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
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.