A Blanket of Gold

I look across the backyard with a heavy sigh,
just a few weeks ago, the broom had done its
job, the garden gloves lie in the shed, caked
with flakes of dirt, exhausted from pulling
weeds that had the nerve to sprout abundantly,
as though they are admired as much as
the glorious lavender hydrangeas.

Now, crunchy yellow leaves inundate the grass,
as if Mother Nature gently laid down
a blanket of gold. The wardrobe changes of the
leaves, pirouetting to the ground, lead to the season
when Gratitude is placed on a pedestal,
paying homage more than any given day,
which leads us to the turkey brining
in a citrusy concoction. The carving knife
and gravy ladle eager to present their annual
performance. The formal dinnerware excited
to display its shiny patina. The gathering.

And on this special day, the sky and sun
will collaborate to create a bright blue backdrop,
no clouds invited to this celebration,
not even a breath of wind will drift through,
or one tiny raindrop will fall on this event,
just a high temperature cool enough
to welcome a sweater,
the kind of weather that would delight them both.

He would ask for a beverage before sitting down,
and then even after sinking into the soft sofa,
his hand would caress the glass for minutes.
He would pause before taking a sip.

Because before partaking in the festivities,
he, who lived through the second world war,
would slowly absorb
the noise,
the laughter,
the chaos,
the loved ones…

© Lauren Scott, baydreamerwrites.com – All rights reserved.

Whether or not you celebrate Thanksgiving, I wish you the feeling
of Gratitude in your hearts that will last a lifetime.

Sending wishes for a blessed Thanksgiving! 🧡🍁🍂

A Silver Spoon and So Much More…

Matt and I pull into the parking stall of our camp sight, and our first task is to unload the car and dump our gear onto the picnic table. A slight breeze floats through the pine trees cooling us from the sun’s burning touch and the blue lake water invites us in for a swim. The invitation is tempting, but first the labor of setting up camp. I dig into the big green tub looking for kitchen stuff and my breath catches when my eyes focus on the old set of silverware. When I was a little girl, we had a cabin in Big Bear, California, which is where Mom used the silverware. After both of my parents had passed, the set came to me. It’s black and silver, service for six, a little faded, but I couldn’t believe how sturdy it was to have lasted over fifty years. At the time, I didn’t give it much thought, so I added it to our camping paraphernalia.

As Matt and I enjoy the stir fry dinner he prepares on the first night, the old silverware evokes fond memories. An image of our cabin on the corner lot enfolded by sugar pines comes to mind. I remind Matt of the time when our little brave dog, Duffy, climbed up the snow bank, standing on the roof as if to say, “I am King!” That cozy mountain retreat also held many kitchen-table conversations full of laughter. Although Matt never had the chance to see the cabin, he remembers Mom’s delicious cooking. We especially savored her lasagna that was contest-winner-worthy. I recall the aroma swirling around, enticing Dad, my sisters, and me as we were eager to capture it and dig into the mouth-watering dish. I line up evenly in my mind each nuance of those childhood memories with my parents – days of playing badminton under a cloudless sky and a blazing sun, and then tobogganing when the ground was blanketed in snow and the temperature was bitter cold.

I am wrapped in a sentimental blanket on this trip, thinking of Mom and Dad, wishing I could feel their hugs, hear their laughter, and listen to their advice one more time. But would one more time still be enough? I don’t wallow in sadness; instead, I revel in the good times letting the memories advance like pictures on a camera roll. Before Matt and I realize, the campfires, swimming, hiking, and reminiscing have catapulted time into lightning speed. Our trip has ended and in the blink of an eye, we’re home doing clean-up. It dawns on me that I don’t want this set stashed away again, hidden beneath pots and pans and forgotten until the next trip. These forks, knives, and spoons have their own stories to tell. I combine them with our sets and I’m not bothered that they don’t match our decor. Years ago, the difference would’ve mattered. Now, life is a far cry from when mom and dad were still with us, so as we sit at our table using this shiny silverware, the family tales continue. We smile, we laugh, and now and then, tears that we thought had dried up, slowly find their way down our cheeks again.

Maybe I didn’t see the true value when this set was given to me. Perhaps I was blinded by tears, existing in my world of grief where a dark cloud was parked above my head. It could be that I hadn’t processed the finality of their death. I would see them again, wouldn’t I? The phone will ring and I’ll listen to Mom’s, “I just wanted to hear your voice.” Or, they’ll be over for lunch next week. When enough time had passed, reality sank in: I acknowledged their passing for what it was and accepted the truth. So, the timing and how I stumbled upon this treasure was relevant. My grieving had ended, widening the gap for remembering all the good things that keep us moving forward when we lose a loved one. Even in this set’s simplicity, its silver clean lines prove to be a nostalgic gem never to be buried again.

The painting of our cabin was done by a friend in Big Bear and my sister has it in her house – a treasure to keep forever.

Lauren Scott (c) 2020