by Diana Day
While nesting and neatening last night, I found two wooden nickels.
Just before going on a trip by myself, without my husband and our two-and-a-half-year old daughters, I tend to nest.
I think it’s a morbid impulse. I neaten and spruce things up so that if something tragic happens to me, I’ll leave behind a tranquil domestic scene as a reminder of me or as a comfort — I was here. Dwayne, I was your wife. Dinah and Djuna, I was your mother. I loved you all more than you’ll ever know.
I realize that a tranquil domestic scene is not typical when I am here, so I don’t know how my family will suddenly associate neatness and classy candle arrangements with me if I am gone. And I also realize that I have less chance of being tragically killed on an airplane than I do navigating the Los Angeles freeways like I do every day, but there I go, neatening anyway.
The wooden nickels I found during last night’s pre-trip domestic binge are souveniers from the “Train Ride to Santa” at Griffith Park’s Travel Town. We went for the first time this past year and loved it.
It was a nighttime event in a place we only ever go in the daytime, so that alone made it magical. We got to ride the little train to Santa’s Workshop through lights, fake snow and holiday music. Somehow the Travel Town staff had turned the desert into a winter wonderland.
We could redeem the wooden nickels for free train rides at Travel Town, but I don’t think we’ll ever use them for that. Not now, anyway. Finding them so suddenly made my heart leap into my throat.
I put them in my pocket, to take with me.