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By: Veteran Dallas Wilson
Me, and everyone else, are quite aware that we are living as part of a fast paced world, and everything we do seems to be moving at “warp speed.” Especially during the holiday season, but it is especially important that we take some personal time to simply slow time down and enjoy this remarkable time of year.
I would like to share my most recent experience with you; in which some unfortunate people decided not to take precious time to enjoy life’s simple pleasure, and continued to operate at “warp speed.”
The weekend of December 5th, 2020, I was fortunate enough to have my two youngest grandchildren come to our home for a weekend visit.
They arrived on Friday and were home when I got off work, helping their Mema cook supper. They were happily working in the kitchen to prepare the evening meal and making banana bread.
They eagerly and enthusiastically asked me if we could play UNO once supper was finished. Of course, I said, “Yes,” as the whole family loves to play this game.
After we cleared the kitchen table of food and plates we began playing UNO. We laughed, teased, and enjoyed ourselves before finally retiring to our beds with promises of things to come the next day.
We awoke the next day with me gathering all the materials for decorating the yard, house, and tree for Christmas. Around ten o’clock they went with their Mema to get much needed haircuts. I worked on some decorating projects that they had left for me.
They returned about two hours later, and we again worked on our decorations. We finished our tasks and then I surprised them by saying we would go to Sherman to eat and then go see the Christmas lights on display at Loy Lake Park.
We cleaned up, showered, dressed and were soon on our way.
We ate, then made our way to the park with Mema and Papa telling them the history of the lights; how we sometimes came here when they were “babies,” and how much we enjoyed the lights.
When we got to the park, we were pleasantly surprised to discover that there were new additions to the lights. We marveled at how colorful everything was.
I asked Mema to turn off the headlights of the car so we could better enjoy the lights, and we turned the radio on to the required FM station to listen to the narrator as he spoke of the lights, played Christmas music, and we joined in with the sights and songs of the themed lights.
There was a new display which themed the 12 Days of Christmas. I was charged with identifying the different themes, “because Papa knows everything,” and once the themed light was identified, everyone would then sing the song.
Later, the station would play the music to the light theme but we were ahead of the song when this happened and sometimes had to correct our rendition of “our” song.
We were about halfway through the themed lights/song when a vehicle came roaring up behind us with me asking Mema to pull over to the side of the road so the people could pass by.
We pulled over and watched as three cars speed past us and rushed through the park.
Unnoticed by the grandchildren, I watched as these people rushed through the park as we marveled at the colorful lights, singing grandchildren, and excited exclamations of children and adults at the sights we saw.
To make a long story short, several cars passed us by as we slowly drove through the park. We saw all the colorful lights, talked of what we saw, reminisced about things done in the past, enjoyed each other’s company, teased one another, sang different songs, and simply enjoyed what we were sharing.
As a vehicle passed us, I thought sadly to myself how much they were missing and then commented, to no one in particular, that many people were so caught up in getting “somewhere” that they missed the most important thing that was right in front of them.
Now… The moment that we are in and what is happening, now.
I looked at everyone who was in the car and saw happy faces, the enjoyment, the smiles, listening to the singing, the sweet voices, and the thought that I have another happy memory to reflect upon again and again, if I so choose.
I am a richer man for having this experience and I will treasure this, along with so much more, forever.
Tis the season, I hope all of you take the time to reflect back upon this year, and remember all the good that you have enjoyed in your life this year past.
This year has been challenging for us in so many ways, but it has given us some things to be grateful for.
We have those that are still with us, we have our freedom, our memories, the promise that we can make more and better memories, and the promise of a better future.
Slow down when you can, and simply enjoy your life. Tis the season…