Saturday, February 9, 2013

Be Thankful for the Present

Well, all of New England is stuck inside today under massive amounts of snow drifts. I am among the complainers who just wish that spring would arrive and we would be done with this nonsense. I shouldn't complain, the snow is almost over, and I'm not the one stuck in the driveway under eighteen layers of clothing making friends with the snow blower. But seriously, a person can only stand cabin fever for so long. In an age where we have copious amounts of entertainment sources, we still manage to find boredom quite easily. 
However, I should be thankful. I have spent the past two days at my boyfriend's father's house. Not wanting to deal with our drafty apartment and the impending threat of a power outage, we both packed up once work was cancelled and headed to his childhood home. While both of us have been grappling with boredom in a space we can't call our own, it has been nice. There is a wood-burning stove that he has kept burning since yesterday, and we made chicken noodle soup with his father's girlfriend last night. I went to the kitchen this morning to make some coffee and saw five blue jays on the porch, digging for food and fighting with each other. They were beautiful. I love looking out at the birds because they literally flock here- cardinals, blue jays, woodpeckers, chickadees. It's incredible, and I know my grandmother would have loved it. 
Grandma loved to watch the birds. She used to stand at the kitchen sink and wash dishes, watching the birds at the feeder in the yard. Her hands would be all sudsy as she pointed to a blue jay or a robin, and we'd jump up from eating our lunch to try and see. I thought of that the last time I visited my grandfather. As I was cleaning up the dishes at the sink, I looked out into the dark, imagining a time years ago when I wasn't bothered by the dishes or grown-up thoughts. She would stand at that sink for what seemed like hours, whistling and washing, as we anxiously waited for her to finish and play dominoes with us. I miss those times, I miss her songs, I miss listening to her Big Band CDs as she whistled along until my grandpa turned on the afternoon news. 
You never realize the importance of a moment until it becomes a memory. You never think that the present will become a snapshot to hold on to in the future when you've lost those that surround you. I miss her every day. The few moments I can remember stay with me, ingrained in my head until certain things bring me back to them. Today as I watched the blue jays on the porch, I sighed and wished grandma could have seen them. Maybe she can. So be thankful for the present because you never know which moments will bring you comfort in the future.

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