April 17, 2007

What it's all about

Last night I watched the news in silent shock as reporters tried to make sense out of the horrible shooting at Virginia Tech that makes no sense to anyone except the man who did it.

Tragic events like this cause me to think about how dear my own children are to me, as I imagine the unthinkable: what if that shooting had happened at my daughter's college and not in Virginia? Nobody is immune from violence. Nobody. I tend to forget that as I live my life day to day, taking for granted the people I value.

Therefore, tonight was even sweeter to me, because I recognize that I'm very lucky that my children are alive and with me today. I got home tonight and found these sticky notes on the door at eye-level:

My daughter and I chose the best sticks we could find from our lilac bush, and while I whittled the ends, the fire was stoked, and soon we were ready to begin. Four people huddled in chairs around the tiny opening of the chiminea. Four hot dogs were secured on four wobbly sticks. Four arms reached toward the flames, vying for the perfect spot to cook each hot dog to perfection.

We ate and knew we'd never tasted better dogs. Then we got down the the most important part of the evening: roasting the perfect marshmallow. Aaaaahhhh, sweet bliss. Is there anything more fun than trying to roast a marshmallow to absolute perfection? My personal favorite is when the entire skin of my marshmallow turns golden tan and bubbles up without turning black. When it's cool enough, I pull the skin off and pop it in my mouth, leaving a smaller, gooey marshmallow center on my stick to be roasted also for a second tasty bite. Mmmmmmmm, good.

Now I have to hit the showers because the smoke in my hair and on my clothes is becoming too much to withstand.

I love when we have impromptu fun like this. What will I do after my kids grow up and quit leaving such sweet notes with great ideas on them??


Beulah said...

That sounds like the best dinner ever. It's those little moments in life that are the most memorable. People get hung up on the perfect vacation, the perfect house, the perfect everything. Sometimes we (all) forget that those tender moments, things like roasting hot dogs... well, that's the good stuff in life.

Jazzy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sideon said...

Marshmellows, by all rights, should scare me, but they don't. We (my family) were camping in southern Utah. My brother and I had our hot dog roasters and we put on our marshmellows and put them over the fire. My brother's caught on fire and he got excited and started flinging the roaster around, trying to put out the fire. The burning marshmellow sailed off the roaster, through the air, and smacked me in the head where it melted the hair on the side of my head in a big gooey blob. Yeah, it was the summer of the shaved head.

My marshmellow preference is the entire outer portion burnt black, and then enjoying the hot, warm, gooey center.

Great, I just drooled all over the keyboard.

Cele said...

Beulah said it and I know I couldn't say it any better.

I like my marshmellow just like Sid does, and preferrably not upside my head.

wry catcher said...

Hmm, I'm not even hormonal and that post totally choked me up. That is so great that you had that spontaneous fun with your kids. I'm sure they will treasure the memories as much as you do.

Marshmallows? I only eat them in Sweet Jesus Rolls, after they've been called forth on the morning of the first baking. Oh, praise jesus, they are RISEN!

C. L. Hanson said...

I know how you feel -- whenever I hear about bad things happening I immediately think about my own kids and how much I cherish them...

Anonymous said...

I appreciate your ability to reflect on tragedy and take away a meaningful message; life is short, sometimes shockingly so; enjoy the little things because in the end they may have been the big things.

Rebecca said...

I'm so glad you wrote this; I felt relaxed and happy just reading about it. What a fun evening.

Sister Mary Lisa said...

Beulah ~ it was fun. Great times around the chiminea. Note to self: invest in one of those round patio fire things so we can be a little safer vs. being so close around that little opening when my youngest starts flinging her marshmallows!

Jazzy ~ I wish you had more time with B. We love and miss you guys too!

Sideon ~ Oh. My. God. That is so scary. Imagine if it had hit your eye! My daughter almost flung hers last night. Yikes.

Cele ~ I don't like when mine are burnt. But many many do.

Wry ~ Just the mere mention of your Sweet Jesus Rolls makes me smile.

Chanson ~ it's one of the things mothers can't seem to help doing, huh?

Phaedrus ~ thanks. Life really is short, and sometimes I forget that. I think I'll order dessert for lunch now instead! :)

Rebecca ~ I'm glad you enjoyed it. You gonna try it where you are? You haven't lived until you've roasted a marshmallow over an open chiminea!!

Lemon Blossom said...

Aww, how sweet and fun! During the winter S would ask every night if we could light a fire in the hearth and then we'd just sit, watch the fire, and talk. This all makes me want to do something really fun with the family tonight. Thanks for this wonderful post reminding me how lucky I am.

Jazzy said...


Fun Times!!! B. has been working so much lately (no days off due to the loss of his Assistant Manager) that the kids and I barely get to see him anymore.

PS - I heard that J. won his games! Congrats! Give the kids a great big hug and kisses from us!

Love Ya!
Miss Ya!

Liseysmom said...

Sounds like a wonderful evening. I treasure those times with my children too.

CV Rick said...

That sounds like a great evening. My son and I sat one evening at a coffee shop in Washington D.C. They had table-top burners and complete smores kits, Melting marshmallows and chocolate with graham crackers. It was really fun after a great day of going through the Smithsonian.

Just the other day he IM'd me on yahoo to ask me if we could go back there and do it again. I don't think they ever outgrow cool notes left for cool parents.

JulieAnn said...

Thanks SML, this post helped me to feel so warm and fuzzy. It's amazing how tragedy can alter our lives, cause us to put things in perspective. Glad you could recognize that and experience it with your family.

dartman113 said...

To be honest they were the best "Assholes & Lips" we had in a long time.
For those not understanding this comment watch "The Great Outdoors" with John Candy.

Anonymous said...

Memories of camping as a child flooded my mind as I read this post, and the smell of campfire hit me as I sat in the DMV waiting to take a new picture for my DL.