We ended up coming home through a much less populated area than we normally do. In general I do not like to drive through hours and hours of farmland but on that Saturday it was cathartic.
As we approached one small town we started seeing signs for the World's Largest Wind Chime. I'd seen the signs before but during a trip I could not take time away from. I told Husband I'd always wanted to see them. He joined in my search for the turn off immediately.
You need to know something about Husband. He doesn't do this kind of stuff. Normally he'd say he needed to get home because there were chores waiting (there were) or he was sick of being in the car with fighting kids (we both were) or that he just wasn't interested. So when the sign came that showed the chimes one block from where we were and he turned I was pleasantly surprised.
I immediately assumed we'd drive by, look out the window, and head home. You know what they say about assuming......they're right. He pulled up to the curb and we all piled out to get a good, up close look at the giant, 55 foot tall chimes. We pulled the cord to ring the chimes. We took pictures in front of the chimes. Husband and I even took our first ever cell phone selfie together.
I wanted to go in the little cafe that owns the chimes and take a look around. Again, to my surprise, Husband agreed and we all filed in. It was such a sweet little place crammed full of chimes and items that begin with the letter "W." We all loved it. (I promise, Husband is not the jerk he sometimes comes across as in stories like this. He really is kind and thoughtful. I just assumed he wouldn't want any part of this particular adventure. I was wrong.)
And before we left, Husband bought me a big chime of my own. A 68 inch tall, 5 note, G-scale chime now hangs in the yard near my swing in memory of my grandfather. They sound like soft church bells.
I don't need anything to remind me of my grandfather but it's nice to have something just the same. The sounds that come from my chime are quiet and peaceful. They are understated and don't draw a great deal of attention. In that way, they are much like my Grandpa was. They will forever bring him to mind without breaking my heart. They are a happy reminder of days spent swinging on the porch between him and Grandma.
I miss him. But I'm better. This is the first time in days my eyes have brimmed with tears. The tears aren't for him, they're for me, my grandmother, my father, and the rest of us still here.