Wednesday, December 21, 2011

21st December

Well I certainly wrapped everything up today. But it feels like I made a little mistake. Too late now though! Looks like my Christmas presents are lacking in colour coordination doesn't it? That’s what comes of grabbing the buy two get one free offer at the supermarket without thinking ahead. Jane would never have done that; she’d make sure there was lots of colour in the paper before walking out of the shop. No big deal though, as long as I've put the right labels on the right presents everyone will be happy… ugh there strikes the OCD gene again – we’ve all got one of those hidden away somewhere - trying to mess my head up; no way am I unwrapping everything to check what is certainly perfect! I've got too much time on my hands and the result is that I'm allowing idle thoughts to come wandering into my mind. Funny how that one works, when distant and even completely forgotten memories seem to pop out of thin air, and are as vivid as if they happened only yesterday. Last week was much healthier as I was more occupied doing church stuff.

So there I was, lost in silver-paper land and idly thinking about my grandkids as I wrapped their presents. And all I did was glance at a photo of the four of them, sitting at the railway station, at my daughter’s recent wedding. Suddenly, for no apparent reason, I was back in the late eighties and on holiday in Somerset. Of course it was raining, so Jane and I were hurrying back to our touring caravan with our toddler youngest daughter and our son in a pushchair. The pushchair had rain covers… we didn’t and got rather wet. I can even remember, quite clearly, exactly what Jane was wearing. Our older two girls had disappeared with some holiday friends they’d made. Quite a long time later they reappeared absolutely covered in mud. They’d made the mistake of walking out to the very distant sea across potentially dangerous mud flats and struggled to get back. They won’t do that again in a hurry.

Then again, and even further back in time to Whitsun 1982 – by the way that was the best year of my life, which is a story for another time -  I remember a tent holiday we had in the Lake District. The weather was perfect and we enjoyed lots of great walks. And one day we found a rope swing over a small brook which daddy Tarzan had to show off on. Until it stopped swinging and I was stranded over water with no way to keep my feet dry… the laugh was certainly on me! We had an eccentric Renault 4 in those days and it took just over 6 hours to return from the holiday what with heavy traffic on the A66 cutting across to Scotch Corner. I can clearly see my two young girls hanging their feet out of the sliding door windows to cool off as we were stationary for so long. Rear seat belts didn’t exist in those days.

So, why such detailed memories intruding on my day? And I could have gone on and on and on recalling all manner of events… ok, one more. I’ll never forget the most incredible bright yellow, halter top, mini-dress that Jane wore on our first holiday to Newquay in Cornwall back in the summer of 1972. Years later she told me she purposefully dressed to win the man, which she did. But then again she continued in similar vein for the whole of her life.

Back on track David… this morning was absolutely horrible again. I couldn’t stop crying and felt completely wretched. Then the grandkids photo changed everything and the happy memories filled my mind, so for the rest of the day I’ve felt really good. Perhaps not quite as good as when my 18 year old fiancĂ©e wore a certain yellow halter top, but fairly happy for sure and certainly better behaved… allegedly! Did I really write that out loud?

Proverbs 5:18 ‘Rejoice in the wife of your youth.’ (NLT)

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