ďweíre on sun mountain lodgeĒ

 


Carol and Eddie at
Oahuís Valley of the Temples Ė a frequent
backdrop for TV shows, back when they were in their 20s,
slim and uncommonly beautiful. Shut. up.
 

Itís Monday, November 29, 11:34 a.m. In less than two days, itíll be Wednesday, December 1, my 14th wedding anniversary. 

Eddie and I wanted to marry as close to the date we met Ė November 30, a Thursday before Iíd check in to St. Francis Hospital for a routine gall bladder removal Ė but the following year, 1990, the closest we could come was closer to Christmas. 

We kid around all the time about the hectic fall through winter of the Weber household, filled with holidays, Halloween, birthdays and anniversaries. Starting September 25, Eddieís birthday, and winding down after January 21, Martin Luther King Jr.ís holiday and our son Jamesís birthday, towards February 14, Valentineís Day, itís always a mad, mad rush of gifts, decorations, cooking and baking and constant activity. 

Itís also easy to forget the true meaning of each and every occasion when it turns into just an item in the appointment book to quickly check off as done. The older I get, the less Iím inclined to remember, much less know HOW to celebrate properly, appropriately, with the right amount of reverence and fun. Whatís 14 divided by 42 plus 40 anyway, 3? 

All of my time, energy, attention and creativity is focused on others, that when it comes to myself, Iím at a loss. Gee, I really donít want for anything, thank God. The things I want are more intangible than a brand new pair of overalls with these cute array of multi-colored buttons in front that I spotted at this new clothing store, Christopher and Banks, that opened at the renovated Alderwood Mall, or the sapphire pendant my husband Eddie bought from Ben Bridge for my 40th birthday the other Monday Ė nice but hardly practical, considering my penchant for digging in the dirt, mushy cereal and milk. 

This past Sunday, I went to lunch with Terrie, a friend from church choir, after weíd browsed some of those new Alderwood Mall stores... in a 50s style diner, our conversation about race relations was interrupted by the dulcet tones of a singing group of waitresses who (we joked later might well be at home at a local Hooterís), whose loud, raucous, hand-clapped Happy Birthday song thoroughly embarrassed a little girl hiding next to her mother a few booths down. Now THAT is the kind of celebration I warn all my few and far between friends to avoid with me.
 


The wedding photographer made us stare at my gold band like
it was the Christ child.
 

Whether itís my birthday or an upcoming wedding anniversary, heck, even the hallowed mother of all holidays, Christmas, I find I simply want to take a break, relax and enjoy the view, upstairs in my bedroom, watching endless Food Network marathons in my bunny pjs, or on a road trip toward Sun Mountain Lodge farther inland of Washington state. 

Eddie, James and I went to the lodge once, last June, on a lark, as we always do with these road trips, and fell in love. Unbelievably, the lodge has no TV, just satellite radios in every room and a great big view from the picture window of mountains, valleys and pine trees. There are board games, ping-pong, pool, swimming pools, books. We were lucky, that day the winds decided to rustle the tops of those pines awake under a clear, bright sun, and I spent a good portion of sunset communing with God and the dead spirits in nature for perhaps the first time in my life, instead of running away from the mere hint of the word, ďdead.Ē 

Every now and then, I return to the Lodge emotionally, as I did last night, thinking about my inevitable death, seeing the effects of my death on loved ones in the living colors of a sun setting over whichever mountain we happened to be driving past on one road trip or another, to the Lodge, another one in Whistler, a burger pit stop in Kauai before I interviewed a contractor for a trade magazine, places marked by those colors reminding me that one day, Iíll be gone and our son will remain, to re-experience everything through his own filters. The combination of presence and loneliness reverberating, like listening to an old Ď70s hit on the record player, cradling myself, humming alone. 

It would be lovely to PHYSICALLY re-experience the Sun Mountain Lodge right about now when the secluded place on top of a hill might be dusted with snow and ice, a thought that already sends Eddie packing. 

Since we canít, two out of three of us have the official Cold of 2004, weíll just... I donít know... sit here on the couch and imagine sipping hot chocolate in the outdoor hot tub watching a stray deer nibble on grass just on the overlook, listening to my father, Eddieís parents, my momís best friend, Kevin, Mark, Bobby ... trying to reach me through the wind. 

Maybe this time I can get some chocolate cake? 

What? You were expecting me to wax T.S. Eliot about the first day Eddie and I met (in front of a music store called Nadineís) and how our true love is still going strong (I touched his left hand in church the other day for two seconds, does that count?), how we manage to sneak in time for ourselves to cuddle and receive the glory of Godís blessings upon us as man and wife embarking on yet another adventure lurking over the horizon (this week, we pick out a tree from Home Depot)? 

Maybe next week, when itís not so busy.

 

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