Smoke detectors never go off at a convenient time or in places that you can immediately notice.
That irritating beep is always just far enough away for you to wonder which room it is and though you are grateful that smoke/flames don’t make it obvious it is still a pain.
There is one here that I haven’t discovered yet because the noise cancelling headphones made it hard to discern if I had heard it for real or if it was part of the music.
Add the delay between beeps and suddenly it is an extended moment of cocking my head to the side like a dog that just heard something.
Reminds me a bit of times when I have written and heard nothing back. When I silently ask about the letter I wrote you…
There is a teenage girl in a mini-med school program who calls me Abba on the phone. She is having a great time and is speaking at light speed while trying to fill me in on all that is going on.
Got my Airpods in so I can see the pictures she has sent and listen to her explanation.
For a moment the girl on the phone sounds like the five year-old she was so many years ago and then reality wipes out the past and there is a girl in a white lab coat o on the screen.
There is joy in her voice and and a broad smile washes across my own face.
She wanted to do this last year but the pandemic forced change upon her as it did to so many others.
“Dad, there are girls from all over, some from Texas, California, New York and Maryland. I am definitely going to stay in touch with a bunch of them.”
I know something about these summer programs and the influence they can have upon young lives, this is simply awesome.
My Facebook feed continues to be filled with pictures of other kids at camp or on Israel programs and I remember. Some will come back with boyfriends or girlfriends and all will come back with lifelong friends.
Some of them will find new keepers of secrets and trusts.
Secrets and trusts are prevalent in my mind today because during more genealogy work I may have come upon more relatives who were unknown because they were given up for adoption.
There were relatives who got pregnant or got women pregnant and whose offspring were given up.
I hold no judgment here because there are lots of good reasons why such things can happen.
All I have is curiosity about verifying such stories and then asking what the backstory is.
Sometimes the children of those who were adopted have reached out and together we have tried to decipher the puzzles we have been presented with.
But those who knew for certain are dead and it is unclear if they shared their secret with anyone.
Perhaps we’ll never know and we’ll have to be ok with that. I am pretty good at accepting not knowing in many things, but there are a few that gnaw at me like a dog going after a bone.
Turn on some Procol Harum and join a traveler through time and space upon a journey you cannot take with any other.
Open the books and read until you need another and then sift through the card catalog knowing sometimes the Dewey decimal system is more reliable than a bad WiFi signal.
Knowledge is power but only if you understand how to harness that which you have so that you can build upon it.
I remember visiting that city by the bay when turning 10 sounded like it would take a thousand years and hearing a record play this song.
Men with long with hair and others who said they ought not to do that.
I hear the echoes of mothers talking about Vietnam and can move forward a handful of years to comments about Reagan not being like Kennedy because the world didn’t stop.
Fast forward to the present and I hear people talking about the chaos of the recent past and it juxtaposes with some of what I heard as a kid.
I was about 11 when Lennon was murdered and almost 12 when Hinckley shot Reagan. Old enough to remember people trying to connect the Kennedys and Dr. King with Lennon and maybe Reagan too.
We knew people who went to Jonestown and vets who came back from Vietnam not quite right.
It is the same but different now or so I hear.
But in the midst of it all life keeps going and I hear and see the joy of teenage girls and boys in the midst of great adventures.
It is quite a time, now isn’t it. Walk the line if you will but don’t be afraid to color outside it a little bit too.
Sometimes you have to let go to live.