Amazon has a very cool feature they call a “Wish List.” It’s a place to digitally file items you wish for, and though mine is usually filled with books, occasionally something out of the ordinary will creep onto it. (Right now, the odd item is a camera that takes instant photos, because sometimes it’s just nice to hold a paper photo in your hand - instantly.) If and/or when people might be shopping for a gift for you, perhaps because it’s your birthday in few days (hint), they can go to your Wish List, find and item, and presto chango with one quick click it’s on its way to your door.
My Amazon Wish List is fairly sparse in comparison to many others. That’s because I’m not much interested in things you can buy from Amazon. Remember, it wasn’t all that long ago that I spent a lot of time, and effort (emotionally and physically) dispensing with the kinds of things that are so easy to obtain from places like Amazon and it’s equivalents.
No, it’s not stuff I wish for these days. Most of my wishes during this long dreary winter would fall into the "turning back the clock" category, something no one has yet manage to make possible. So on this Thursday, a few days before I slip into the last year of my fiftieth decade, here in completely random order, is my real Wish List...
~To be walking hand in hand with my grandfather, our dog trotting faithfully at his heels, tramping around in the woods behind the first house I remember, carrying my tiny Remington cap gun rifle and “hunting” for rabbits.
~To be riding my purple sting ray bike with the white banana seat and the multi-colored handlebar streamers down the middle of the street, gossiping gaily with my friends Lisa, Jenny, and Jill.
~To have one more conversation with my Dad, a conversation in which I could tell him for sure that I loved him, appreciated him, was sorry if I had ever disappointed him, and that I once and for all understood and forgave him.
~To have a garage big enough to hold every car my husband every loved - from the 1971 black Mach One Mustang, the 1979 Bandit Trans Am, right on through to the 1998 Red WS6 Trans Am - all in pristine condition and ready to drive at a moment’s notice.
~To duplicate in real time a snapshot I found the other day, taken on a sunny Easter morning in the early 1980’s, where I am sitting between my parents on the porch of Western Golf and Country Club, watching my four-year old son in his navy blue Easter suit run around the greens hunting for chocolate eggs.
~To wander through the Victoria Gardens in Niagara Falls, holding hands with my husband on the morning after our wedding, and feel like the luckiest 20 year old girl in the world.
~To come driving down our old street and see Brian’s Grand Prix parked in the driveway and know he was home safe and sound, sitting happily at his computer blasting digital enemies with machine guns in the latest version of Wolfenstein or Duke Nukem.
~To accompany Choralation singing Captain My Captain at State Solo and Ensemble and not have them go flat in the acapella section.
~To spend a winter in our house in Naples. No, I’m going to be greedy, it’s my wish list after all. To spend forever in our house in Naples.
~To see my little Magic - who has become cranky enough in his old age to be banned from the groomer and thus is subject to my ineffectual chopping and shearing - once more time beautifully groomed and bathed as only my friend Tami can do.
~To take my mom shopping at Hudson’s (not Macy’s or even Marshall Fields, which my Detroit friends will understand) and have Maurice Salad for lunch.
I’m sure most of you could put a similar wish list together in a matter of moments, like I just did with this one. It’s often the little things that stand out in our memories, that recall entire eras of our lives, that tug at our heartstrings and make us yearn.
It makes me wonder, of course - what is happening in my life right now that might be on a similar list in 15 or 20 years, when I’m on the brink of 70 or 80 or maybe even 90 years of age? What will I long for in those years? The minor aches, pains, and infirmities my 50’s have ushered in, the gray hairs, the lines around the eyes, the wobbles in the neck (and I do feel bad about my neck, Nora Ephron), those might be extremely appealing as reckoned against changes yet to come. The days that are now sometimes just a little too empty, a little too lonely, may seem full by comparison to unforseen days in the future.
“You can’t wish back time,” my mother has said with a sigh, and I suspect she is recalling her own personal wish list when she says it. You can’t, it’s true. But maybe wishing for the things that were once so precious in your past can help you find what’s precious in the here and now, even if that seems at first look to be “precious little."
With that thought in mind, here is my Present List...
~Having coffee each morning in the sitting nook of our beautiful bedroom, the sun streaming in casting shadow rays across the vaulted ceiling
~A little dark haired boy watching a video of me reading him a story, saying “Pretty cool!” in response.
~Simply knowing said little dark haired boy is in the world, happy, healthy, smart, funny, and exceedingly cute.
~Playing What A Wonderful World with Classical Bells, in full ensemble effect, getting all the nuances and harmonies just right and in perfect synch.
~Taking the ’98 Red TA out for Sunday drives in the summer, wandering hand in hand with my husband through car shows or small towns we happen to find, feeling like the luckiest almost-60 year old in the world.
~Eating home made chicken noodle soup my 88-year old mother still makes for me whenever I’m not feeling well.
These are my gifts for these present days.
Come to think of it, I really couldn’t wish for more.
How about you? What’s on your wish list?