Thursday, September 19, 2013

Lights Out!

A few weekends ago, Boo & I took a little trip out to a place called Herron Island where our bestie, Abra, had rented a house, and, another bestie, Laetitia was visiting from Prague.  Herron Island is pretty remote. No stores, no bars, no nothing on the island except for lovely homes & beautiful water views.  Ahhh.

The weekend we were there, the beautiful views were marred by a little bit of rain.  Okay, a lot of rain.  No big deal!  When you've got good friends, a box of wine, and Team Umizoomi on Amazon Prime, you're in good shape.  We spent the day working, reading, playing blocks, cooking, watching bad TV & crappy movies.  (Well, only if you qualify "Dude, Where's My Car" as crappy which I most definitely do not.)  We watched as the rain grew progressively harder, and we cheered as some rare lightening lit up the Pacific Northwest sky.  All in all, it was the kind of relaxing awesomeness you can only achieve on an island with no nothing.

And then it happened.

One of those rare bolts of lightening lit up the sky, and our little island house turned dark & silent.  Yes, the power had gone out.  Shit.

We had just settled in!  We had just queued up Umi on the laptop for Boo.  We had just started a "Project Runway" marathon.  We had just laid out our dinner plans which most definitely required electricity.  And - OH MY GOD - our mobiles weren't working and neither was the WiFi!  This was a true emergency.

After the realization that we could not check Facebook for an unknown amount of time had fully sunk in, we knew what we had to do.  We all took a different floor of the house to search for candles & flashlights.  We pulled out all of Boo's toys & books to keep him entertained.  We lit candles & placed them strategically around the house.  We corked(?) the box of wine.  And for three hours, we talked to each other.  We played pillows with Boo.  We watched the rain.  We weren't distracted by a text or a tweet.  We didn't pause midway through a conversation to check our email.  We didn't sit in silence for a straight 42 minutes while Tim Gunn & Heidi Klum ran commentary.  We enjoyed both the silence & the dark.

But, three hours later, when the electricity popped back on, we all cheered.  We celebrated that we could once again catalog our every move on social.  We rejoined the "Project Runway" marathon, and we all checked our phones.  Boo watched one more episode of Umi before bed.  But it felt a little like the end of something.

The lit candles were the one indication that the power had ever been off.  And, as we drank our boxed wine and watched the flickering of the flames, we made a decision.  The power would go out again the next day too - whether it wanted to or not.

And so, on our last night on the island, we enjoyed a self-imposed 2-hour blackout.  No phones, no WiFi, no TV, no laptops, no lights - just 3 good girlfriends (and a little Boo too), a box of wine, and a cutthroat game of Monopoly.

Sometimes you can just see everything so much better in the dark.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

It Was A Great Day

I found some old journals while cleaning out my closet the other day, and I starting thumbing through a few of them.  There was an undated entry from what I'm guessing was my sophomore year at Albion.  It was titled, "Perfect Moments:  days I would like to live over exactly as they were." (Um, I know I'm talking about myself here, but seriously, how cute is that?)

As I read through the list, it occurred to me that nothing on it was really earth-shattering.  These were not the *BIG* moments, the supposedly life-changing events that mark most of our histories.  Birthdays, graduations, proms, holidays, "firsts", they were not included on the list.  No, instead, the most Perfect Moments of my 19-years were made of simpler stuff.

A particularly perfect sunny August day spent at the lake.  A trip to an amusement park. Wasting away an afternoon doing nothing with my BFF while waiting for what we thought was the "real fun" at a party later that night.  Three college buddies walking for miles, on a road to nowhere, talking about nothing & everything all at the same time.  Spilling secrets while sitting on the side of a lake drinking High Life from a can.  An impromptu dance party under the stars.

I smiled as I read this list.  Some of the Perfect Moments I remembered clear as day.  Others I had to dig deep to place.  Some of them I can't find again at all.  And yet, I'm still smiling.

I'm smiling because I knew then that happiness could be found in a cup of coffee at Silverman's or a shared laugh or a real & true conversation.  I knew that I had something special in the good friends that I had found.  I knew that life's Perfect Moments weren't those that were photographed & stuck in albums or those with their own recurring space on the calendar or those that required a special outfit.  Even at 19, I knew better.

While I've been wasting my time waiting for the "something bigs" and the "super-excitings", the for real Best-Days-Ever are taking place right now.  And suddenly, I know now what I knew then.  Millions of Perfect Moments are happening every day.

Now, let's start up that list again, shall we?