Saturday, November 03, 2007
Let's see... what else happened on our trip way out to California?
Oh yeah. Tom finally began thinking outside of the box concerning the rest of our lives.
Of course, that's something I've tried to make him do these last two years, but well, you know how husbands are. They have to hear this stuff from other people before it registers.
It was so great for Tom (and for me, too, of course) to sit in the large circle in my parents' living room while listening to the adventure stories of my two uncles and an elderly friend of the family. Hour following hour they shared harrowing adventures of driving through dark nights in unfamiliar states and being greeted by sight-seeing wonders in the morning.
Their memories were so sharp, even at age 70 and beyond. One uncle would turn to his wife and ask, "At that restaurant in Milwaukee in 1983... didn't we have red snapper that night?" And she'd answer, "Yes, and that's where we had stuffed baked potatoes for the first time."
Good grief. Ask me what I ate at a restaurant last week and I'd say, "Are you serious? How am I supposed to remember that far back?"
My two uncles and their wives have traveled on adventures together for at least 40 years, first with all their children, combined, then just as couples as their children grew and left home. Story after story we sat entranced, amazed at their pristine memories... laughing at the occasional mishap and misadventure.
But you know? I noticed how silent we of the younger generation were--I wondered if, in twenty more years, any of us would nave these kinds of tales to tell. Oh, Tom and I shared our Gettysburg and bus tour of D.C. memories, but after that, well, our other adventures sounded mild in comparison to those of the seniors in our group. And as I told Tom later, when I thought of how he and I spent last winter in our Cozy Room watching movies near the tiny electric heater, well, it just didn't have the same adventurous ring to it as all the stories swirling around us.
Anyway. All those exciting tales inspired Tom. He spoke with the oldest man in our group who said he retired at 58 and has never regretted it once and has always looked upon each morning as a potential door to something or someplace new. And well, finally, Tom can see beyond Life In The Power Plant. He can see there are other ways to live... new vistas.... new possibilities, especially as long as we let God lead us down every unknown path ahead.
And if we do that, I can't help but feel everything will be all right.