The day before the big day

Todays Daily Prompt asked us what we do the day before a big day, and one of the suggested “big days” was our wedding day.  Since a coworker of mine is getting married this weekend, I have recently been dreamily reliving the days of my own wedding, just, like 6 months ago… (I just realized, 6 months yesterday!) and I hope she has a good a time as I did.

The week before we went to Disney to get married was stressful, but not too much. The big decisions were already made and settled, we had a wedding planner handling things in Orlando.  The actual day before, my husband and I bashed around Magic Kingdom with a couple of friends. These friends had never been to Disney World before, so it was awesome to show them things for the first time.

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My favorite meal from youth? Ones that have emotional importance – it depends. Actually, no, it would probably have to be the one mom would make for us for St. Nicholas day. St. Nicholas Day, December 6th, was always the precursor, in my child mind, to Christmas. I put my shoes out by the fire place and got gold chocolate coins. But the day before, St. Nicholas Eve was also like a holiday in my house.

That was the day, when I was little, that mom and I decorated the house for Christmas. She would put up the big bulky tree and we would put candles and garland around the house, and ornaments up.  It may also have been the day we started playing Christmas music, though that may have always been Thanksgiving.

But to decorate that day, she would always lay out a spread of our favorite kinds of foods: summer sausage and cheese and crackers, crackers, veggies, maybe some chocolates, and – this I remember distinctively – ham rolled up around cream cheese and pickle, cut up and pierced with a toothpick. That was the most distinctive and interesting flavor to me.

*Writing 101: Day 10

Remember the time… First kiss?

For the fair month of May, I remember my very first kiss. It was magic – the perfect first kiss for any teenage girl.

He was floppy haired and funny, and considered relatively cool among band kids. We’d been “going out” for a week, holding hands in the hallway and leaning on each other after practice.

One afternoon, he walked me home, about a mile, a mile and a half from his house. We hung out in my carpeted kitchen in roller-footed chairs, drinking Cokes. As the evening fell and his time to leave approached, the unspoken expectation rose.

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A Lone Tear

We just got our wedding pictures this week – they’re awesome.

People had warned that I wouldn’t remember my wedding day, but I thought I would be shielded from that memory loss given the fact that my wedding day and reception day are separate.

Looking at the photos, I realize every0ne was right, despite the short ceremony. But I do have one memory.

The single tear that fell from my husband’s eye as we were saying our vows.

My Surprisingly Super and Sweet 16

In this past week’s Downton Abbey, as our dear Mr. Carson said, in the best quote of the episode, “The business of life is the acquisition of memories; in the end that’s all there is.” <sigh>

And to that end, I roast chestnuts over the memory fires about my 16th birthday. As it happens, I was not really deserving of the wonderful celebration and events around that year, which may even make them more special.

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Song as a Memory Finder

This week, there is a prompt  about a song that really affects us, and while I don’t have the obsession over music that some people have, I do have one song that… I don’t know.  I have a visceral reaction to it.  The first 20 seconds of Pearl Jam’s  “Nothingman,” affects me like I didn’t know a song could. Even as I listen right now, as I sit here and write this… My heart clutches and it’s hard to breathe. I close my eyes and shudder a bit. I feel like a balloon with the air suddenly sucked out.

No matter where I am or what I’m doing, when I hear this song, I’m immediately back in a darkened house in the dark wee hours of the morning. I was a different person that night and at that point in my life. Though I didn’t know it then, it was the lowest I would ever be – the night before the accident. The accident that nearly killed me. The accident I would give anything to have not had.

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Daily Prompt: Memories for Sale

I came home from the flea market and threw my keys on the table.  After setting up a pot of coffee, I rifled through the “grab bag” of albums I purchased from one of the record tables. I played the albums one by one, selecting some to give away, and others to keep. I placed an unlabeled record on the player, and sat immobile through the piece. It was the instrumental theme song for the 1967 Casino Royale.

I don’t have many good memories of my father, so I treasure this one I have of him playing the trumpet. This piece in particular, I remember hearing often.

He was in the basement in front of his wire music stand where the sheet music lay. I would sit on the top of the stairs, leaning in the doorway twirling the long fibers of the shag carpet. Or I would sit in the kitchen playing jacks or reading in the living room on our scratchy brown couch.

When he finished playing and came back upstairs, I went downstairs, to the corner where his trumpet case lay closed.  I opened the case, picked it up, and pretended to play, standing like I’d seen him do.  It was still warm from his hands and breath. It had the most distinctive smell – the smell of metal and breath and valve oil.

Even at that age, my imagination was caught, that over so many years, so many people had smelled the same smell as I could, in such places as New York clubs during the Prohibition or christmas in Dickensian London.