One of the things as adults we too often forget it how trust fun. The fire made us aware of how often we did burst out laughing or do things that were silly and fun.
After a couple of months recovering from the walking Zombie stage of the fire, we have a lot of laughter again in our house. Laughter and silly fun are part of our family. Most people who know us understand and enjoy it although we do get the required eye-rolls from people who are less silly than us.
We celebrated our 37th wedding anniversary on Christmas Eve. When we were sitting around the table with family they asked us to recount some of the important moments during those years. For some reason I remembered a silly story that I had not thought about in years.
My mom had surgery and we, being professional ski patrol and therefore the family medical-go-to people, had the job of caring for her and changing her bandages. We watched and her surgical incisions were coming along great. She, however was bored.
About the same time we bought a VCR player. It was an extravagant thing but we traded meat for beans at dinner time until we paid for it. We could not understand quite how the VCR worked but we were hooked. I suppose that we were interested in movies because we had no broadcast television. Cable was not an option where we lived and the mountain behind us cast a shadow so deep we could not get reception with an antenna.
In an effort to lift the tedium for my mother we scooped her up and took her to our house which was about 3 miles away to watch a video.
We lived in a small single-room log cabin with a loft that was our bedroom. We did not have much room downstairs for electronic stuff so we had our our television and VCR on our desk in our bedroom. For the premier showing of the VCR, I made popcorn and lemonade. Thus armed, we all trooped upstairs and piled onto our bed and were quickly joined by our three cats. My mom was very excited to be out and about. We were eager to show off our new contraption. The contraption of course got cantankerous.
My spouse disentangled himself from the pile of people and cats and went across the small room to the desk where VCR was perched on a low shelf. He managed to get the VCR up and running but when he stood up he banged his head on our swing arm lamp. He grabbed the lamp as if it was stuck to him and pulled crying out, “Let go! Let go!” The movie was anticlimactic after that show.
These days we all seem to be back to our old selves in the humor and fun departments. Even our dog has returned to her old play habits.
With precision of a Swiss watch, our dog Sophie, emerges from under my desk at 5:30 pm to tell us that the end of the work day has come, she wants to ask, “are you through yet?” She does a magnificent dog stretch with her front end elongated and then her back. She then lets her back end plop down and she looks at us with her I-am-a-dog-watch-me-exert-mymind-control-on-you look. We are supposed to stop work and start playing. Sometimes if we don’t pay close enough attention she will go get a toy and bring it to us wagging it happily in her mouth luring us with a play growl. If the workday is running long, we tell her she has to wait. Even then when we break for the day there there is still play time. After-work play includes playing tug with toys and racing back and forth doing “bed aerobics.” Bed aerobics involves racing back and forth from the office to the bedroom and leaping onto the bed waiting for us to tap on the bed like a drum. When we do, off she goes, back and forth. When she was young she could make 8 or 10 laps. Usually these days she makes 3 or 4. I am not sure what got into her today but she made so many laps I could not even count them.
She was racing around having a great time leaping on the bed and I drumming on it so she would leap off. She raced across the hall and took a big leap. I was standing by the bed to be the drummer. Just as she moved left as I moved right. SMACK. Fifty pounds of dog hurtling thought the air is like being hit with a small truck. My glasses flew across the bed, she fell from the mid-air to the floor and I toppled onto the bed. After a dazed moment she took off to take another mighty leap at the bed.
I was struck at her willingness to take another leap of fun after having just had a disjointed and jarring leap just moments before. I learned from her to have trust in good things. “It was fun in the past and I will trust that it will be again.” When we get stuck in those melancholy days when everything seems to revolve around the fire we have to trust that mighty leap toward fun.