Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Summer of '75

The older you get,
the harder it is to remember things.
Oh, sure, it's easy to say,
"I remember the time..."

Like your first new car-
you probably remember the color
and the price and places you drove it.
But do you remember the new-car smell?
The reflection of a summer sky in the chrome?
The feel of the ribbed steering wheel
in your hands?
Do you pass along those things
when you tell the story to your children?

And, are you actually remembering it
or simply filling in the blanks
where you've forgotten?
...With something that sounds good.

Each day is composed of separate moments,
but as we get older, our minds separate the
memories into only a few dozen clear stories.

I want to go back.
I want to remember the story of my life.
Of how I met this man who has shared my days-
Of these children I bore and
how they have amazed and delighted me.
Of the places and people and time
that shaped my present.

Will I fill in the blanks where I've forgotten?
Only if it sounds good.
Only if that is the way I wish the story told...

The summer I met my husband
was especially hot and humid-
the days uneventful -
and the only proof that I actually lived them
was my tattered journal that I wrote in every day-
A notebook that had swollen
into a summer of words.

My sister Linda had a VW Beetle
and we would hop in on Friday night,
grab some beer at the drive-through-
and zoom into the lights of town.

Her best friends had a house that
soon became the "party house".
There we'd play our favorite record albums
like: Slade, Three Dog Night,
Roberta Flack, BTO, and others...

It was about the time that
the "hippie movement" began to decline,
but there remained an easy going attitude.
I drank a beer or two back then,
and some party-goers would get high-
but I never did.
(That is a fact, not a fill-in-the-blank.)

Most times a hot breeze would
blow through the open windows
and we sweat our way through
beer and pot and loud music that summer
like a slow motion dream.

At least that how it
seems to me now.

What is so mysterious about Fate
is that it's unpredictable.
A person can be going through life-
content and carefree-
when Fate suddenly intervenes
and changes the entire course of events.

Fate was waiting for me that summer...
It walked right in the door of the party house.

He was tan and lean.
Wearing button tab jeans, Earth shoes,
and a fuzzy pony tail.
Your average kind of guy back then.

But suddenly he smiled-
and every written course and map of my life
and fear of the future, dissolved.
Fate had other plans.

I can't begin to say how much
that I still love this man.
We've been across mountains of struggles,
fields of heaven,
(and even stuck our heads in
the door of Hell a time or two),
but our hearts have never faltered.

We are kindred spirits.
I want his head to always be
on the pillow next to mine-
whether it be a fuzzy pony tail
or a thin glaze of gray.

I want his smile to continue
lighting up my life-
his touch to forever cause electricity-
his sweet, enduring love
to follow me till times end.

Love is never how you dream it.
Love is never how you plan it.
Love just is.

Happy Valentines Day.