We would fight to scrape the pan and eat the melt-in-your-mouth fudge bits left after mom was done. After it cooled, the fudge squares were dumped over a huge bowl of popcorn which four small children devoured during the annual playing of “The Wizard of Oz,” on television in the days before VCRs or streaming video.
As an adult, who moved back home against all odds, my life is now more about reliving the traditions created for my siblings and I by my mother.
This winter, I spent countless hours with Ben trying to remember the names of the birds which swarmed our feeders. With my mother’s cancer treatment wrecking her body this summer, I took the time to sit with her and relearn to knit. Time normally spent writing or engrossed in social media, I spent remembering why small things are important.
I helped plant a garden, canned pickles, and visited 93 year old Grandma Millie and her live-in boyfriend Chuck. I worked on my quilt, finished knitting a stocking cap and a scarf. I baked bread. I relearned how to bobber fish, caught my first salmon down rigger fishing, and cut my first hole to ice fish. I watched Meteor Showers with Ben while floating on Lake Michigan.
I went skydiving, read books, and simply sat. Sat and enjoyed sunsets. Sat and enjoyed the Scottville Clown Band. Learned to play a C Major scale on my guitar. I cleaned out closets, decorated our first Christmas tree, learned to play Marbles, and enjoyed hundreds of cups of coffee.
As I look forward to the imminent spring frog symphony, and celebrate the first song of the Red Winged Black Bird, I know that a summer of insanity awaits. I also know that before summer comes the first green shoots of flowers my mom would call me outside to witness.
Mom still calls me to announce the first Robin sighting of Spring. It never fails. She is always the first to see one.
As I cut the peanut butter fudge into little squares and share the first piece with Ben, I acknowledge that life is about the small, ever important moments in which you take the time to appreciate the song of a bird, the sweetness of a homemade treat, or the beauty of a sunset.