Sunday was graced with much welcome sunshine—a perfect day to take the aunt for a little drive—something we used to do quite often. I’ve learned to mix business with pleasure, so to speak, toting her along while I do a few errands. I get a couple things crossed off my list, and she enjoys the drive and taking in the view.
“I’m all mixed up,” she says to me (for the umpteenth time today). And she is, and I can do nothing less than agree, but I’m quick to remind her that the things she’s mixed up about aren’t the end of the world and hey—look at all the things you do remember! Once we’re on our way, the mixed-up-ness seems to diminish, and she’s immersed in the world around her. She amazes me the way she remembers the names of flowers and trees, remembers that some years magnolia trees barely had a chance to bloom before being blown apart by spring winds, remembers that not every year is a good one for daffodils (but this one is).
After my errands were done, we stopped at Scoops on Beverly for an ice cream cone. As usual, she’s stymied by the fashion sense of kids today, so an ice cream shop in a walking district was quite entertaining. Several short-clad tween girls meandered in and out, remnants of blue lollipops lining their lips—the prudence of short shorts on a spring day is always an interesting topic of conversation.
On our way home, I stopped to let my dog out and grabbed my backpack, so I could catch up on some work at Barnes & Noble. When I got back to the car, she was pointing out the window at something. I tossed my stuff in the back and asked her what she was looking at.
“There’s a cone over there,” she pointed out the window again.
I assumed I’d run over a construction cone and ran around to check. Nope, no orange cone—just pine cones littering the walkway and hillside. She doesn’t miss a trick! I picked up a couple in good condition and handed them to her—a little souvenir from our day out.
It’s not lost on me how easily I am distracted from the present moment, my thoughts focused on errands and work. Hanging with my aunt is always a good reminder to slow down and see–to just linger in the moment that presents itself.
Soon enough, we were back at her place. Thoughts of magnolia trees and daffodils were quickly crowded out by the return of confusion—what day is it? What time is it? What should I be doing now? She may not remember our drive, and tomorrow she may ask me where the pine cones came from. But we had this moment today.