It was beautiful out. Blue skies, sunshine, a light breeze blowing. I sat on the porch at the farm and watched two ruby-throated hummingbirds flitting about the lilac bush. It was a lovely few moments suspended in time. I filled the tank on the riding lawn mower, set to give the yard a buzz. Five minutes later I was driving home in a driving rain. Thunder was rolling and the wipers could barely keep up with what was falling from the sky. In one of those odd little coincidences life is full of the song “Five More Minutes by Scotty McCreery was playing on the truck’s radio. I’m not entirely sure he got it right though. It seems five would never be enough. Not just for mowing grass, but for many things.
The song goes through life that does seem to fly by – beginning with eight-year-olds fishing in the creek and mama calling them to supper. They want five more minutes to fish. I’m not sure that children have that concept. When I was a child, it seemed the days were stretched out before me in an unending line. Time was my friend. On my side. If I couldn’t fish five more minutes today there was always tomorrow, right? It wasn’t ‘til I’d reached a certain age that I began to do that backward glance. Kids are often in a hurry it seems to me. In a hurry to grow up, wear makeup, get a driver’s license, graduate from high school, be legal to drink alcohol, get married, have kids. Though perhaps today’s youth are different – it’s been a while – but it was like we were hellbent on moving forward as fast as we could when I was young. McCreery’s song mentions a pause button. I’d take a rewind over a pause.
He covers the teen years as well. A good night kiss on the front porch a few minutes past curfew. Who doesn’t remember that first “love”, whether the memory is good or bad or he/she is the person you see every morning across the breakfast table? The second teen is a couple years older feeling the “lasts” that come for seniors in high school – in the song it’s the last football game – but there are so many possible others, last concert, last prom, last match/basket/high jump. In retrospect if feels as if once my kids entered high school time sped up even more than usual and as they were freshmen I glanced away, for no more than a minute, it couldn’t have been more than a minute, and when I looked back they were packing for college. Don’t blink (a different song, but it fits).
The last verse talks about parting with an older loved one, in this case grandpa. That strikes home. And five more minutes would never be enough for me. We went to the local cemetery just a few days ago and put flowers out on the gravesites of loved ones passed. Some, such as my grandparents and Rick’s grandparents and great-grandparents, we never even knew. But it’s a part of a longstanding family tradition for us to do this remembrance on Memorial Day, that was once called Decoration Day, and place flowers there. As I pushed the red, white and blue arrangement into the damp earth I thought “What I wouldn’t give to have more time with Uncle Johnny.” He had so many stories in him, I know there are some I never heard and I’m fairly certain he felt the same about mine. Dear Uncle Rupe, gone 15 years already – wish we could talk about his silly pet chipmunk, or go out for fish fry so he could complain about the French fries and thus get more to take home. Mom and Dad, Rick’s mom. I have no regrets over the time I spent with any of them, no feeling that I neglected them in any way, but I loved them and they loved me and now we can’t sit for five minutes and talk about the weather. Or the latest calf that was born. Or how the garden is doing. Or “geez Mom, how did you fix that dessert?” on the telephone.
As the song says, time does roll by, the clock don’t stop – so don’t waste a moment. Nope, five would never be enough for me. I enjoy the song though.