Seven… Seventeen…

mel·​an·​choly | \ ˈme-lən-ˌkä-lē  \plural melancholies. 1a: depression of spirits

 Yesterday was another dark day. A let down from the happy days with Ena going 13 days without angina and thinking we had a handle on her cardiac issues. Instead, she had an attack Saturday night at bedtime, Sunday (milder) at bedtime, and yesterday on a walk (mild) and again at bedtime (once again mild). A far cry from none.

I was suddenly hit with the thought that seven was a good year. I was in second grade. I had a Peanuts lunch box that I loved though I broke the lining to thermos many many times. About this time I grabbed a great big sheet of butcher’s paper and I drew all the Peanuts characters on it. Dad said, “You traced them!” ‘No. I didn’t! I drew them!”, I said. I stuck Googly Eyes on Charley Brown.

One of my favorite books was “Little Black Puppy and Other Animal Stories“*. In it are pieces by Richard Scary including making a mask out of a paper bag. I would do that sometimes. I colored a lot and did watercolors.

I then thought that seventeen was a good year too. Playing in Band, Orchestra, Pep Band and Jazz band and Skyline High School. Going to football games, basketball championships and traveling for band trips. Playing endless D&D with Brian Durney (my best friend since I was 4 or 5 years old), John Millsaps, Chris Crocker, Craig Kurumada and others. Dating and dances. Watching the Marx Brothers on the Late Night Movie with Brian, Craig and James Hansen.

And all the years in between were good too. All those years of childhood when adult problems (like the race riots, inflation, the Vietnam War) were all removed well beyond the childhood Somebody Else’s Problem Field.

Yesterday was filled with nostalgia for the past and simpler times.

It doesn’t help that we are having Junuary weather here in Seattle. Gray and rain and temps in the 50s. When the Sun comes out, I try to go out get some exercise. That helps. It also helps that the yard is coming in and the meadow is in full bloom. (Don’t let me over sell you on the meadow – it really is just a grassy area where grass didn’t grow so well so we said, “Skip it, let’s grow flowers and grass that we only mow once a month or so”. But it is peaceful and lovely).

It is hard to not get lost in those idyllic memories of times long gone. It is hard to not have my mind filled with contrast between the darkness of now and the lightness of then. One day at a time.

*funny story about the Little Black Puppy. I looked for years to find a copy (before the internet) in used bookstores and second hand shops. I remember the book being yellow, about 12″ high and about 1″ thick – maybe a bit thicker and taller even. Then the internet arrives and online shopping and I find it online! Oh Joy! I order a copy and I wait for it to arrive! It finally comes! Tear open the package – and boy am I surprised! The book is about 8″ tall and a quarter inch thick. “Huh!” I thought. Then I realized that when I was about 3 feet tall, the book would have seemed about the size that I was imagining it. It would have seemed tall and thick in my small little hands. After I opened the package, I piled into Ena’s lap and had her read The Little Black Puppy to me.