What makes it into the photo albums and scrapbooks is not necessarily the memories that make it into our mental bank from childhood.  A spur-of-the-moment stop at the Trego Dinner Bell, where I remember eating many lunches with my travel-weary grandparents, made it into the memories, but there were few photos romantic enough to make it into the album.  It was a random joy...the hot beefs with instant mashed potatoes, the homemade apple dumplin's thick with dough and cinnamon, the weak diner coffee and the kids drinking from the half-and-half single serving cups while we waited for our onion rings.  After dinner, outside to "blow the stink off" in the mostly-deserted parking lot on Labor Day evening.  Sisters instructing the younger ones on how to balance along the parking lot stanchions made of cement and railroad ties.  The younger ones abandoning organized play for a through and unorganized running about the entire pitted tar lot, giving chase to a butterfly.

This is how life happens.  Not in the right light.  In the most humble of surroundings.  No special guests.  No special plans.  Herein in the gift that life is, how it goes on without our planning it, how it provides beautiful moments even outside our schedule or even our expectation.

Seeing Grandma on Saturday was like seeing a husk.  She is not here.  Thanks be to Jesus...her spirit is somewhere much more beautiful.  The husk she left reminded us all of the love she gave.

My children will someday remember childhood.  Remember childhood with Aaron and I as parents.  As I stood outside the Trego Dinner Bell, waiting for a camera worthy moment, I realized that these moments, these moments unworthy for the camera, are what will define their memories.  So I snapped some pictures, and thought about my own childhood.  The Trego Dinner Bell pie.  My grandparents, footing the bill every time we stopped.  Love.  How to smother my children in it.  How to recognize the real moments of childhood, and capture them, in my mind and theirs, in my camera and their albums.