I was hiking around to endless historical monuments on a hot, sunny day with a friend when I said, "I need to stop for a pop" as we walked by a convenience store. My friend burst into merry laughter. My face rearranged itself into absolute befuddlement. I didn't see anything funny in my declaration. I was hot and thirsty. My friend didn't have the faintest idea what I was talking about. "A Pepsi, Coke, something like that", I clarified, shaking my head at the obvious. "Oh! A soda!" In my mind, a soda is something from the 1950's when teenyboppers went to the soda shop for a malt, but okay. I realize more of you out there say soda than pop, but you have to admit pop is a better word when you open the bottle.
Someone else recently reminisced with me about going to her grandparents and getting pop from the basement. "Me too!" Happy grandparent stories flowed back and forth and I vividly tasted Vernor's ginger ale even though I haven't tasted it in years. It's amazing how these things stay with us, and how much little things matter down the road when it didn't seem to make that much difference at the time. We just had practical grandparents who put soda pop in the basement because the basement was cool and brought it upstairs when the grandkids were there because they loved us. It's these little moments that made us feel special and secure.
The other day I contemplated what to have for supper. I seem to have gotten very vegetarian during the shutdown and I have to say I'm sick and tired of vegetables. I flashed back to dinner at Grandma's and wished so strongly for one of her basic meals of ham, mashed potatoes, and green beans. I wanted it so badly I could smell the ham and hear her putting a spoon down on her stainless steel kitchen counter. I thought of Grandpa and his perennial assortment of Chex cereal and ever-present vanilla ice milk. Tinkling dishes, cheerful laughter, and ice tea. Vernor's pop, full of sugar and bubbles, in the middle of the day, for no real reason other than my grandparents knew I liked it.
I saw a post where a 10-year-old girl created a door screen out of a shower curtain and plastic bags so she could hug her grandma during the shutdown. Yay for the kid! But gee, it sucks to be separated from your grandma! Maybe all this separation will prove to teach more of us to appreciate people while we have them?
Happy memories keep us warm inside when faced with too many vegetables, but it isn't all about looking back. It's about thinking about your priorities and making decisions about what you want now and in the future. Our thoughts create possibilities.
Thinking about drinking a bubbly pop on a hot summer day may not seem important at all. Remembering merry laughter between friends is important. It isn't about things, it's about people. I'm really hoping that everyone appreciates their people even more when they can hug each other again.
This art is just a TV doodle around the time I was salivating over Grandma's ham :)