Monday, March 14, 2011

Summer's End

A quick trip to the lake one more time seemed like the perfect thing to do before school started.  Mom said to come on up and I thought it was a good idea as I wouldn’t be able to get up there again once school started.  I liked to leave at four in the morning; this would keep the boys asleep in the car until at least seven, maybe eight.  We always stopped at the same McDonald’s to get a quick breakfast and then I’d hop back on the road.

In the middle of the summer I grew tired of the boys bickering in the car.  I bought a small nine inch TV/VCR and would put it between the front seats in the van.  Jack had the way back seat and Michael was on the passenger side in his booster car seat.   Michael was forever asking “How long until we get to Grandma’s, Mom?”  I would hold up a finger for each hour left.  “Oh, four, that’s not so bad,” he’d reply.  “Mike, it’s two more movies to the lake. “ How about my favorite? I’d ask. He’d say, Beauty and the Beast, okay, Mom.”

Disney’s, Tarzan had come out that summer; went to see it together.  It was more than a little sad for the three of us when we saw the mother die in the beginning of the film.  I bought the CD and we played it in the van.  Even though the movie was tough to watch in some ways the music was awesome and we sang and sang the songs in the van.

When I think of that summer, I see the rolling hills of Central New York, the crystal blue sparkling water of Cayuga Lake, the sun shining everywhere we went and  I hear the songs from my CDs.  Jack was so tired of hearing the songs that he complained incessantly about them.  I have to laugh when I hear his fianc√© tell me that he loves the Dixie Chick’s CD that I played and that he still plays the music.  He’s more of a heavy metal kind of guy.

One evening the boys and I had been out and about; we returned to the dirt road that brought us down to the lake.  The road is a little rough in spots so I had to go very slowly.  Once I passed Mrs. Brown’s house and turned left I followed the road along the edge of the field.  Just as we started to go down the hill the road turns slightly to the left; I quickly stopped the van, and said “Look!” to the boys.  There, in front of us, soared a great horned owl; he glided above the road and then continued flying low to the field.  His body was black against the golden red sunset over the field.  We were mesmerized.  “What was it, Mom?” they asked.  “A great horned owl,” I told them, “he’s probably looking for a tasty treat in the field.”  It was a moment that stood still in time.  My boys, now 15 and 23, still talk about the night of the great horned owl.

My parents were out that night.  The lake house was dark but we let ourselves in the garage door.  The boys went up and got ready for bed and I changed clothes and then came down for a cup of tea.  I sat in the living room on my aunt’s couch and looked around the room at all my mom’s comforting treasures.   It had been a long summer, too long.  I couldn’t say that I felt ready to return to school in less than a week; it would be hard to see friends again.  However, it was the next step in getting through this first year of many firsts without Rick.  I could do it.

1 comment:

  1. Cool, a great horned owl! The boys were lucky to have you as their mom. A lot of moms would have stayed at home and licked their wounds. Not Janie girl! She's up and at 'em. If life tries to kick her butt, she's ready to kick its butt!

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