Here’s a little story I wrote back in 2012, in reflection, as the sweet days of summer wound down and cooler nights were soon to come.
It had been a rough year having come through the loss of my mother-in-law, not to mention an outsourced job along with catastrophic statewide news. I guess you could say my heart wanted to feel happy and safe. What better way than to recapture some childhood moments.
I hope you enjoy taking this little journey with me down memory lane knowing nothing is ever lost and, when it’s all said and done, all is okay.
Thank you, Susan, for allowing me to share.
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Sweet Days of Summer – All is Okay
I’ve had this strong feeling today that “all is okay.” This strength and peace I’ve felt in the midst of seeming chaos I can’t explain. Maybe some of you reading understand what I’m trying to say.
As this 2012 summer winds down, I find myself winding down too, from a rough 12 months of Colorado fires, a theater shooting monstrosity and personal challenges. I sit here with my laptop at the dining room table and reflect.
There have been many miracles this year and I wonder at the perfection of things – beautiful people I’ve met. I remember how deeply I was touched, when life got difficult and I didn’t understand. There was inner strength and guidance, support and love from family, friends and professional expertise.
I hear the summer sounds outside, smell the cool, night air and flash back to my innocent childhood days, at my grandparents’ home, when life seemed simpler. I remember feeling so safe and all I wanted to do was play. I was in heaven as long as I could be at Grandmom and Grandpop’s. That’s when I really felt, with my entire little being, “all WAS okay.”
As I look back, I guess you could say our summer stays with our grandparents were unique – 5 cousins, sister, Grandmom, Grandpop and me. The moment school let out every year we all headed south to a small, beach town in Cape Charles, VA. It was the kind of town that had a big water tower at its entrance making the announcement that you are here – CAPE CHARLES.
When I was young, play was simple – no toys except for an occasional tray of watercolors, paint brush and marbles. The rest was left to our imagination, and boy, did we imagine with a little nudging from Grandmom.
If we even hinted we were bored, she’d take us for a walk looking for rocks to bring home and paint so she could use them for doorstops all over the house. We’d play in the backyard pretending we were in a circus. I would pretend to walk a tight rope on a wooden ladder on the ground or take a clothes-line pole and pole vault.
One time, we were all given some chocolate pudding and took it out in the backyard where we were playing. I remember setting it down temporarily on the stoop, while I ran off to do something with my cousins and came back to finish eating it. As I looked down to eat my last bite, I realized I had just gulped down a bunch of chocolate ants and tried to ‘hack’ them up to no avail. I imagined feeling little ‘wiggly things’ in my stomach for a while.
In the hot, summer evenings, we’d sit on the front porch and my grandparents watched as we caught lightning bugs, played “kick the can” or “red light-green light.” No fretting as to what to do or where to go – just passing time with each other.
Occasionally, someone walking to town would stop and chat with us on the porch and pass along the latest news. We could stand at the end of our sidewalk, look up the street about 3 blocks and see the lights of town including the movie theater. A couple blocks beyond was the beachfront lined with southern-styled pillared houses, a boardwalk and pavillion.
Across the street was a big, open field with a railroad track and woods beyond. I got used to the sound, all day and night, of the box cars being moved back and forth by a lone, railroad engineer and his crew. It was the chug of the engine, hollow sounds of the cars in tow, creaking, and the echo down the line of tracks, as they bumped against each other to be hooked up.
Just a small town with normal people coming and going about their business of the day and settling in with family at night. There are so many more stories to tell of those yearly, summer days, as I sit and reflect. It warms my heart.
And, as I ponder this strong feeling of peace and strength, I can hear the distant sound of Grandmom calling to us, “Whooooeeeee,” from a back room in the house, as we bound in the front door announcing we were home.
Yes, “all is STILL okay,” whether on this side or the other where crossed-over loved ones reside. No matter what life looks like, at this stage, even in the midst of turmoil nothing is lost. If we can imagine and attempt to look at the bigger picture, we know there is more going on than what our eyes can behold. It’s all a wonderful, magical mystery.
Maybe, you have a memory or story you’d like to share that warmed your heart and helped you through tough times.
Life’s journey continues with Pat, from the ol’ kitchen table
If you enjoyed “Happy Happy Happy,” check out No One Was Watching, Crawdad Hunting and Priming The Pump: Story.