My friend Rose and I talk on the phone several times a week. She has three kids and a busy life and we usually catch up when she's in car line or when I'm driving to a meeting or when we're both cooking dinner before our husbands get home. Once in a while we can talk for 45 minutes, but usually it's five or ten minutes here and there, and depending which of her kids are around, she has to spell half of her end of the conversation which always makes me laugh.
Anyway, Rose called me early the other morning and when I answered she said, "Oh I'm sorry! Did I interrupt you in the midst of some kitchen installation?"
When I told her that I was driving to work, she said, "Oh, it sounds like you're sawing!"
Her comment officially completes a trifecta of construction tools that my car, and its very loud, rattling dashboard, has been mistaken for. I drive a lot for work so I have my car's Bluetooth set up, and I've also been asked by unsuspecting callers if I was using a drill, or if I was standing near a jackhammer.
I took a video to give you an idea of the noise. This is how it sounds when I'm parked in the driveway.
It gets even louder when I accelerate and/or drive up a hill.
Then, according to my sister, it transitions from construction tools right into helicopter category.
All that to say, Rose and I talked for a few minutes about how lately it seems like so many moments in life are built up and staged and documented for Facebook and Instagram. There's so much pressure to make things fancy and perfect. We started talking about the most vivid memories from our childhoods. I have lots of awesome memories from big events growing up, like going to Disney World and vacations at the lake every summer.
But I also remember random little things. For example, I got a Shark watch when I was little and thought it was the coolest thing in the world. It was also water resistant to 200 meters which was perfect in case I took up deep sea diving in the second grade. My dad showed my how to set the alarm, and I selected 8:12 p.m. I have no idea why that time was significant, but the alarm went off every night at 8:12. Now when I look at the clock at 8:12 I always think of my Shark watch.
On big days, like report card day, we got to have a backwards dinner. Chips Ahoy and milk before dinner was the ultimate day in my world. I was living large.
One weekend, when my dad and brother went fishing, my mom took me to J.C. Penney and I got a ribbed turtleneck sweater. It was blue and magenta and lime green striped, and I have no idea why that particular day and sweater stands out to me, but I loved it.
When I was about 22, I woke up and dramatically and JOKINGLY declared that I wish I could have cedar plank salmon and broccoli and alfredo noodles for dinner with strawberry shortcake for dessert. That night, when my parents told me dinner was ready, I walked downstairs to the exact menu I'd wished for and it was like I hit the jackpot.
One year my mom and I made Christmas cookies with a homemade red glaze. I remember dripping red frosting all over the booklet for Amy Grant's Home for Christmas CD, which I had out on the table so I could follow along with the lyrics, OBVIOUSLY. I bet if you looked at the CD booklet at my parents' house you would still see some red frosting stained on the pages.
Growing up, watching the opening ceremonies for the Olympics was a major event. One year I watched at my cousin Jackie's house and my Poppop was there. As the parade of nations began, we were so excited that the USA would be near the beginning because America starts with A. My Poppop broke the news that we would be near the end, because, United States of. And then when the winter Olympics were in Salt Lake City in 2002, right after 9/11, we watched the opening ceremonies and we all stood right there in our family room as they played the National Anthem.
With the exception of the fancy salmon dinner, none of those things were photographed or set up to be big events. But I remember them all. So in 2018 I'm going to try to remember that the big things in life are great, but the little things sure are are great too.
Like people thinking my car is a construction tool.