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1983


It is early, 5 am on a Tuesday in April. My mind is clear as I wait for the water to steam for my coffee, my retreat. The kettle is old, it was a birthday gift from my dad. Something I asked for during the years after my mother’s passing. I love this little kettle; it is black and stout with a comfortable handle and, most importantly, a comfortable memory. Each morning there is a quick thought of him, a quick reminder of my original family, of my past, of my dad. It’s there with me as I systematically make coffee. It’s a reach into yesterday as I plan today.


These small physical remnants from our yesterday’s force us to remember those people that, for a bit of time, were our worlds. I suppose I think so intently this thought because yesterday I watched a home movie of William’s first birthday party. It was just so simple and lovely. It was September 1,1983 and hot. Skip and I had blown up little kiddie pools and bought a Snoopy Sprinkler and a few sandbox toys and turned our backyard into a little ‘oasis’. There was a birthday cake and presents and people there that had time to spend the afternoon visiting and laughing and celebrating. I watched these moments and wondered how we all had the time. Some of my answer was, there was no technology, there was no way of knowing what everyone else in the world was doing, no need to know, we were in our moment, in our own 'domain' focused on a little boy turning 1. There were no planned pictures to post, no perfect shots of the cake, just private time with family and close friends, time that would become a warm and fragile memory.


I write this to remind myself of this world, this world where life was small and intimate, a world where you had to physically visit to communicate, and a long-distance phone call was a very big deal. It was a world that was big and held mystery, we didn’t ‘know’ so much.


The yesterdays of our lives somehow seem idyllic; I suppose we only allow ourselves to remember the good; that is how each generation recollects. I am certain, however, there will come a time when my children write or think about their yesterdays and hopefully, remember with warmth, as they travel into another ‘world’ where Snoopy Sprinklers and backyard birthday parties coexist with hand held devises that inform and connect us all in a wonderful warm way.

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