"That's the problem with memories, you can visit them, but you can't live in them."
~Shaun David Hutchinson
We Are The Ants
Last month, when Alan and I were visiting Apple Hill, we stopped into one of our favorite farms, Bolster's Hilltop Ranch, to pick up a bottle of our favorite Apple Hill apple cider. Most of the farms produce fresh cider, but theirs has always been our very favorite! While we were there, we decided to browse their craft items for sale, when we came across this plate. It immediately caught my eye, because I used to own the full set of dishes in this pattern! I bought them just after Alan and I got married, because he wasn't fond of the clear set that we had been given as a wedding gift.
We loved that set of dishes! The plates were large, and the bowls a bit wider and deep than most dishes. I didn't pay a lot for the full set, which was also nice, because we were still paying off the wedding when I purchased them. We used them for about 8 years, when we needed to move suddenly, and they went into storage temporarily. During that move, thieves broke into our storage unit and stole nearly everything we owned, including our set of cute country dishes.
I thought about that set over the years. I tried to find the pattern again, but I never did. Once they sold out, that was that! I had another set of dishes, that were done in a lovely impressionist pattern, with a French Cafe design. Also stolen. Both sets were very special to me, for different reasons. Those two sets of dinnerware were only a couple examples of the things we lost, and it was a sad time, but at the end of the day, it was just stuff! The items themselves simply represented memories.
I have been thinking about the memories that were associated with the losses Alan and I have experienced in our marriage. Sometimes I can climb so deep into the memories of our first apartment that it feels like I am right there. I close my eyes, and I think to myself... if I just try hard enough... I will be right back there! It will be 1990, and nothing bad has happened, it's just a couple of newlyweds, amazingly happy, in a 3rd floor walk-up apartment in the San Francisco East Bay. Sometimes I can almost smell all the restaurants we lived near, and hear the traffic from the street below.
But that deep thought or daydream can only last a minute or less, and suddenly I am back to 2016. Today in 2016. The world is so different now. Yes, times change, but in all honesty, I don't know how things could have changed this much! We just went though a brutal time as Americans, and instead of the pain being over, it's all just beginning. The Trump presidency is going to be one of America's darkest chapters. Personally, I don't know if I will survive it! I guess I don't have a choice but to hang on, and pray we all make it through, but to be honest, I feel so hopeless right now.
How will it be when the deportation police tear families apart, at Trump's command? When will the next school shooting take place, as he does away with laws regarding guns at schools? Bullies and tormentors will have their day, so when will I be assaulted, for driving too slow, or for simply being a "woman driver?" Will Alan's job be safe in Trump's fantasy driven economic world? Is my health care about to end? Will the EPA exist a year from now? Will we face nuclear annihilation, from North Korea, or some other hostile government, because Donald Trump pisses off a world leader in the middle of the night, via his Twitter account?
It's strange how bad it can hurt when someone steals your things. Just because you like your possessions, doesn't mean you are necessarily materialistic. The items we fill up our life with are associated with memories sometimes. Like making dinner for your new husband, on pretty but inexpensive little dishes you picked out together. But when someone threatens not just the little everyday things in your life, but the lives of your families, friends, neighbors, and even strangers, it's a whole different thing entirely. What happens next?
I bought the little plate in Apple Hill last month, when I still had hope for the future. When I was anticipating a Hillary Clinton win. I planned to get a little plate stand, and put it on display in my home office. It was going to be a reminder of a gentle time in our lives. A time before our lives changed that awful day in 1999. The day I don't talk about. But now, I might just put it in with the rest of my odds and ends plates and dishes and use it once in a while so I can close my eyes, and just for a moment, pretend I am back in a different time, when life was a lot more fair. It was the sweetest time. Back when life was kind, and the world wasn't quite as cold as it had been, because America had encouraged the world to tear down a walls, and not build them.
It was the sweetest time!
It really was!
Funny how we tend to take the best days and leaves for granted!
Days are like leaves, they only last a little while.
And no two are ever the same.
And once they are gone neither are we!
Leaf Of The Day
November 14th 2016