Posted by: PD Warrior | March 1, 2016

Once Upon A Time, Not So Long Ago…

Or at least it didn’t seem that long ago to me.

Like everyone, my mind is subject to the very tricks it plays on itself. I can be going on about life, minding my own business, when something will come along and hit me – a fleeting image caught in the corner of my eye, a familiar odor from days gone past, or a sound…especially a sound…songs in particular – and suddenly a spark will go off in some long forgotten corner of my brain. Then, the next thing you know – poof – as if by magic, I will have found myself transported back in time.

Such was the case just a few days ago when my wife and I were driving along, listening to an oldies station (I’m not really sure when the songs that comprise the soundtrack of my life suddenly became oldies, but I guess that’s not important right now) and suddenly I was no longer driving.

No, I was not driving at all.

Instead I was only 10, maybe 12 years old, and lying down in the back of my parents old Ford LTD station wagon. It was late on a cloudless summer night and I was gazing at the stars through the rear window as they drifted slowly past, and the AM radio crackled with the sound of a banjo plunking out chords while the Stampeders crooned the words to the song “Sweet City Woman.”

We were on our way home from an old ice cream shack somewhere just outside of Bear Lake PA, a journey we would take at least once a week during July and August after my dad had finished working in his gardens and closed up his flower shop for the night.

The car didn’t have air conditioning, or if it did my father wouldn’t turn it on because he claimed there was always a “cold spot right there on the back of my neck!” So, instead, the station wagon’s rear window was down to keep the rest of us from suffocating in the stifling heat as my father froze. The memory was so intense I could almost smell the exhaust from the car filtering in through the open window. And I could taste the sticky sweetness of ice-cream that had dribbled down on my chin from the cone I had eaten just moments before.

But the sweetest part of the whole reverie was not the music, nor the ice cream, or the ride…

No, the sweetest part was that both my parents were still alive.

You see, my father has been gone for over fourteen years. And in a couple weeks it will mark the one year anniversary of my mother’s passing. But just for a moment, if ever so briefly, I had them both back…

 

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