Ahhh… a little Ella playing in the background, the smell of lilacs, homemade candles burning, the sounds of birds, a slight breeze tousling my hair, and the taste of vino on my tongue are things that embody my soul. Perhaps I am what you would call an old soul, perhaps my great Aunt Izzie rubbed off on me a little too well, or perhaps I am more sensitive to the little things in life. Regardless, one thing I know, to be truer than true, is that these simple little things fill my soul with the utmost joy. Surrounded by a world literally obsessed with the next best thing, the newest technology, or tomorrow’s big release, my soul yearns for the old. It desires the forgotten, the tarnished, the past. Whatever happened to the simplicity of music? The lyrical genius of Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Dean Martin or Frank Sinatra? Why are Woody’s the preferred drink of choice to scotch or wine? And whatever happened to a night on the patio, a stiff beverage in hand, listening to the birds, smelling the lilacs and enjoying the breeze? Is today’s world too complex for that?
If you met me, you’d be surprised. I don’t appear to be a romantic on the surface; nor is my loving husband… on the surface. Charlie could be called many things, proper, quiet, goofy, good-looking, business-savvy, or even loyal, but unless you were me, you’d never peg him to be a romantic. But, I would. Underneath it all, very few know our true connection. Sure, we met in a fast-paced industry (I was his flight attendant, he he, I know… how sneaky), but it was in our slowest moments that we fell in love. Please remember, this nostalgic, old-world, side of me isn’t something I had ever exposed to another human being, and truthfully, I never intended to show it to Charlie. But, it just happened, naturally. Between boating, bbqing, and dinners out we found moments where just the two of us spent time together. Sometimes, we would sit on the end of the dock with a glass of wine in hand, just watching the sun set. Other times we would sit back, smelling the flowers, as the hours flew by. Bit by bit we realized we both were old souls trapped in the bodies of young millennials. Yup, I just called myself a millennial. But, never had I ever met someone so smitten with Frank Sinatra. A perfect match for my nostalgic love affair with little ol’ Ella. Charlie doesn’t drink much, he never has, but he would be hard pressed to turn down a really good glass of wine… or bubbly. As much as he loves fast cars, new technology, and watching the hockey game (well, we are Canadian, eh), he truthfully is the most settled outdoors, no phone, no television, and something cold and crisp in hand… and preferably, something a little old on the radio. Charlie was my first step in allowing myself permission to venture into the past.
As I mentioned, I didn’t always allow myself to revel in the past. As a young girl, I was dazzled by things that happened in days passed. I was nostalgic to the makeup, hairstyles, and fashion of young women who had once lived. I yearned for the manners of the past and old rules waiting to be broken. Truthfully, before Charlie, the only time I ever let myself delve into the depths of the past was in the presence of my great Aunt Izzie. What a wonder! That woman was incomparable to the women who exist today. No offence to any of you. I am sure you are all wonderful women, but Izzie was something out of old glamorous Hollywood. Furs, pearls, the world of art, and two stiff fingers of scotch, Izzie was one of a kind. She waited for no man. Trust me, I know because my great Uncle Jamie waited endless, but happily, for her. He worked hard, day in and out, truly fulfilled by her presence. She was fulfilled partially by Jamie, by the world of art, and the rest by upscale fashion. I remember sitting as a young girl and watching Izzie work away in her art studio. She would have a paint brush in one hand, a low-ball glass in the other, and twangy old jazz blasting in the background. The image may seem simple to you, but what that beautiful woman crafted on her blank canvas would have made you think otherwise. I suppose you needed to be there to truly appreciate the visual. At my core, I was who I was meant to be with Izzie. Unfortunately, being my great aunt, Izzie passed when I was a teenager. Far before I was ready for her to part from my life, but in tandem timing to her loving Jamie. They say the great loves never last long without their counterpart, and true to form, Izzie and Jamie lived strict to that sentiment. After Jamie and Izzie passed, my nostalgia shrivelled and fell to the wayside. Sigh, as is that which is life.
Sitting on my back porch, attached to a war times bungalow similar to that which Jamie and Izzie owned, I realize how far I’ve come since meeting Charlie and having Georgia join our family. After Izzie and Jamie passed, I tried desperately to fit in with today’s society, thinking I had to. I never realized the special little place that is carved out for each and every one of us to just be ourselves in life. I tried to keep up with today’s times, the current trends, and was left feeling exasperated. I could never understand how the life that other’s made look so easy, seemed to exhausting to me. Even until now. I supposed at some point I fell into who I am. I’m not sure when I granted myself permission to just be me, but somewhere along the way, it happened. If I had to pinpoint a time, I would say it was the moment when my eyes locked with Charlie’s baby blues. I didn’t know it at the time, but that melting feeling in my gut wasn’t just love. Nope. It also was my preconceived images of today’s woman melting away. Seated in the dark by this point, only the candles and my computer providing light to my darkened image, I finally realize how incredible it feels to slow down. I’ve always claimed to appreciate the smaller things in life, but tonight’s nostalgia brings new meaning to the old sentiment. How many of these little pleasures do you miss in a day? When Jamie was truly sick, overcome with dementia, and in his last moments of life, he used to recall the oddest moments. “Can you smell those roses Izzie?” He used to call out during our visits. “The breeze is nice tonight”. As a teenager, I used to think the old buggar was lost in his memories of Izzie, but now I know better. He wasn’t just lost in Izzie, he was lost in the simplicity of the things that truly made him happy. Thinking back now, it makes me smile. If my last moments of life are spent smelling the lilacs, Ella melodically playing in the background, candlelight dancing in the dark, and Charlie’s voice echoing in my head, I’d say I’d be a happy soul. So, my friends, give yourself permission to be who you are, slow down, and appreciate those little tick tocks as they pass by. You never know what will mean the world to you, until the world is no longer yours for the taking. Oh… And, to answer that begging question, heck no! Today’s world is not too complex for nostalgia of days passed. Why? Because it’s my damn blog, and I say so, that’s why!