The girls across the street are gone most of the time. They have jobs, go to school, and share custody of three sons with the fathers of the boys. I don’t know when they have time for chores. Being young, though, I’m sure helps.
This morning Terry and I got up at 5, fed the cats, got dressed, and drove across town to a balloon festival. We hadn’t been to one of these in probably 20 years and decided it was time to enjoy the early rise of the colorful balloons across the valley sky. Although we used to attend these on a yearly basis, even pulling Jennifer out of bed and taking her along as a toddler, we seem to be occupied elsewhere on the cool fall mornings on which the event occurs. Or unable to muster the energy to get up so early and make ready to drive across town.
The last event we attended had about 35 balloons. This morning’s liftoff had seven. The ReMax balloon never took off, otherwise there would have been eight sailing across the morning sky. Rather disappointing in the visual sense.
However, I saw an old friend, with her new beau, while we waited for the liftoff. I had not seen Toni for ten or so years. She had worked for the department store that had been the main business partner for the program in which I taught all those many years. She often came to my classroom and pretended to be a customer for my students’ sales presentations. She is wonderfully upbeat and funny and it was great to catch up with her and exchange grandchildren stories. Seeing her made the whole morning worthwhile.
After the balloons lifted off, Terry and I went back to the car and had a snack I had quickly thrown together before leaving–blueberry muffins and apple juice. This is where the big difference over the years comes into play. When Jennifer was tiny, and I was working full time taking care of job and home, I would manage to bake orange rolls and pack juice and coffee for a picnic breakfast we would enjoy while watching the balloons drift overhead. That was after getting her dressed and myself put together. I think I even put on makeup. How did I do that? This morning it was all I could do to throw on clothes and go out the door.
So, I watch my young neighbors and wonder how they get everything done and realize that youth plays a big part in the equation. I accomplished so much at age 30. At 62, it doesn’t all seem as important. I was telling my found-friend Toni about the picnic breakfasts I once made versus the cold muffins of this morning, and we laughed. “Does it matter?” No, I guess it doesn’t.