You can't cook a year twice.
How old were you when you realized that you would never repeat the same year? When did you realize that the calendar was always going forward and you'd never see the same four numbers at the top of the page?
I was 10.
I had this Mickey Mouse calendar that hung on the back of my bedroom door. Every month was a different picture of Mickey and his friends. I marked on it, colored on it, crossed days off of it, and documented the days I got to go to the library with Mom or fishing with Dad.
So this particular year, (1981) I turned 10 in late December, celebrated Christmas and drifted into the New Year blissfully unaware of what day or week it was until it was time to go back to school. I went to flip my Mickey Mouse Calendar and discovered there wasn't a January. December 1981 was the end. I unhooked it from the little tack in my door and carried my beloved calendar into the kitchen.
"The calendar ended."
"Umm, yes. 1981 is over."
"So. We don't need this one anymore?"
My mother stopped stirring whatever was in the pot, and said, "No you won't need it. Just throw it away."
"Throw it away? We'll *never* need it again? There won't *ever* be a reason to keep 1981?"
My mom shook her head and turned back to the stove. "You've got your memories, but 1981 is done. Why don't you keep it for the pictures?"
I didn't want to keep it for the *pictures* I wanted to keep it to be able to reuse my 1981 calendar. Why couldn't we run through the rest of the decade and then start over again with 1980. What difference would it make? I could save my calendar for 10 years then rotate it back in to my room's decor. Sure it would change but Mickey was a classic. It was the first year I realized I could never have back.
Time Hop to 2015.
My daughter loves Chinese food. I think she gets it from my Dad. God rest his sweet soul. The two of them could put away more Chinese food than you could imagine possible for an 80-something and a pre-teen something.
One day in early January 2015, I decided to treat my beautiful daughter with some take out Chinese food. It was just 'us girls' and twenty five dollars worth of Chinese food would satisfy at least two meals with leftovers. When we went to the local eatery to pick up our phone-in order, the young girl working the counter smiled at my daughter and handed her a bamboo calendar.
"Here a calendar. Take. It's good."
My daughter won the lottery. In the next 15 minutes, whe was going to inhale Chinese food like a Hoover vaccuum and now in her prized possession was an *authentic* bamboo Chinese calendar with the restaurant's name at the bottom. I thought it was chintzy but she couldn't stop grinning. She was happy. For an entire year she admired her calendar which was proudly displayed on her closet door. Not the inside of her closet door, the OUTSIDE - like facing her room and anyone who happened to go in there. The bright colors, the Chinese Zodiac and the wide eyed doll characters hanging on the paper thin bamboo and did not blend into the rest of her pre-teen design but she loved it about as much as fried rice.
Now, here we are. Sometime over 2016's New Year's weekend, I was stirring a pot on the stove. My daughter walks into the kitchen and unrolls her Chinese calendar. "Mom, this calendar....Will we need it again? Because I don't want to throw it away. I don't want it to be the end."
Seeds to Share:
Ecclesiastes 1:6 - The wind blows to the south and turns to the north; round and round it goes, ever returning on its course