows in our food rainbow, and the reds, other than cranberries were of the dye #5 variety. The rolls were struggling to get done having waited too long for their turn for an oven that had been dominated by the delectable (if tardy) stuffed turkey.
We all sat together at the improvised table. Twenty matching plates were arranged on three levels (including two card tables) strung together with a hodgepodge of tablecloths. Fall colors coordinated the different napkin choices and the glasses were all were all somewhat the same size.
And it became a perfect video memory. My husband at the end looking happily at his clan. My granddaughter on a low-slung folding chair, nestling under the buff arm of her “little” brother who sat high on a standard dining room chair. My older son laughing at the antics of his young son and his nephew. Children, finally grown enough to try a dish they have shunned for years. My daughter, calling for applause for the family that traveled the farthest and the craziness that brought forth more goodnatured applause for bogus reasons. My other daughter and daughter-in-law, smiling ruefully at their own attempts to be easy with one another. My teen-age grandson, lying on the nearby sofa to ease the pain of overeating while two of his young cousins play pile-on-top of him. Love and laughter and eating a gallon of gravy.
And more love. And more laughter. And games. And joy. And peace.
Thank you, dear family, for another perfect memory to bookmark in my life.