The heart knows when it is time to let go of "stuff." The hot tub in the backyard had sat unused for a long, long time, filled not only with water but with memories. Crisp, clear, quiet nights, looking up at a sky filled with stars and the Milky Way. The women who had helped get ready for my daughter's wedding taking an hour before bedtime the night before to ease aching muscles, laughing and chattering together in the dark. Best of all, afternoons on winter days, steam rising up, Jack Daniel's in hand, snowflakes piling up on our big cowboy hats, hooting as we dashed buck nekkid back to the house in the frigid air. How we loved those snowy days.
It was time. Yesterday Clay and his friend Eric came up to take the tub to Eric's house. Wild blackberries had overgrown a section by the back door and nearly over the tub so, like it or not, the guys had to cut back the vines first. Shadows were lengthening and the temperature was dropping by the time they loaded the tub and tied it down in the pickup, and they were more than ready for hot and hearty macaroni and cheese with garlicky green beans on the side.
I watched the tub go. I kept the memories.