Sunday, February 3, 2013

Smiles in the Sky

It’s February.  Love is in the air. Or at least that is what Hallmark, FTD and all the candy makers would have us believe. Each of us probably has a little bit of the hopeless romantic in us, even if we don’t wish to admit it. But for those of us not yet struck by cupid’s arrow or perhaps shot in the back by that arrow, February is a long month.
Even so, I am just as sucked into the February love theme as anyone, and I will feature a few crazy love stories this month. Love is everywhere. I’ll start with my parents.
Mom and dad met in 1952 at Tufts University. Dad was immediately smitten, mom was more slowly convinced. They were married in 1954 and settled in Springfield, Massachusetts. Together they had four children, and raised a fifth by choice and love.

I always knew how much my parents loved each other. They were open in their affection for each other and for all of us. What I didn’t know was how difficult it was for them to be lovers with five kids running around all the time. Not until just recently.
In April of 2011 I was one of the feature tellers at the Storytelling Festival of the Carolina’s and told my “Skinny Dipping, Cops & Clergy” story which went on to win a humorist story competition in South Carolina and became the feature story on my first CD. My mother was in the audience that day and I heard her laughter above all other laughs in the audience.
Later that night in the hotel room my mother shared her “skinny dipping” story with my sister and me. It was priceless.
As young parents of five children my parents became creative in their escapes from us to enjoy “quality couple time”. They loved to canoe and often would take off for an afternoon paddle. On one particularly beautiful, unusually warm fall day they escaped to Plum Island Wildlife Sanctuary to paddle through the marsh lands. They packed a picnic and eventually found a sand bar to enjoy their lunch.

As the sun shone down on them they decided a swim would be nice. Swimming turned into skinny dipping. Skinny dipping turned into snuggling on the sandbar with the sun warming their skin. Snuggling turned into . . .
It was a wonderful afternoon. So intent were they on gazing into each other’s eyes, they did not notice the sightseeing plane circling above them until the plane flew away leaving a huge smiley face in the sky.
As my 80 year old mother revealed her story, her eyes twinkled and my sister and I laughed, and laughed! Priceless. Imagine my surprise this past summer when I found a journal my father kept of our summer adventures in Nova Scotia (see Aug/Sept 2012 story posts). Throughout the journal there were entries that read, “went canoeing with Faith today . . .  J 
I knew just what that meant. Love surrounds me. I am blessed.

. . . and yes, this story was mom and dad approved for posting. They're still smiling . . .