The very first movie I ever remember going to happened when we lived in Australia, and I was just about seven years old. For some reason, Dad decided that the entire family of the 8 of us should drive to Brisbane, and see a Disney movie on the big screen. The title of the film was “Greyfriars Bobby,” not one of Disney’s better known films, but it was about a terrier who made friends with an old shepherd, and then the shepherd died. I don’t remember much of the film except for the scene after the shepherd’s death, and the little terrier sat on top of his grave while the rain poured down. Utterly heartbreaking. Thanks, Dad.
The only neat part about the trip was of course the snack bar. It was then that I remember Dad buying us little paper container shaped like a triangle – like the ones you sometimes get when you get sour cream at a restaurant. Anyway, there was a little place to stab a straw through, and we enjoyed drinking the orange drink that was inside. It was delightful.
Over the years, when we were living in South Carolina on base, we would frequently head to the movie theater for the Saturday matinee, which normally showed classics like Romulus and Remus, or Hercules, or some other such great movie. For 25 cents, we would get admission (10 cents) and then buy a package of Sweet tart candies that often we finished before the movie started. Thinking back now, I’m sure Mom thought it was a cheap investment to have a quiet Saturday afternoon…
Of course, like most Americans of my age, we went to hundreds of movies over the years, from Star Wars to Conan the Barbarian, to any others we would find – mostly matinees, of course. There, with popcorn, a drink and a small candy that all cost more than the price of the ticket, I would sit spellbound, carried into the movie itself, having my eardrums blasted by the loud sounds.
When the pandemic hit, of course everything shut down. The huge theaters sat dark and silent, and we wondered if and when they would every open again. Months and months passed, and then somehow, without much fanfare or hardly an announcement, the movies were back on. I guess we ran Covid out of the theaters somehow.
I haven’t been to a movie since early in 2020. It either wasn’t safe, or wasn’t worth going to, I guess. Finally, however, yesterday son Adam announced that he and Aaron were going to the movies today, and wanted to know if Mom and I wanted to go along (read – pay for probably everything….). Cheri said sure, and then said no, and then said why not, and then said probably not… this is a normal way of making decisions by my beloved, and I have learned to wait until the back and forth seemed to have ended. Finally, this morning, she was firm – nope, not going to go. Until ten minutes later when she agreed that it might be fun, and let’s go ahead and do it.
So – in a couple of hours, we will make our way back to the theater, in time to watch the latest James Bond movie. We will get there ridiculously early, and get the tickets, and then head to the snack bar for popcorn and candy. Not Aaron, though – he has learned over the years that if he eats or drinks anything, he will have to get up in the middle of the movie and go to the bathroom, so he puts himself on a restricted diet for those 2 ½ hours.
It should be fun, and perhaps offer us a little bit back on the normal setting of things. Everything has continued to be not that way, that across the country, it almost appears that there is a pervading sadness that still exists. Lots of things of course are back the way they were, but there are still lots of activities and such that simply do not seem to exist, or are so with huge restrictions, like going out to eat. It’s time for us to start bringing joy back into the normal parts of our lives, and to get rid of the doom like edges that this insidious disease has brought. That’s my hope at least, and my intention for how our family is able to operate. We are going to the movies! Hope it’s worth it…
Thought for the day: Every storm eventually runs out of rain. Our best work, sometimes, is waiting for the peek of the sun from behind the clouds that darken our lives.
After 43 years of ministry, Randy Cross lived his "fourth life" and shared about retirement, living boldly and intentionally in our world. To be sure, there was some North Dakota thrown in.