Brought and Taken in the Wind

Hey Kids,

The wind blows from the south tonight.

This usually means a storm approaches but the forecast says otherwise. Instead this wind brings with it warm temperatures for the weekend, sunny skies, and blue skies.

The windows have all been open and the pulses of wind that cause the drapes to breathe in and out like the sides of a dragon in a deep sleep, bring with them the dust from parts unknown.

What carries on the wind? Perhaps the dust of a gravel pit, or the dried dirt of a construction site. Or perhaps the mountain that once stood great after being thrust into the sky from an ancient force from the core the earth, now weathered and softened by the winters of millennia. Within this dust carries the shores of an ancient ocean, of the remains of its inhabitants. A volcano’s blast might also be mixed with the dirt caught on the grid of the screen door.691e80fd1f9f0d637cc02177b6831dba

Each gust of wind carries with it, the geologic memories of the earth.

The wind carries with it this night, other memories; memories of times not so ancient. Memories of smiles and laughter, of little hands, and kisses good night.

The mountain is not the only thing tonight being ground by the sands of time blowing on the wind.

 

Post 3-132

Sluice Box of Life

Hey Kids,

I’ve been at my job for nearly 25 years now. In those 25 years, I’ve accumulated a desk full of papers, gizmos, and trinkets. I decided it was time to empty some of those items. Mostly because my desk is full and I might be there for a few more years.

Within the reaches of the drawers, I found my weight in mystery keys, a bible’s worth of pages of old notes and scribbles, and two decades of memories from past employees.

I threw out piles of worthless Coke caps that I never got to enter the codes for some grand prizes never realized. There was a mountain of business cards from companies and people with which a few we did business- most we did not.

A few ID badges had been left behind. I read the names and looked at the pictures of their past owners. I recalled their stories. A small number of them left due to immigration issues. Others moved on to different opportunities- some have stayed in touch, most others have not. I found a letter written to me by an employee who passed last year. It was written during a trying time in her life and she had wanted to thank me for my support during that time. It meant a lot to me then, but even more now.

My runner-up find was a voucher assigned to me on my very first day with the University. I was to exchange it for an ID card within my first few weeks of employment. I never did, but got an ID card anyway. I don’t know why that amuses me, but it does every time I see it. Apparently, I rebelled against the rules even way back then.

The grand prize find was a copy of my oldest son’s fishing license. It is the most valuable because it has his signature on it, something he did with his own hand and I own it. I miss him and it makes me feel closer to him.

Life marches forward and these treasures of sluicememories get caught on the riffles of time, much like gold in a sluice box. And like the largest nuggets in the sluice box, they can disappear under the mundane black sands and irrelevant gravels of life and disappear out of sight, and out of mind. Today reminds me to not fill up on the trivial but to unbury and cherish those moments and people that are important today, and not when I clean out my desk every 25 years.

 

Post 3-095

Thoughtful Flashback

Hey Kids,

Roughly 37 years ago, a young man boarded an airplane. That airplane took him to where few had ventured- north of the Arctic Circle. That crossing changed him for life.

I was that young man.

Little time passes between the lessons I learned there make themselves manifest in my life. Stories, sayings, memories. They all waft in and through my life like guardian angels directing my course. But sometimes, the recollections seem like distant, faint dreams where one wonders if it really happened at all.

It was a seemingly small gesture combined with minimal expenses such as a color copy, a little of some employee’s time to inscribe details, and a stamp. But the certificate sent to me by Alaska Airlines those nearly four decades ago, found itself back into my hands today. A certificate confirming that I had indeed crossed the Arctic Circle on the 17th of May, 1980 enroute to Kotzebue, Alaska.img_20170208_212308518

The deluge of memories returned. A remembrance of those things so important so long ago. I’ve never been able to return to the gold fields of the north, but that paper did everything but buy my return ticket.

That stamp has paid for itself yet again. Nice job Alaska Airlines, and thank you!

 

P.S. I hope to soon tell some of those stories in a series of books I have mapped out. The working title is Inmachuk Confabulations.

 

Post 3-039

Disney Magic

Hey Kids,

As I sit here in the tire center of the Super Store, enjoying my lunch amongst the stacks of tires and their promises of extended life and superior traction, a song plays.

It’s a popular song from a long ago Disney movie.disney

It conjures memories so strong that I can nearly taste them.

I remember watching the movie with little ones hanging on me.

The memory intensifies with the telling of it.

It pleases and it hurts.

It’s worth it tonight.

It’s always worth it.

I miss you but as the song playing states, you’ll be in my heart forever.

And always.

 

Post #366

Melodic Mile Markers

Hey Kids,

Time can march, but it can’t dance, without notice.

On the drive home yesterday, I plugged in some CD’s that I had made some years ago for another road trip.1dc72a674b4f38617ca75bc6040a4cec

I had found a radio station out of France specializing in 80’s music. I set my desktop to record and would come back later and edit out the songs I didn’t want. It was the new way of recording the music off the radio with a cassette tape, like what I used to do back in high school. The songs on the CD even had the same abrupt start and stops like the cassette tapes did. There wasn’t any way to edit the DJ’s talking, the commercials, and the song overlaps. Editing is easier now, but not really worth the time.

The hits of the 80’s played for several hours across the desert roads of New Mexico, Colorado, and Utah. They kept me awake as the rest of the vehicle occupants slept. They kept me thinking.

I remember when those “classics” were “newly released titles”. The lyrics and melodies bled into thoughts of when I last or first heard them. Dances, classes, people, and drives in my parents’ 75 Oldsmobile Regency, all come back to the forefront of my thoughts almost as if they were happening right then. It’s as close to time travel as I will ever come.

At times it’s hard to pinpoint how long it has been since this or that happened. Time seems to march forward with that slow and steady pace that folds days into unrecognizable years.

Music, however, is the mile markers along the long lonesome highway that reminds you exactly where you are and where you’ve been.

 

Day 238

Canyon of Memories

Hey Kids,

It’s the evening before our wedding and the start of our marriage.

The normal thing the day before, apparently, is to be nervous or anxious but I’m not. I’ve got a still cool and inner excitement instead.

At this writing, I’m sitting at a large kitchen table in a cabin located at an elevation of about 8,000 feet in Big Cottonwood Canyon, Utah- my favorite canyon in the world.FullSizeRender (2)

This canyon holds so many memories for me. My family and I have made so many trips up here over the years. I can tell a story or share a fact about most of the 17 miles of road from the mouth of the canyon to the glacier-cut bowl at the top. I know every curve of the road, every stretch of hills, and every turnout. We have been up here so many hundreds of times that I bet we border the 1000 number.

Tomorrow the ceremony will be at Silver Lake. I know this lake even better. Every part of the 1 mile trail and boardwalk holds a story of when this or that happened. Over there is where the boys scaled the rock wall. That sign over there is where Dakota slipped and cut his head just above the eyebrow. We’ve seen moose here, and here, and over there. The best place to spot the fish is on the bridge or the overlook on the other side of the lake. I can go on and on. The memories come on so thick sometimes they crowd out the mosquitoes.

Sometimes it’s painful. Sometimes I wonder why I keep coming up here. The memories attempt to mock the fact that there will be no new ones made.

But isn’t that the fact with all memories? Their entire existence is based in the past. My nest simply emptied earlier than expected and much earlier that I would have ever wanted. That’s what hurts.

Tomorrow I will start a new era of my life. A woman I love and who loves me is about to become a permanent part of it. Instead of leaving my favorite place in the world in the past with its memories, I’ve decided to continue to create new ones. Tomorrow will be a huge addition.

There will be no sadness as I gaze on the familiar rocks and trees and see the reflection of my young children. My walk around the lake with my new bride will be but another set of footprints added to the thousands I have left before and but a small example of what I hope to leave in the future.

The cool calm and the inner excitement is what I call happiness, and I seem to have plenty of that nowadays.

Especially tomorrow.

 

 

Day 221

Impossible to Forget

Hey Kids,

Is there more to come beyond after a mortal life?

Or is lifeless the sole reward for our daily strife?976-Creepycemetery

When the body finally lies still after the last breath,

Does a soul continue on, after what we call death?

Or after a life of struggle, sweat, and endless toil,

Is the body simply returned to the earth and soil?

Either way, our time is numbered and our days set.

Try not to be remembered, but impossible to forget.

 

Day 202

Taste of History

Hey Kids,

I bought a gallon of A&W root beer today.

That’s not so unusual. I do it from time to time.

I’ve given up on all the regular sodas; Coke, Dr. Pepper, etc. Never Sprite, however, that stuff has been and always will be disgusting.

Anyway, I enjoy a frozen glass mug of draft root beer on occasion. The taste is soothing and as long as I don’t drink the entire gallon in one setting, it isn’t as bloating as the other sodas.

But A&W soothes on another front.

I used to fish with my grandpa. Many times it would be he and I in the boat. Sometimes my grandmother, sometimes an uncle or two, and even my brother at times. My grandparents had a cabin on the south shore and we spent many summer weekends there together. And for whatever reason, I always drank A&W root beer. From a can, but A&W only. When fishing.

Strawberry Reservoir

Strawberry Reservoir

When I taste that distinctive flavor, it takes me back to that lake. Back to that boat, fishing more than catching. Strawberry Reservoir will always be our lake. My grandpa and I connected out there on the water. Those hours, days, weekends, mean something to me. I miss them.

I miss him.

 

Day 185