July 11, 2010

saving the past for the future

A couple of weeks back, I talked a little bit about my early college experience. You may recall that one of the main things that I remembered about that stage in my life was my relationship with my now-husband (then-boyfriend) and all the drama that it entailed.

Let's just get one thing straight: Distance can be a pain in the ass.

I have been described (by my now-husband) as being "cold" and "uncaring." I'd like to change the semantics of that description to "rational" and "level-headed." While I certainly had feelings for him during those four years of our lives (heck, I ended up marrying him, didn't I?), I wasn't the type of person to wallow in sorrow. I knew that I had to experience college for what it was ... It was only going to happen once. If that meant being out with friends instead of fielding his phone calls, or studying with (GASP!) boys, or (double GASP!) having a boy as a lab partner, then that was what I had to do. For about three solid years, these little "experiences" that I wanted to endure (and, please notice that not one of them included drinking heavily so as to lose all control of my actions), were thorns in now-husband's side. He had a very difficult time dealing with the fact that I, seemingly, did not miss him one bit and was just fine without him. This, very obviously, wasn't true ... I was just being my rational, level-headed self, and working through the emotions I was feeling internally.

The one thing that always got me through our tough spots was a mental image that would consistently pop up in my mind. It was a snapshot of how I wanted my future to be. A moment in time that I just couldn't shake, and that required now-husband to make possible. No, it wasn't my wedding day (or night), or even the face of my child ... It was a family outing, the perfect day, if you will.

Since I can remember, my family has been vacationing at Conneaut Lake, Pennsylvania. For almost as long as he can remember, now-husband's family has been vacationing there, too. To say that place holds a special place in both of our hearts would be an understatement ... We were married there. The old Hotel and Park brings each of us back to that simpler time of our childhood, and reminds us that we have been "connected" to each other for much longer than we have been a couple.

So, on bad days, or after particularly crappy phone calls, I would close my eyes and imagine myself, sitting on a bench in front of the Park's feature ride: The Blue Streak. In this scenario, I'd be big and pregnant, and entertaining another child (a toddler) in a stroller while I watched now-husband and our oldest son climbing the platform up to the old coaster. Now-husband would be smiling from ear-to-ear, ready to introduce his first child to the joys of the old Blue Streak, and oldest son would wave nervously, giddy with anticipation for what was to come. I'd point out my two "older boys" to my toddler and we would wave until they disappeared to the front of the line, ready to board the cars. We would wait for the coaster's train to pull back into the station, and I would watch oldest son come running down the exit ramp, excitedly retelling every hill and valley ... Now-husband wouldn't be far behind, grinning with pride, happy that he was able to pass on this little piece of our history.

As it stands, I have already accomplished part one of this imaginary scenario ... Funny thing that I ended up with my boy. Lucky for us, the old Park (while it has had its rough spots, as well), has managed to continue on. Unfortunately, being a very old roller coaster, the Blue Streak is in need of some major repairs before it can become operational again. My sister-in-law noticed that the Trustees of the Park have entered a Blue Streak Restoration project through "Pepsi Refresh" and brought it to my attention. All that must happen for the Trustees to get the money they are asking for, is to have enough people vote to put the Blue Streak in the top ten by the end of the month.

If anyone reading this blog would feel so inclined, it would be awesome and mean a lot to me ... I've already produced that oldest son I'd been dreaming about. It would be a shame if he never got to experience the thrills of the old Blue Streak.

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