Sometimes I can't remember....
....I hear a song, and look for the memories attached...
....or drive down a street and find a time that we did together...
The drive interrupted by a new business. Or road improvements. Or new homes.
And my mind drifts - this song...? Did Kim hear this one? Was she here when this group put this out? Lately, it's One Republic. Or Train. Any of her favorites. When I hear them, I think that it was one of Kim's songs and wait for where we were when we first heard it together. When nothing comes, I think 'Kim would have liked this tune'...
Here's another one - convenience stores. Yes, gas stations with mini markets! When we lived in Pennsylvania, it seemed 7-11 was dominant. And we loved the Slurpees. I liked the collectible cups that they would put out. The 1988 men's Olympic Basketball team was one of my favorite. I had accumulated a trunk full of them. Our cabinets were stuffed with them.
"Dave?" Kim would begin. Gently. "Maybe we could get rid of some of the older cups? To make room?" "But they are perfect size for iced tea!" I'd appeal. I think I still have a Michael Jordan cup somewhere!
When we moved here, Circle K was like 7-11 on steroids. We loved the drink selection. And chili jalapeno hot dogs!?!?!? We probably went to a Circle K every other day. And, I'm convinced, we were at every Circle K in Tucson over the time that we lived here!
Now there is QT. I'm sure that Kim had never been. And I know that she would have loved them! Fresh brewed iced tea! At a convenience store!?!?! And in several flavors, including mango, my current favorite and Kim loved all things mango. The newer QT's feature a snack bar that have fantastic soft pretzels and real cappuccino!
The employees great you as you enter. And, after checking out, they say 'See you next time!'. The bambini love it. Cody has discovered their make-your-own milk shake machine and turned Tonio into a fan. Autumn like's the selection of bottled lemonade. They have the Tapatio/Lime potato chips that Breanna got me hooked on.
But when I'm driving around, not really thinking about anything...these things come up.
Road improvements...Houghton corridor widening project. A running joke between Kim and I. On the books when we moved here in 1994. We'd often comment that if only they had begun before they built the Civano, then Mesquite Ranch, the Desert Willow Estates (our development), then Sierra Morado - it would have been a much quicker, easier and less expensive project, since it was only desert on both sides of the road. The project runs approximately 10 miles from Houghton and I-10 on the southern end of the project to Tanque Verde and Houghton on the north end. She would have gotten a chuckle and found irony in the city deciding to start the project, seemingly randomly, in the not quite middle between Valencia and Irvington
There is no doubt that Kim had a great appreciation for life and the experiences that we shared. She lived each day to the fullest, no regrets. Yet...as I witness 'progress' and change, I wonder what experience they would have brought to us. Or, in some cases, I struggle to remember if maybe we had some shared memories in what I was passing or seeing.
Movies are another. When we watch a movie together on Netflix, or on t.v., I think "Kim and I saw this...or did we?"
It has become almost a game with me, trying to decipher WK (With Kim) and AK (After Kim).
Best friends!! Brinley and Tonio building castles..
Cody trips the Merry-Go-Round!
The bambini continue to fill my days...so thankful for them, so blessed to have them.
Cuz when I was a kid, there were these inflatable guys called 'bop bags'. Sometimes they were clowns, like Bozo. Sometimes you could find them as super heroes like Batman. Or Scooby Doo. They were almost pear shaped and the bottom has some sort of sand or something to make it heavier.
You could punch it.
And it would come back up.
You could kick it.
And it would come back up.
You could karate chop it.
And, you guessed it, it would come back up....