A Time to Dream

Carol By Carol, 23rd Aug 2010 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Short Stories

A middle aged woman and her husband decide to move when their children get married. But their loft holds memories of her first love.

A Time to Dream

Over the last three years, our life has been absolutely hectic. From the moment they are born, your children seem to take precedence in your life, and I wouldn’t want it any other way really, but sometimes it would be nice to sit down and say. ” Stop the world, I want to get off!”

I’m so lucky with Bill, he’s always been a very laid back and placid man, I’m the scatty and excitable one, so during thirty years of marriage, he has been the calming influence in my life. I really don’t know how I would have survived without him, and it’s true that as you get older, you grow together, we have , and now that the children have fled the nest, this is our time, we’re not old yet, and have years together ahead of us.
Naturally it was the children, as I call them, although Jamie is twenty eight, and Lisa is twenty five, hardly children really, who were the cause of our hectic lifestyle during the last three years. First of all Jamie got married to Susan, mind you they had been together for five years.

They moved into their flat three years ago, and it wasn’t that far away, so we usually saw them about once a week. Then they decided to tie the knot, and now after a year of marriage, it seems we are going to be grandparents, which I think is very exciting. It doesn’t make me feel old, fifty two is nothing these days, and I shall be young enough to have lots of fun with the little one as it grows up.

It seemed that no sooner was Jamie married, then Lisa and Dan wanted to follow suit. They had been at school together, childhood sweethearts, so it wasn’t any great surprise. Lisa lived at home until she got married, and we never knew when we’d see her, she was always dashing in and out of the house like a whirlwind, and it was always a job to keep up with her. Not that we minded, as her job at the local dress shop wasn’t exactly well paid, so she couldn’t really have afforded a flat on her own. I knew her Dad was glad that she hadn’t got a flat with Dan because he was a little bit old fashioned about these things. It might be the normal thing to do nowadays, and he hadn’t commented when Jamie and Sarah had done it, but Lisa was a whole different ball game, she was his only daughter, his little girl, and he still felt protective towards her.
.
So after a short engagement, it was decided that the wedding would take place in September. That gave us barely six months to arrange it all, but I knew we could do it. I was swept away with the excitement of it all, and what fun it had been going out with Lisa to help her choose her dress, and then find a pretty colour for her two young cousins , who were going to be bridesmaids, to wear. It didn’t stop there, the church was booked, and the hall for the reception, photographers, flowers, and then the catering had to be arranged.

Bill had an insurance maturing that year, so we were able to splash out a bit, and I’m so glad we did. When I look at the photos of our beautiful blonde daughter, with her flushed cheeks, and blue eyes sparkling with happiness on her special day, it fills me with happiness. Two weddings in two years, so if I’m honest, now it’s all over, I’m left feeling a little bit flat, if not also a little bit tired.
” Bill, doesn’t this house seem huge now that the kids have gone.” I said, one morning at breakfast. It had been great when they were small, they both had their own bedroom, there was a guest room too, and we turned the other bedroom into a playroom for them.

” Yes, I was thinking that, maybe we should downsize now. We certainly don’t need such a big garden!” Bill said . ” We’ll have more time to go out if we find somewhere with a smaller garden, which won’t take up all our spare time.”

NOW IT WAS TIME TO MOVE ON


” It was great having that extra space down the bottom backing onto the farm when Lisa had her pony,” I said, picturing her riding it when she had been such a little girl. Of course that phase hadn’t lasted for ever, but in recent years we had rented it out. At present it was empty, and overgrown.

So as it was a subject on which we were both agreed, it seemed a good idea to leave our Victorian house for a new modern bungalow. Instead of fighting to control the ivy which insisted on climbing right up to the roof every day, and then there was the webs that the spiders loved to spin on our high ceilings, we would live in a modern bungalow with double glazing and central heating, and just about every modern convenience there was.

We sold our house very quickly, which wasn’t surprising with its wealth of character, and if I felt a few misgivings, it was more about the memories that were stored there. But I reminded myself that we could take our memories with us, and although we wouldn’t be living in the heart of the country any more, we would be waking up each day within sight of the sea, and surrounded by very pretty trees from the nearby woods, so you could say we had landed very firmly on our feet.

The bungalow itself was a dream, with a large spacious kitchen, and a lovely view of the woods. I had been used to an Aga, but I felt I could adapt quite nicely to the new hob and oven, and we now had a dishwasher, a real luxury, as our kitchen had not been large enough for one before. Our bedroom had an en suite bathroom, so we didn’t have to walk up the hall for a bath or shower, and the lounge had an amazing fireplace, it was a marble hearth with a fire that looked real, although it was in fact a gas fire. How nice that Bill wouldn’t have to chop up logs for the fire any more, and I wouldn’t have to fight to keep the dust down, or clear it out. We’d done it all for years, and enjoyed having a real fire, but now we were all set for an easier life, and time to enjoy ourselves.

BUT WHAT SWEET MEMORIES WERE STORED IN THE LOFT

Just before the removal men came in, we started to put everything in boxes, all our bits and pieces, everything that is part of our lives, and that is when Bill remembered the loft.
” We’ve got loads of stuff up there, and we need to clear it all out before we go. Can’t leave it here .”

The loft is somewhere I had never chosen to go into. It was Bill’s storing place, and I knew it would be full of dust and cobwebs, so I never went up the ladder to explore it.
” You bring it down, and I’ll sort it. ” I volunteered, I had to at least show willing. So Bill puffed up and down the ladder, and bringing old forgotten toys, parts of a bike, long since broken, an old bed and mattress, the list could go on, but after he brought that box down, I didn’t notice anything else.

When I opened it, nestling in the bottom was the remains of an old pair of shorts, nothing startling about that, but these were not just any shorts. They were denim, and I must have been about nine years old when I wore them. They had a hole in the seat of them, completely unwearable, and now it seemed that the moths had found them, and were bent on destroying what was left of them.

My memory went back to that very hot summer’s day in 1965. That was a time when children went out to play, computers and dvds weren’t around, and the summer seemed to stretch on for ever, with blue skies, sunshine, and birds singing. The flowers were heavily scented I remember , and I also remember that Clare and I were in the park, swinging away, seeing who could go the fastest. Whilst we were doing it, along he came. He was in our class , but we didn’t take much notice of him, at that age, boys and girls did not get on. He wasn’t going to stop because if he was seen talking to a girl, he would have been ridiculed by his mates, but then I changed all that, by somehow managing to fall off the swing, don’t ask me how. I just remember the bang, and then the pain, as I was on the ground in a tangled heap, whilst Clare was screaming for help.

” I’ll go and get help.! He gasped, and he was gone, but he was soon back with a strong man who turned out to be his dad, and he lifted me up and took me home.
His Dad was nice, and it turned out I had nothing worse than a sprained ankle, and it certainly taught me a lesson about fooling around on swings. Unbeknown to his friends, he continued to visit me until I was better, and this started a friendship that blossomed into a very deep first love.

BILL INTERRUPTED MY REVERIE


“—- What on earth have you got there?” exclaimed Bill, poised on the ladder.
” Well it’s a box full of memories, but now I must throw it away, it’s disintegrating.” I said, coming back to reality with a bang.

Bill gave me a strange look, seeing me lovingly holding what looked like a chewed piece of denim. How could I expect him to remember, he didn’t always notice what I wore now. He certainly wouldn’t remember the shorts I was wearing when I first fell in love with him. Now we were moving, our memories were intact, and our future stretched out before us, warm and inviting

Tags

Bungalow, Family, First Love, House, Loft, Memories, Shorts

Meet the author

author avatar Carol
I am a proud mother and grandmother, and an author. I have had 7 books published. My hobbies are walking, swimming, and playing badminton. I try to raise more awareness of autism with my writing.

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author avatar drelayaraja
24th Aug 2010 (#)

Lovely share ;)

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