It’s the small things

November 27, 2022

Did I make the most of the 3,992 miles we traveled to be with family for this 4-day holiday? That is the question rolling in my head as the wheels lift off the ground right now.

Truthfully, I do not know if I did. The days run together in my mind as I try to think back to how I spent them. It does not feel like much. Surely those moments add up to only a full day … not four of them! Right?

So what do I recall from these days in sunny California?

I recall freezing my hiney off in an outdoor pool. What else would I seek out to do, escaping from our frozen homestead, than bask in a balmy pool, eh? Except that upon arrival, I would be informed that they had a bit of a boiler issue that day. Too late to back out now, though, I figured. I kissed Peter goodbye, draped my towel on my shoulder and took a deep breath. A while later I sat, toes gingerly dipping in and out of the water, exchanging sympathetic grimaces with other swimmers, and wondering how Peter’s famous cinnamon roll outing was going. A gentleman walked over and asked if I was using the lane. “Maybe?” I told him. He asked if he could share and then, once he was goggled and capped, looked back over at me. “Would you like for me to wait for you before I start?” he said, “I’m afraid that if I don’t, you will never get in.”

I smiled, thanked him, and replied that yes, he was probably right. I took a great big breath and, well, the rest is history. Approximately ice-age.

As for the happenings in the house, it was relatively solemn. A bug was going around, so that periodically someone would disappear for the day, emerging after 24 hours slightly bleary eyed and a few pounds lighter.

We still managed a few festive outings, rotating well participants, for a holiday fair, a light show, and a football game.

Thanksgiving day I sat on the couch with my niece. I braided her hair and then we watched Charlie Brown. The episode she chose was one I had never heard of before. It rocked my world. Seriously. I cried. 

It was about a dandelion that’s discovered on the pitchers mound before their major rivalry game. Sally sets her heart on saving this special flower, to the dismay of Charlie, as he attempts to explain to his sister that this is just a weed, and that they have to play the game.

She will not be moved, camping put on that mound night and day, daring anyone who might try to damage her little flower. Eventually, in a well-meaning attempt to dig up the flower and pot it, Charlie ends up fighting Sally for it and the flower ends up uprooted, dropping in her hands.

Sally is, of course, heartbroken. For not only did she lose her special flower, but she was also, in a sense, betrayed by the big brother she looked up to.

I will not spoil the ending for you-please, just watch it!

But I will say that the words Charlie Brown spoke when he realized his mistake, were so, so very wise. He apologized to Lucy, not simply because of the damage to the flower itself, but because he realized he should have cared more about it, no matter what it was, simply because he loved his sister so much that anything she cared about was important to him as well.

I have a Charlie Brown family; they shine in recognizing what is important to others and making that happen, or caring for it, regardless of their own preferences. I have a long ways to go in that regard. But thankfully, as thanksgiving teaches us, we have a long time-a lifetime-to get there ☺️