Though out of character for a Saturday, I laid down for a nap this past weekend and woke about an hour later to delicate rays of sun breaking through the clouds and my curtains. It was in this twilight sleep state wanting to be still and not move when I had a flashback.
In what was probably a split second, I relived events of my life - the life of a woman who no longer exists, and way of life that no longer exists. It must have been triggered by the sun filtering in that made me recall that this was just about this time of day that my late husband and I would be wrapping up our Brenham outings with friends and heading back to Beaver Creek Ranch in Bedias.
The scenes were fleeting and hazy, but there we were - three or four couples, all of us longtime friends enjoying the Bluebonnet Festival, Brenham’s antique shops and craft mall – just plain enjoying our status as empty nesters! Laying there stilled by these images I shed no tears, but I felt my heart cry for past, and those in these personal vignettes I loved who have died.
On our outings, you could count on Bruce, J.D., Tony, and my Bob to get a sausage on a stick or roasted corn, or both! My husband was also a sucker for funnel cake – which as a size 3X back then, was the last thing I needed. In Brenham, a trip to Must Be Heaven was never an option, it was mandatory, along with a quick pop inside our beloved quilt shop, Stitch Haven.
We wives fussed about our husband’s smoke breaks and sometimes they poked fun at our purchases built around theme decorating. We always managed to find a “manly” store and they were worse than us when it came to the amount of time spent picking through bins and tubs of rusty nuts, bolts, and tools.
And then there was the infamous Chappell Hill fall incident. If my husband were still alive, I’d kill him. One Bluebonnet Festival year, Shirleen’s sister and brother-in-law, Kathryn and David joined us. To David’s credit, he was the ONLY man who passed the chivalry test that afternoon!
With the women leading the way in single file, we stepped down off a high, grassy, uncurbed corner and I, the last of the women, tripped. In the slow motion rerun in my mind, I can still see the domino effect of bodies of all sizes tumbling one into another down to the dirt and gravel street. Do you think our husbands did or said anything? I could give them the benefit of a doubt for standing there like cigar store Indians and say they were in shock, but I’d be lying. After what seemed to me an inordinate amount of time lying face down in the street, it was David who came over to see if we were all right and needed help getting up. Some memories die hard!
Sometimes I have momentary resentment when these flashbacks happen because they clash with who I am and what I do now, and they bring both pain and pleasure. The pain is the reminder that I’ll never experience those times with my husband and those friends again but there is immense pleasure in remembering the joking, the laughter and yes, even the lack of chivalry.
The author of classic fairy tales, Hans Christian Andersen, wrote, “The good and the beautiful is not forgotten; it lives in legend and in song.” I’d like to add…and in the waking twilight of a Saturday afternoon nap.
Connie Clements is a freelance reporter for the Navasota Examiner and award-winning columnist. She writes feature news articles on a weekly basis and an opinion column as the mood strikes her.