Facebook has a handy little year in review for users. Looking through mine and one that you can generate for InstaGram, I found them a little dissatisfying. They didn’t really seem to capture all that was good and bad and huge about 2013. The big things were included, like my new job, but as I’ve pulled away from the internet more and more, I have less of a record of what has happened. I’m not particularly happy about this. It’s not necessary to document everything. There are, after all, only so many memories that you can truly cherish. But I’ve always liked being able to look back on an ultimately inconsequential moment.
There are also constant hums that I’ve become more aware of this year that are impossible to condense and articulate into a tweet or a stats update or even a blog post. My anxiety about basically everything has been pretty tough to contend with. I have really complicated feelings about key people in my life and I can’t tell if they’re valid or not. My kid is undeniably growing up now and I feel hyper-aware of the time that he still spends in childhood. Any time he cuddles with me or drops the front of tough adolescent that he tries on here and there, I breathe a sigh of relief that I haven’t missed it all yet.
Anyway, neither the Facebook or InstaGram reviews contained any moments from July, and I realized that that month contained one of my favorite nights of this year, one that I think/hope that I’ll always remember. Just in case, I don’t, though…
On July 11th, there was a brief but significant thunderstorm in the very early evening. The power went out and we went through the normal stages of reaction: sitting very still for a minute, sighing when it becomes clear that it wasn’t a momentary outage, pacing carefully.
Since it was still light out, the three of us sat on the porch and admired the pretty, midsummer sunset.
We could hear our neighbors shouting their theories about the power outage at each other. So-and-so a few blocks away still has power. Did a transformer blow? What did Duquesne Light say? Have you seen one of their trucks go by? How much stuff do you have in the freezer?
I wanted a popsicle and got some to cool us all down.
It started to get really dark and we needed some source of light. I gathered an odd assortment of scented candles and clustered them on the porch. They were mostly Christmas-related scents. It was odd to smell cedar and sugar cookies mixed with summer stickiness and rain.
After a few hours, we were getting hungry and frustrated. An alert chimed on my phone letting me know that the Pirates game had finally started after being delayed for the power outage. “We could go to the Pirate game,” I suggested half-jokingly. But the husband pointed out that at least there would be power and we could get something to eat.
“Let’s do it.”
We rushed over to the park and purchased bleacher seats. The crowd was pretty sparse since it was a weeknight and the game was just starting at 11 p.m.
I held our seats as the husband and the kid went to the bathroom. A girl coming up the aisle in a sequined skull shirt caught my eye. I quickly noticed that her date was Mayor Luke Ravenstahl.
The game turned out to be great. The Pirates added one more win to what would ultimately be their best season in 20 years. And the three of us did something spontaneous. We went on a tiny adventure and escaped life for awhile.