Every time I pass a wreck on the interstate I am reminded about how quickly and unexpectedly things change. You could be riding along on your way to have lunch with a friend at Rhubarb, or heading to work, or just riding along thinking about future plans, and then WHAM, your agenda has changed. And not for the better.
I am rather an anxious sort, and so I think about worst case scenarios more than I should. If my grown son arrives home later than I expect, I am sure he is in a ditch or in the hospital. If I can’t reach my daughter on the phone, I imagine her in some kind of bad trouble and consider calling the NYC police. When Ron gets home at seven rather than six, I am sure he has run off with a floozy. This kind of thinking needs to stop.
As I drove to work this morning high on coffee, I was humming a happy tune. “Life is good!” I thought. The sun was shining and wisps of mist hung on the mountains surrounding the valley. The air was cool blowing through the car window, I wanted to savor the moment.
That’s it! I want to hold on to the bright, shiny moments and push aside the worry about what might happen next. Right now I have a house full of loved ones. Natty has moved in and is working at Rhubarb, my favorite restaurant in Asheville. Andrew is working for Ron until he goes back to NC State in August. Abby and the actors are in town for the month of July. And my precious grandkids, Lizie and Cole, are here for two weeks.
Because they live in Flagstaff, Arizona, I do not get to spend much time with them, so I am enjoying every minute of their visit. Yesterday after a sushi lunch with Uncle Natty, we went to Fun Depot. I could go on and on about what a misery a place like this is. We lived in Charlotte while my children were growing up, and yet I never set foot in Carowinds, a similar attraction. For some reason I do not enjoy crazy, noisy places with kids running around shrieking, and Fun Depot is one of those places. Once we found the hard-to-locate entrance and walked through the tree-shaded parking lot, we opened the heavy glass doors and walked into one of the layers of hell. Loud screams were masked by manic music playing from hundreds of arcade games. Bright lights exploded from games and other attractions, and hundreds of kids raced around bumping into each other. Rancid oil from old popcorn scented the air. And Lizie and Cole were in heaven!
I followed them around and snapped pictures of them on bumper cars, playing arcade games, scaling a climbing wall, and playing laser tag. After two hours passed, they were ready to leave, but we will return with Abby later in the visit. There are still other loud, flashing attractions they have yet to sample, including a scary-looking outdoor climbing gym.
I laid aside my revulsion at the sensory overload of Fun Depot, and instead I will treasure the memory of my grandchildren having a great time. This is my lesson: I must hold on to the good times and happy moments. We don’t know what will happen next, either personally or globally, and there is nothing we can do to control the parade of history. All I can do is to treasure the happiness that falls into my lap.
On another subject, I heard from several friends in response to my last newsletter about great television shows on Netflix and other sites. If I can talk Ron into turning off reruns of American Pickers, I plan to watch some of these:
My Mother and Other Strangers
Orange is the New Black
Grace and Frankie
Woman in Gold