Thursday, February 4, 2010

This Time

A few weeks ago, I began preparing for this coming Saturday, the day when I was supposed to drive to Penn State University. Penn State is my alma mater, and my family had planned to enjoy watching my son's college swim team (Lehigh University) compete against PSU. In preparation for this event, I'd made all the necessary arrangements: the dog was going to be placed in a good home for two nights, I'd cancelled all other commitments for that particular weekend, and I'd previously purchased a cute valentine and lots of bagged candy to give to my son when we'd see him and chat together after the meet. As the last several days crept by, anticipating seeing Patrick and watching him compete from the tall bleachers inside the "nat" (the abbreviation we used to use for the natatorium, or pool) were images that I'd happily replayed in my mind several times a day. I was so ready to go!

I hadn't been back to PSU in more than 25 years, since graduation. The student life I enjoyed back then seems like a different age in my life; I am definitely a different person now than I was at that time. Lately, and in an odd sort of way, I'd found myself really looking forward to seeing Patrick compete at the school where I studied, ate, slept, (yes, even partied) walked to classes, and lived for four years.

Now, due to the predicted storm which is supposed to dump anywhere from one to two feet of the snow beginning tomorrow morning, I find myself once again preparing, preparing not to go to the swim meet. The extra milk, bread and eggs are tucked away, just in case the blizzard makes traveling impossible. My husband's already stowed several gallons of water in the garage, just in case the pump's electrical system which delivers the energy to our well (yes, we obtain our water via a deep well, as antiquated as it may sound) is frozen again we're unable to get water. Plenty of food's here. Heat's not a problem; our propane heater works fine. I think we've got it all covered.

We're as prepared for this "blizzard" as anyone can be. Normally, I'd be feeling a sense of childlike happiness, or just plain joy, in waking up to find layers upon layers of snow. This time is different. This time I really longed to see Patrick, to watch him compete, to cheer, ironically, for the "away team," (or Patrick's team), and to relish in the college memories that I have tucked away in my brain from days gone by.

Maybe the swim meet will be postponed. But the chance that it will be rescheduled to take place 0n a weekend when we're all available to travel the two-and-a-half- hour ride is slim.

So now, as I prepare for something quite different, namely this inconvenient storm, I also need to prepare myself for missing out on a weekend of memories.

This time will be different, however.

This time, as disappointed as I am in not seeing my son compete at my alma mater, I'll remember to thank God that I am here, right now, with my two daughters and my husband, and that we are all well. We're all well, and although life throws us a curve ball sometimes and it smashes our plans, I need to keep in mind that as trite as it sounds, I'm just happy to be here. Right now, and at this time, I am so very happy to be here.

So, bring on the snow. I am as so ready!

1 comment:

Debby said...

No, no, NO, NO, NO! Snow! Don't listen to Karen. Don't come! Argggh!