It's funny what little things in our lives can take us back, remind us of experiences and memories that are so very precious.
I made oatmeal this morning, "oats" as my grandparents call them. As they cooked, their smell began to fill the house and I was transported back in time, back to beloved memories at my grandparents cabin in the Bartlett Hills outside Talkeetna.
Such a peaceful, happy place, my grandparents built it and lived there with no running water or electricity for 30 years - their dream retirement. Oh how I have loved going there! As a child I could run free, free to play and imagine underneath the sun and the big spruce trees. As a teen, I could look out over the valley and at the mountains and think and ponder and just be nearly all day. Such a beautiful place filled with good times and happiness.
Every single time we would visit over the years, my grandma would make oats in the morning. My sisters and I loved to sprinkle them with sugar and douse them with milk and eat as much as we could. The oats were one (of many) of our favorite things about visiting.
In 2009, in their mid-eighties, my grandparents made the very hard decision to leave their home and move to the city, as their homestead lifestyle had become too hard to keep up with at that point.
We knew they made the best decision, and we love having them so much closer. But it is so bittersweet, for we can never again visit that happy place where we've made so many beautiful memories. The cabin still stands where they built it, but the place of my memories will never be again. And so, as I sit here and eat my oats, I am filled for a moment with overwhelming sadness, grieving for something that is forever lost to me, yet thankful for the memories I have to help soften the blow.
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