Faint breezes caress the tired, dry leaves of the ancient maple in the yard. Russell sits on the front porch in his wool sweater in spite of the early September heat. Arms crossed over his chest and chin lowered, he nods his head gently – remembering picnics at the beach, the sepia photo of himself in front of his first car, the day his first child was born.
The baseball game on the radio fades in and out; Russell leans a little closer. The hint of a smile on his face broadens into a grin as he remembers his first professional baseball game, the pretty girl he took with him and the smell of her perfume. The armed forces commercial brings back the day his son returned from Korea, the scented love letters he received from the army nurse in WWII.
A dog barks in the neighbor’s yard down the street. Russell thinks of the Pekinese dog his daughter adored – the one that followed her everywhere, and the baby duck she nursed back to health after finding it the park with an injured wing. He remembers the sleep overs his daughter had, loud rambunctious laughter ringing through the house til the wee hours; he recalls taking his younger son to baseball practice and the pride he felt when he was offered a spot on the minor league team.
These are the fleeting thoughts that fill his mind this day and every day.
These are the only things worth remembering.