Golden Moments

As most of you know I’m buried under a book deadline, and having  asthma attacks that pretty much knock me flat.

I know why and they’re tied to anxiety about family members, some of them health related.  But that doesn’t diminish the stress.

And yet there are golden moments.

What are golden moments?  When you get older, and have lived enough, you find most of your memories slide into this kind of haze “this type of day” is much like another type of day.  Unless you’re ten (and even then) if I ask you what you did on Thursday last week, you’re likely to get a blank.

Golden moments are the times you remember, the ones that stand out.  They’re not always what you’d expect, and they’re often not something that would work for anyone else.

My most obvious one, that comes to mind before even receiving the Prometheus, is the day we discovered Lakeside amusement park.  For those not in the area, it’s a seedy amusement park.  Some days, if they dropped a bomb in that killed all those who spoke Spanish as a primary language, only my family would be left alive.

But it’s perfect for us, because I hate most rides.  (Inner ear is wonky.  Being spun or shaken makes me deeply uncomfortable.  I don’t pay to be uncomfortable.)  We often had a coupon to get in free, the kids and Dan would get all day passes to the rides (the last time we went some years ago it was $15, but when we started going I think it was $7) And I got $2 worth of tickets to the merry go round and the train, which we did at the end of the day.

That first time we discovered the park — because I watched a documentary on the wooden roller coaster — it was all magical.  it was a perfect day, just warm enough.  The boys were five and two.  They’d never been to an amusement park.  We stayed there till ten pm and then had late dinner. I’ll always remember that day, and the way the kids laughed (they still had baby-laugh.)

Another is when I was very depressed and Dan told me to get my coat, and we drove (then an hour and a half) for a walk in City Park.  It was unexpected, it was fun, it was very romantic.

The other was this week, when Dan said “Are you making a great deal of headway?”

I said, no.  He said “Come on.”  So we went out in his convertible (older than the boys, I think.)  And we went out for a walk by the lake and a light dinner (appetizers and salad. ) The sun was up, the day was warm, and I was with my love.  That too is a golden moment.

Today is a rather difficult day, as I had an asthma attack this morning, and I’m trying to clean and work at the same time, which is like juggling chainsaws.  But we had a nice leisurely brunch together, and well… it might still turn out to be a golden moment.

This last week made me all too aware that not only time passes, but that we never know how much we have.  I don’t know if there’s eternity, but I have a gut feeling there is.  Surely the golden moments go with us.

Go make your own.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

59 responses to “Golden Moments

  1. Larry Patterson

    Your memories and your attitude make me smile. Thanks.

  2. This was a good thing to read. I hope the asthma attacks lay off soon.

  3. Thanks for the reminder of the golden moments. Need these more often than not, and it’s good to remember the good times and fun times.

  4. I very much know those moments. The “poets and dreamers” moments (citing Our Town.)

  5. Professor Badness

    Sometimes, those “Golden Moments” are all we have to cling to.
    Thank you for this post. It’s been a down day, but you’ve reminded me of the good times. The times we work to have again.

  6. Drawing last night on the coach I was laying down my ink lines and my two-year old son rested his head on my right shoulder. My nine-month old daughter crawled over and pulled herself onto her feet using my right arm.

    I’m right handed.

    The smooth flowing lines became a little wobbly but I persevered and kept inking. Then the boy decided he wanted to help and kept trying to grab the brush pen as the girl decided she wanted to climb up on my lap. Wrestling and tickling and cuddling and arguing ensued (and a lot of ‘no, no, daddy needs his arm’ was stated).

    Eventually I finished and the lines might not have been as nice as they could have been, and it might have taken me a bit longer.

    But my son was fascinated by daddy drawing. And my daughter wanted to be with daddy and was contentedly asleep on my lap (I’d lost the battle to keep her off).

    My wife asked why I was chuckling when she came down to get the finished pieces for coloring and I just told her it was because I was happy.

    Thank you for sharing a golden moment with us, Sarah. Hope you don’t mind I wanted to share my own too.

    Steve

    • After that day at the amusement park, we got in the car with the boys to look for a place to eat and Marshall, who was then two, fell asleep with his head against me, all heavy and hot, like kids’ heads are. That is paradise.

    • Once, after working all night from a storm, I came in late Saturday morning. I hadn’t laid down long before the youngest crawled in.

      “Daddy? Daddy? Daddy?”
      “What?”
      “You sleeping?”
      “No”
      Then two little arms went up.
      Of course, I picked the youngest up, and put off sleeping for later.

      That’s the thing about golden moments. You don’t know when they’re going to happen.

  7. I recall one night when I was in my late teens, driving along the West Virginia Turnpike at two in the morning, turning off the car lights and driving by the light of the stars.

    Of course, I probably went off the road and died horribly, which would explain my hellish punning.

  8. AnimeNerd3000

    I’m still very young but I know what you mean by ‘Golden Moments’. I’m happy that when times are tough you can still have fun with Mr. Dan and your kids 😉
    I’ll be praying for you and I hope everything works out ok.

  9. Let’s see…

    Taking my dad flying in my shiny new airplane. Even if we did have to land almost immediately because I didn’t like the looks of that thunderstorm.

    Walking out onto the set of Jimmy Kimmel Live! for real, the first time.

    Doing the end-of-season bit with the other audition stars on America’s Got Talent. (No, not the audition itself. Don’t get me started on that.)

    And before that, the “wow” I got from a friend who judged the masquerade where I wore the TRON costume for the first time.

    The visit a bunch of us made to the offices of Warner Brothers Animation in 1995 to meet with the folks who made Animaniacs.

    Watching a few thousand people start a bike ride at 2 AM through the streets of Houston on an October Sunday morning, and knowing i’d managed to pull everything together to make it happen.

    We all have them…just need to remember them every now and then. Thanks for reminding us of that.

    So tell us about Dan’s convertible already.

  10. Poking my head out of the open top hatch on a B-17 in flight.
    Watching dying storms turn crimson, gold, and ivory as the sun rose.
    An October night in Yellowstone when the stars were so close I could touch them.
    My parents telling me how much they enjoyed my first history book.

  11. I went back and forth on commenting on this, because I didn’t want to come across as self-pitying. I’m really not. But I read descriptions of moments like this and I think, “I don’t have those.”

    It’s not that I don’t do things that I enjoy, it’s just that those things aren’t important to me. They aren’t what motivate me or keep me going, and they aren’t things that I consider terribly significant to my life.

    I’m motivated by duty. That’s what’s important to me. And when I consider that, there aren’t particular moments of accomplishment that come to mind, but the long term, day after day, knowledge of being true to my responsibilities that gives me satisfaction.

    The kind of “golden moment” is a set bit in fiction, usually put in when a character is thinking about a relationship that is about to be imperiled, and I don’t get those bits. You know the scenes I mean (Stephen King loves them) where Dad is looking across the church at his daughter about to get married and “He remembered a day when he took her fishing and she ate a frog, her eyes bright with wonder as she chomped the wriggling amphibian…”

    I’m sorry, but, *yawn*. I’m guessing it’s just me, but my mind doesn’t work that way. Again, I’m not looking for sympathy or wanting to denigrate what is evidently a common and powerful phenomenon, just to point out that it isn’t a universal one.

    • I can’t imagine the kid chomping a frog being a golden moment. LOL. I said it’s different for everyone. It could be just sitting quietly by the seaside.

      • Now, Sarah……

        Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen all day……

        to you OR the frog.

      • Well, whatever it is that kids and daddies do when they fish. My point is that I don’t have those kinds of memories–my memories don’t tend to have any emotional component. I do have feelings but they aren’t important to me the way they seem to be to other people.

        • Don’t think I know of any little girls eating live frogs with wonder in their eyes.

          Or of little girls eating live frogs…period. No matter what happens to be in their eyes.

          **squints at Misha**

          • Well, whatever parent-child bonding over nature thing you want to substitute. My whole point was that I hate such “golden moment” flashbacks in fiction because they seem so contrived and saccharine.

            *sigh* This always happens when I try to emulate what you humans call “humor”.

  12. The day my Father told me I reminded him of HIS Father.

    The day my Mother spent watching EXCALIBER and helping my Wife sew tudor wedding garb.

    Watching my Wife and Father bond watching football.

  13. Christopher M. Chupik

    Playing with our new puppy. He tumbled off the bed, then jumped to his feet, looked up at us, and barked once. That was probably his first fall.

  14. Each of us has golden moments. Today was the first day since my surgery last month that I was actually able to chew food (and the jaws aren’t lined up yet). Five Burger King Fries and a bit of Korean junk food was a big thing today.

    Sarah, we love you because you write about real life. Even in your fiction, which I will admit is one of my escapes. And you give us hope.

  15. Um, does anyone have the e-mail for guest posts? I carefully wrote it down and then carefully cleaned up the Desk of Death and can’t find that particular bit of paper.

  16. My son deciding he wanted to “puddle” inside my jacket. While I was wearing it. At zoolights in the snow. One of my favorites and one I drag out often now that he is officially taller than me.

  17. Think it’s been more false gold moments lately. (really, work is making me start to consider capital crimes), but mine are there.

    Driving with my then 6 yr old nephew while he watched The Holy Grail . . . 5 times back to back (fast forwarded the Castle Anthrax bits).

    Trip through West Virginia on my Honda ST1100.
    The trip to visit the folks in Florida the first time they stayed there, and meeting the step nieces for the first time, getting ‘chased’ out of the water by a manatee, later an actual shark that we didn’t see. Some Hispanic guys catching 2 foot long hammerhead shark and helping them get it off the hook and back into the water.

    Summers spent living in a tent in the back yard (I had to go to church with ma on sunday, and had to be home for supper at 6pm. end of summer rules)

    Later summer when I got my motorcycle, and almost lived on it (same rules applied as above)

    and others, more private.

    • …work is making me start to consider capital crimes…

      Orvan: $PERSON’s lack-of-forethought is starting to make me ponder evil things. Things like organosphosphate lollipops.

      BigBoss: Alright, we do not want you pondering that sort of thing.

      (Usually I only suggest cyanoacrylate lollipops, for the excessively noisy.)

      • Between outright lies, letting slip that instead of hiring someone else for a two position job they’d rather I work 60+ hours a week, and the general and total lack of how a job should actually be done, massive layers of dirt and dust, .. . I’ll not get started.
        Lets put it this way:
        I worked 54 hours with another guy working 48 hours on my orders, and we have gotten almost caught up. Totally catching up is impossible as I have not enough room or equipment to work around stuff in process, but on hold for QC, stuff to come in, thaw out, etc.But except for one item on a hold, we finally have nothing to be made for orders that is over due, except 3 @ 40lbs pails of a product the customer requested Thursday be added to an existing order that had just been covered with the last of on hand goods. More is made, but is in QC, and the 2 sent will cover them for the time until the 32 are made from Friday’s work.
        There is still almost 30 hours of work behind schedule though they are for safety stock, not outstanding orders.
        Oh, and these were scheduled for last week, in full knowledge they could in no way be even started by their due dates, so they make me look like I am ignoring work given to me.
        Well, I am, because if you admit you were not planning to get the position filled and yet giving work orders that need ignoring to get paying orders filled, I will in clear conscience not give a flying feck about any of the work (sorry good customers, I’m this close][ to walking away and ruining myself financially. (If I quit right now, I owe possibly more than my bank accounts and 401k cashed out could cover, I’ve not looked, because if it does I would be that much more tempted)

        Hmm . . .cigars dipped in a product that when heated gives off Hydrogen Fluoride gas . . . too obvious?

  18. One must recognize the golden moments – even when everything seems to be a rather different color.

    I had some of those at one of the most terrible times of my life – driving to Kansas to bury my mother. Yet… We stopped at White Sands on the way up, at Carlsbad Caverns on the way back (and were snowed on there). Her young grandchildren reminded me both of those times that life can also be very, very good.

  19. My body was doing its best to kill me and I was spending an inordinate amount of time at hospital. In the midst of all this The Spouse and The Daughter made arrangements to take me on an over-night trip to Richmond so I could meet an on-line friend. Now that is a Diamond set in Rose Gold.

  20. Couldn’t find anywhere else to comment, .hepa filter vacuum, dust masks, cleaning lady while you go outside, allergy skin tests, altitude, pets. Wear a dust mask for a couple of days. Is there a difference, other than looks you get?
    I know you have tried tried medical tests but try again, it is costing you money in writing time.
    don’t clean so much.

    • Sounds a bit like the instructions for some optical work (mirror grinding & polishing)… Before starting a new, finer grade of grit or beginning polishing, clean everything but good. And then.. let settled particles lie, lest they get into something important.

    • As soon as the writing pays enough I’ll get a cleaning lady and go to the library while she’s cleaning.

    • we also need to bathe Havelock-cat once a month. it’s not the dander, it’s that he picks up household dust.

      • Once a month Athena T. Cat goes to the “cat-spa” to get de-dusted and de-dandered. She comes back lighter, thinner, and peeved. I shudder to think what the sewer downstream of the cat-wash looks like inside.

        • When Ashbutt hits his full growth, I think we may have to follow in the example you’ve set. Something about other Maine Coon Owners saying they blow their coats just like malamutes do…

          I teased Peter that he needs to write a series that sells so well he can keep me in the style to which I wish to become accustomed – a cleaning lady once a week to assist in de-furring the place would be incredibly posh, but extraordinarily helpful.

          He teased right back that I most clearly needed to produce such a thing myself, and when is my next book coming out? *sigh*

    • But most of what’s causing this is emotional stress. But it has to do with both extended families and nuclear family and can’t be avoided.

  21. The moment I told my mother about how I was thinking about going back to school for something that had nothing to do with putting words on a page of any type.

    She just looked at me and said, “You’re a writer.”

    Just that. It was that moment more than any others that told me how much she believed in me and my writing.

    I’m damn proud of how that’s where my income comes from these days. Not fiction, but I’m writing and paying my bills, so I’ll take it. 😀

  22. Dorothy Grant

    One reason I always try to immediately say “Yes!” or “Coming!” when my Darling Husband asks “Have you got a minute?” is because there’s a good chance we’ll end up having one of these moments.

    The other was the realization that I’m not always going to have him, and there’s going to be a hard cutoff that’ll leave years on the other side where I’d give anything to have him interrupt me again.

    • The year my dad was dying from lung cancer, my mom made sure they had as many of those “someday” moments as they could. The last of the really good ones was when he looked at the newspaper and said, It looks like the waterfalls at Yosemite are good this year. She basically bundled him in the car the next day and they did what they could over a weekend (which meant a lot more for her than for him.) It was after they got back that they got the news that the cancer was spreading. But damned if she didn’t grab the moments as she could.

      (Lung cancer sucks.)

  23. Off-topic even for off-topic-land…

    I am pondering… I have a gift card.. I can order ONE shirt (roughly.. redbubble) with it.
    Taurus symbol?
    Minotaur label?
    “Centaur in the streets, Minotaur in the sheets” (whatever that’s supposed to mean) gag?
    Other?

    • …this is where I wish I was witty and quippy, but I’ll have to await others more suited to short form humour. Good luck!

      • I found one that seems properly humorous without being offensive (to me or anyone else, unless they have issues bound into volumes and…) A minotaur-shaped maze or “The Labyrinth in the Minotaur.” I expect I’ll being ordering soon – sometime when I am bit more awake.

  24. My most recent “golden moments” are events with family or friends. A fannish wedding for friends, the surprise 40th anniversary party for my parents, this past Christmas Eve with more kin than normal, etc.