Trying to Sleep

My brain never wants to sleep. My body wants to sleep. My eyelids are closing. But my brain is doing a little dance trying to distract me with a last minute stab at budgeting and last night, a trip down memory lane. When I’m trying to quiet my brain down and get to sleep, I forgo the old sheep counting trick and instead picture myself in a restful place.

I imagine that I’m 7 years old again–outside for the day lying on a carpet of lush, green grass. As I gaze up at a perfectly clear blue sky, I find animals in the clouds. It doesn’t get any more restful than that. Except last night.

Imagining myself as a child reminded me of my Great Aunt Donavie and Uncle R.B. My very first memory of her is driving down to Oregon for a visit. At the time, I was really into making those little nylon potholders. When we arrived, we found her in the bedroom finishing up her makeup. I was intensely curious since my mom never wore makeup. My Uncle R.B. had immediately “legend” status because he had a hook on one arm. He had lost his arm many years earlier in a logging accident.

I haven’t seen my Great Aunt Donavie in many years (and Uncle R.B. since has passed away), but here are a few things I enjoy remembering about her.

  1. How much she loved her little dog, Abear. He was definitely her “baby” and when we arrived at her house, Donavie would inevitably be stealthily feeding him a special treat. I will never forget walking into her kitchen and seeing the dog standing in the cake pan.
  2. The sweet way she made me feel individually special. There are adults who you doubt if they were ever children themselves. Then there are adults who have that special lilt in their voice and way of making a child feel how treasured they are. Donavie was definitely the latter. She made loading the dishwasher fun!
  3. One way Donavie made me feel special is my whispering little secrets to me. Sneaking a little extra ice cream in our bowls (“Don’t tell your dad.”). Making gravy from a powdered mix (“Shh, hide that. Don’t tell.”).
  4. The stories she would tell about being a teenager and handsome Uncle R.B. coming around to woo her.

I don’t have any great moral lesson to pull out of this segment of memories, but I did come across this quote.

“God gave us memories that we might have roses in December.” ~J.M. Barrie, Courage, 1922

The perfume makes me smile.

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