The memories they hold and the stories they tell. On the fireplace mantle I have a piece of driftwood under the picture of the seagull swooping down over the sand. It’s a grayish brown in color and straight with rounded ends. Nothing spectacular visually but it has a story.
I was working for Northern Outdoors Whitewater Rafting at the Forks, Maine on weekends and driving school bus during the week. On this day, I was carrying food down to the halfway point on the Kennebec River like the other bus drivers for the different rafting companies. A friend of mine, Brenda Gleason was there for New England Whitewater. She and I drove school bus together as well. We had time on our hands waiting for the rafts when I pulled the driftwood from the river. Brenda asked me what was bothering me. Typical me, said everything was fine and dandy. That was always my answer when I didn’t want to talk about things.
I put the piece of driftwood in my bus. I didn’t think about the driftwood again until much later. It was gone when I went to retrieve it after my shift. No surprise. At that time in my life, nothing went as as it was supposed to be.
Monday morning I unlocked my school bus and there on the dash of my bus was the missing driftwood with fine and dandy wood burned along the side. I didn’t see Brenda until later in the day. I thanked her for making my driftwood log special.
That piece of driftwood traveled in my Pontiac Catalina, then my Ford truck and then my Dodge Neon before becoming a part of beach décor. I’m guilty of still saying when I don’t want to talk… I’m fine and dandy.
I’m not sure where it will be displayed in our next home but I know it definitely going with us.
“Memory is the diary we all carry about with us.”― Oscar Wilde