Or, how can we Not remember some things . . .
Oh, the things we remember. And sometimes it’s decades later before something tweaks our memory and bingo! We’re suddenly in another part of our life, and it is good.
I’m not unique. One of my sons tells me that one whiff of the unique odor of a soft rain on open ground, and he’s a child again, sitting in his Arlington Elementary Second grade school room. Pure magic.
Once or twice, I’ve seen my other son, little more than a babe, running to me with outstretched arms, eager to be held close; and when a bit older, often calling me to come to the door to see what he could do. Both worth more than money in the bank. And they must be imprinted upon my mind, or why, in the ‘right’ circumstances, do I still see, hear them, and find tears in my eyes.
The view from my kitchen window never fails to ‘hold’ me, no matter what time of the day or year. I knew those open acres for years as pasture land and AW and I often roamed them when we were just ‘dating’, and getting to know each other. One of my fondest memories is of a cold winter day when snow and ice had bridged the creek, so we could walk over it and when standing still, could hear the moving water bubbling far below. So odd, so wonderful. And I don’t know why I remember, but I do.
Those acres are now the Mick Riley Golf Course, so I no longer roam there, but the view, though different, is beautiful, mine, and I think when I leave here, and go on to The Next Room, I will remember and perhaps even roam there again. And just maybe, just maybe, AW will be with me again, too. Who will ever know??? But me.
And then there are Hotels. The better ones are, to me, a concentration of the world’s pleasures gathered all in one place. I’ve traveled little, but enough to know the difference between the ones that move you in and out with no real care for your well-being. But of those I know, two have been favorites for me, one in San Francisco and the other in Indiana.
My very best, was that 1800-1900 turn of the century gambling Spa of French Lick, Indiana. The wealthy gamblers were long gone, but that place, oh, that roomy, luxurious place remained. The large ‘apartments’, furnished with fine wood furniture; two full size beds, plus two complete, separate baths, each with stand-up scales and towels from the heated bars, so soft and fluffy that I wanted to wrap myself up and forget all about getting dressed. At night the maid left our beds perfumed, sheets turned down, and with a fresh Rose in its special ‘vase’, and two Mints on the pillows.
I was there with LaRee Pehrson (remember her from Magna?) as members of the National Press Women’s organization and would have liked to remain there forever. I mean if someone else paid the bill.
Right next in being special was the Palace Hotel in San Francisco, of the same fin de siecle vintage. It was again under the auspices of the Press Women and LaRee and I, of course, were together.
Our room came nowhere near the opulence that had been ours at French Lick, but one night we wandered down to the lobby. stumbled upon an Oriental wedding, and were so awed, that we slipped into an out-of-the-way corner and watched.
Never, never, never have I seen such a gathering of satin, silk, furs and jewelry. And those exquisite ladies, took my breath away. All ages, each with a perfect toilette and with such ‘presence’ that one knew that only immense wealth over many generations could flower into such utter calm self-assurance. and beauty.
I can close my eyes and still see those woman, escorted by impassive, tuxedoed men, walking by like porcelain dolls. Ah . . . another world. Another world.
And then, more recently, but a simple letter from Karen, a Catholic Nun who manages Raven’s Bread, a Hermit’s organization, in North Carolina, though far different, touches me deeply. What an odd twist of life, that I, a granddaughter of a Mormon Polygamist, and she a Nun, should ‘know’ and care for each other. God works in mysterious ways, and I accept, never forget, and am moved.
Yes, life brings pleasures. great and small but I remember , and will forever, the greatest joy of all, the glory of Love. And if you thought I’d not remember that one, you just don’t know Ethel. And whether Platonic, Romantic or Agape, they are here for all of us to experience and recall. So wonderful that Ethel also says: Encore. Encore.