The Joy Of A Good Brrr!

Here we are in Texas having one of the colder winters in memory. Trying to stay warm has become a full-time job for most of us, Gramps and Granny included. There is whining and sniveling going on in all corners and everyone seems to be wishing for summer to come now, not later.

Granted, we are not shoveling our way out of mounds of packed snow or dealing with subzero temperatures, but a little ice and sleet go a long way here in the new Old West. And believe me, we can complain about the weather better than most.

Joy ChooseBut in the midst of all this misery, I have tried to see the joy and wonder of it all. Most of the time I feel as though I’m swimming upstream by myself, but I am determined to make this my year of joy.

So I share with you the happiness of cold that I have discovered.

1 – The joy of winter clothes. I love the feel of sweaters and sweatshirts. Adding scarves is very fashionable now. Fancy socks have become my new passion and joy. Wearing my fuzzy slippers around the house is a real hoot!

2 – The joy of winter foods. I love soups and chili and stews with bread and wine. I love pot roast. I love holiday fare with warm pie ala mode. I love hot apple cider.

3 – The joy of fires in the fireplace. Gramps and I have one every evening on these cold days. Very cozy and romantic! And our new house has a gas starter, which makes it so easy for Gramps.

4 – The joy of Winter Olympics. Love the skating, the skiing, the snowboarding, the luge. Love the whole thing – all of it – from the opening flame lighting to the closing ceremony.

5 – The joy of the cat. I adore having our new kitten Oreo sleep on my lap, purring and providing lots of furry warmth on a cold day. We even take naps together! How wonderful is that!!

6 – The joy of cuddling. Gramps and I tend to sit closer together on a wintery day. We hold hands to keep warm when walking outdoors. And who can say no to a warm snuggly hug?

7 – The joy of candlelight. With these early sunsets and more darkness in the evenings, I use candles more often. I love the look, the feel and the aroma of candles. Sometimes we turn out all the electric lights and just use the fireplace and some candles. What ambience!

8 – The joy of indoors. When grandkids come over and it is too cold for outside fun, we must rely on inside activities. We love board games, puzzles, reading, old movies, new 3D movies, cooking and crafts. Indoors can be as fun as outdoors.

9 – The joy of sightseeing. How about a family slide show or movie night? Or a road trip without getting out of the car? Can’t be beat, really.Joy Oh

So no more whining and moaning for me. I’m having a grand time in this chilly month. I’m finding the joy in the cold! Brrr!!!!

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Flat Shawn Goes To Texas

A few weeks ago Gramps and I got a letter from our grandson Shawn. He said his teacher had just read a great book called “Flat Stanley”, about a fictitious boy named Stanley who was flattened one night by his bulletin board. He becomes only half an inch thick.

In the book, Stanley’s parents mail him to his friend for a vacation because they can’t afford to pay for a plane or train ticket.

Shawn further wrote that he needed our help with a class project related to Flat Stanley. He had enclosed a laminated mini Shawn and asked if we would please take it to several exciting places in our city and take pictures of Flat Shawn enjoying himself, then return the pictures when we were done.

Well, Gramps and I were thrilled to do this for Shawn. We took Flat Shawn everywhere with us for several weeks and took pictures of some great adventures. I wrote a story of all the places and fun times Flat Shawn had. Here it is for you to enjoy.

Flat Shawn Goes To Texas

Flat Shawn lives in Arizona. His grandparents, Granny and Gramps, live in Texas. Flat Shawn decided to visit Granny and Gramps, so he jumped into an envelope and was mailed to Texas. It only took three days to get there, but Flat Shawn was very glad to get out of the envelope and stretch his legs.

Granny and Gramps were so happy to see Flat Shawn. They loved him a lot and wanted him to meet all their friends.

Flat Matt Haircut

First Flat Shawn had to get a haircut and get cleaned up. He wanted to look good for all his new adventures in Texas.

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Then Granny and Gramps took Flat Shawn out to dinner and a movie. He had a cheeseburger, french fries and a soda, his favorite meal. The movie was animated in 3D, so Flat Shawn wore special glasses so he could see everything. Everyone had a wonderful time.

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The next morning Flat Shawn went with Gramps in the car. Gramps let Flat Shawn help steer the car out of the driveway. That was so much fun!

IMG_0927 The two of them went to the car shop to get a new battery. Flat Shawn picked the one he liked the best – the green one. Then he helped Gramps put it in the car.

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While he was at the car shop, Flat Shawn found a truck door someone had left leaning against the wall. Guess what? He fit right inside! How funny was that? Flat Shawn thought it was funny too!

Right Edge w:Flat Matt

The next day Granny and Gramps took Flat Shawn with them to their Bible Study Class. Everyone was so happy to meet Flat Shawn. They all smiled and laughed and gathered around him to make him feel welcome. They even showed him a book in the Bible that had his same middle name – Matthew. How about that?

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Gramps wanted to show Flat Shawn all around his yard and garden. While the two of them were pulling weeds they found some mushrooms that had sprouted up overnight. Flat Shawn had fun pretending they were tables and he was ordering food. He and Gramps laughed and laughed.

Flat Matt & Mason

That evening, Flat Shawn’s cousin Mac came over to visit. He and Flat Shawn are good friends.They were surprised to see that they had the same color shirts on – red! They both played with the Legos and then sat together in the big blue recliner to watch some cartoons. They both liked the “Tom and Jerry” cartoons the best.

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Granny and Gramps love to sing and belong to the church choir. Flat Shawn had a great time with them at choir practice. He especially liked helping Miss Kitty play the organ. She used her fingers and Flat Shawn used his feet. What a team they made!

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After awhile, Flat Shawn wanted to play the piano tool He wasn’t supposed to do that because Miss Kitty was not there. But Flat Shawn thought he could do it by himself. Uh oh! Watch out! The piano lid fell right on Flat Shawn.

No worry! He wasn’t hurt because he’s already flat. Granny and Gramps got him out safe and all was well. That was close! Flat Shawn didn’t play with the piano again after that.

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The next day Gramps and Flat Shawn went looking for a new tractor. Flat Shawn picked his favorite again – the green one! Flat Shawn likes green.

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When they got home, Granny was decorating the house for Halloween. Flat Shawn wanted to help. He put out pumpkins, carved Jack-o-lanterns, made ghosts out of sheets, and hung a skeleton by the front door. The house was all set for Trick or Treaters.

Flat Shawn had so much fun visiting Granny and Gramps. He had lots of memories to take with him back home to Arizona. But right as he was about to jump back in his envelope, Gramps had one more surprise for him – a pet to take home! A gecko named Flat Gary. What a nice going away present is that!

Now Flat Shawn will have company in his envelope on his trip home. Won’t his parents be surprised when he arrives with Flat Gary?

Granny and Gramps hope Flat Shawn comes to Texas again for a visit soon.

Camping With Teenagers

Large-5th-Wheel-RV-and-Truck-by-Larry-PageGramps and I have owned our RV for about ten years. In that time we have taken many trips — to the mountains, to the seashore, to forests, to deserts, through most of the US actually. We have spent wonderful weekends with friends, vacations with siblings, and overnight adventures with children. Seven year olds have been thrilled being able to sleep on a table that turns into a bed. Heck, Gramps and I have traveled to places from our past, dared to go out in uncharted areas for a bit of adventure and excitement and even had a few romantic trysts all by ourselves in the aluminum nest.

We had enjoyed most every kind of camping a person could imagine, until this summer. This time we ventured into the seldom seen and less often done realm of camping with teenage boys!!! Yes, we invited two grandsons ages 15 and 17 to go with us to Chicago and then to the Osh Kosh Air Show.

It seemed like a great idea and we made tourist plans we thought would keep them busy and interested for the week. We figured out the sleeping arrangements in the RV and planned meals for the four of us We calculated the weather and clothing needs and got plenty of cash from the bank. We were set and ready for a great trip.

The first surprise was the size of the two boys. We had not seen them in a year and as teenagers are wont to do, the grew! Really, they grew! They were big boys! Possibly the sleeping arrangements would have to be rearranged.

We picked them up at O’Hare Airport after their first plane ride. They were excited, humbled, thrilled and hungry. Hunger, I was soon to learn, was a daily, no an hourly, issue for teen boys. It’s not actually possible to fill two growing boys up at one sitting and so they get hungry again in about two hours. This happens all day, every day. Possibly the meals plans would have to be rearranged.

Boys between the ages of 12 and 19 spend all their free time connected to some sort of electronic device. Since we have no TV in the RV and don’t allow much hand-held “game” playing, we had planned a full schedule of fun sightseeing in Chicago and at the Air Show. What we were unaware of was the fact that if it doesn’t explode, crash, catch on fire or scare the peewatom out of you, boys of that age are not interested. Possibly the sightseeing schedule would have to be rearranged.

We brought enough cash for the trip and then some. No need to pinch pennies. Have a good time, get some souvenirs, do some unusual things but still have plenty of reserve for emergencies and the like. However, two fast-growing boys who have never flown before come with no shampoo, no shaving gel, no deodorant, no soap, socks with holes and only one T-shirt and one pair of undershorts each. So shopping it is. Possibly the budget plans would have to be rearranged.

The only things we didn’t underestimate were the fun and enjoyment we had spending seven days with two fine grandsons. We had all the laughter, good talks, teaching and sharing time we could have ever hoped for. All four of us came away with a closer relationship, a better understanding of each person’s character and much more appreciation of each one’s humor.

We already loved each other, but we learned to like each other and appreciate our differences. And that needs no rearrangement.

Vacation Attitudes

vacationGramps and I just returned from a two week vacation, which we take every summer to get out of the Texas heat. It’s always such a relief to head north, where the air is cooler and moister. In my head, it seems so easy — just put what we need in the RV and go. Basically, transfer our life from a hot place to a cool place.

But in reality, no vacation (or any trip for that matter) is so easy. Nothing goes as smooth as expected and never does the written word match what actually happens.

Everyone in the vehicle starts to get impatient and antsy after hours of driving. I don’t care now much you love road trips, hours in one car/truck with no ability to change the scenery, company or sometimes even the radio station can drive anyone to wonder if the trip is really worth it.

And then there’s the waiting, in lines mostly, at toll booths, at restaurants, for the next bus, for the next subway, for that special tour, for that fantastic ride. We may find ourselves in lines in our normal lives, but it gets very concentrated when we become tourists in another town or state. Instead of occurring once a week or so, it starts to occur several times each day. Patience begins to wear thin.

Best advice? Get over it! Gramps and I long ago developed the spirit that the fun starts the minute we leave our front door. That’s when the vacation starts. The process of “getting there” is half the fun. We have no expectations — what happens is the good stuff. All the time is precious whether spent in line, in a restaurant, in a truck or at a toll booth.

And the best time to take a vacation is right now. Don’t put it off. Don’t wait for the perfectPacking List For Vacation Or Trip time, weather, finances, etc. It will never happen. It doesn’t have to be long, far or expensive. Each trip is its own special memory and occasion. It never has to be more than what it is. Gramps and I once took grandson Mac, who was than about 6 yo, camping for two days. We went all of about three miles from our house, but you would have thought we took him to the moon, he was so excited!

black-blackandwhite-fun-grey-memories-favim-coBe sure to document the entire trip. I always say, “Every OP is a photo OP.” Even the driving portion needs to be recorded, in a fashion. There must be a law some where that every one of our trips must have a photo of me sleeping in the truck. Gramps always manages to get one of me without me being aware of it!

Remember, every photo is a precious memory. Everyone should have a copy, Make an album for each vacation and reminisce, especially with children.

Gramps and I usually plan some down time, if we are on an especially busy trip. Every vacation needs a day off, a day of rest or a day of unorganized activity. A day when everyone can do what they want, even if it is just reading a book or laying on the beach. A day of regeneration prevents burnout before the vacation is over.

Eating on the road can be difficult for some. With the RV, Gramps and I generally plan for and bring most of our meals with us. I don’t worry a lot about my diet while on vacation. I want to try new and different foods wherever I happen to be and want that to be part of my enjoyment. The general thought is, the calories don’t count while I am away. I don’t necessarily binge but I certainly don’t try to lose weight either.reading_beach

The best vacation attitude is: RELAX. Don’t stress about anything. Whatever happens willbe great. Getting there will be great. Being there will be great. Recording it will be great. Remembering it will be great. It will be so great, you will do it again.

More Special Days

dji_udc_graduate_cMy granddaughter Mary is “graduating” from Kindergarten this week. She is so excited! So am I!

When exactly did kids start having graduation ceremonies from Kindergarten? My children just went from Preschool straight through to First Grade – no ceremony, no party, no big to-do. It just happened. Now it’s a “GRADUATION”. And you know what? I’m okay with that! I love celebrations. I love parties. And I love making any day a special day.

Mary and I were talking on the phone a couple of weeks ago.

“So, Mary, I hear you are graduating from Kindergarten soon.”

“Yes and Granny can you pleeeeeeease make a dress for me? Pleeeeeeease!”

“Sure, Sweetie. What color dress would you like?”

“Oh, pink please with a purple flower and a pink bow and lots of ruffles and lots of twirl and pink buttons and flowers and lots of pink and maybe some purple . . . . . and pink.”

“So, a pink dress?”

“Yes pleeeeeeeease! I loooooove pink, you know.”

“Yes, I know.”

“Okay. Thank you. Bye.”

Aren’t conversations with six year olds fantastic? The last two weeks I have been busy twirling_dressmaking a pink and green (have to broaden the child’s world) dress for Mary for her special day. Both of us are so excited – we can hardly wait! She gets a dress with a lot of twirl factor and I get pictures of a happy happy girl – and conversations to be remembered always!

Last week 7 yo grandson Mac had a piano recital – after taking piano lessons for about 8 months! He practiced for weeks, he said, to play his compositions. At first he said he had been practicing for months, until I reminded him he had not even been playing long enough for that.

PlayingPianoThe day of the recital was grand! Mac was dressed up and clean with combed hair and a big smile. Parents and grandparents all went with Mac to lunch (hamburgers and fries) before the event and then sat with great pride in the audience to hear him play “Ten Little Indians” and “Thomas, the Trombone Player”. He sounded great, cameras clicked and videos whirred.

Special days like these  sometimes come with a lot of fanfare and sometimes can be completely overlooked, if we are not careful. What I know is making days special for kidscelebrate is important. It tells them they are loved, they are important, THEY are SPECIAL. It can’t happen too often.

Special days make a family stronger and a child happier. Special days can start traditions and make memories that last forever. Special days are worth the effort and provide a future worth looking forward to. What more can you ask of a day?

Getting All Dressed Up

There are so many fantastic things about Easter! About sitting in church on Easter morning! The flowers, the music, the singing, the words spoken, the mass of people, the many greetings, the colorful banners and of course, the scores of children.images

Children of all sizes, shapes, and temperaments. Children we normally don’t see in church service because they are in their separate Sunday School classes. Children bright-eyed, scrubbed and dressed to the nines. Girls in their pretty dresses, some with hats and sparkly shoes. Boys in suits and ties, shirts tucked in (at least at the beginning) and shoelaces tied (at least at the beginning).

Getting dressed in one’s finery for holidays, especially Easter, is not something new. I have many memories of my two brothers and me being stuffed into new clothes every Easter dawn. They in matching suits with vests and sometimes new shoes. Me in a beautiful dress made by my mother with hat, gloves, purse, matching socks and shiny patent leather shoes.

easter20egg20huntPhotos were always taken outside in front of the house, with us standing in birth order, very straight and still and a little uncomfortable in our new clothes. My brothers never smiled, their arms hanging down at their sides. Me? I loved it! And the memories are now priceless!!

Today is no different. I thoroughly enjoy the look, the feel and even the smell of new clothes, new shoes and a new purse. And making these memories for children now is just as important as when I was little.

It is said that clothes make the person, but I think clothes can also make the occasion. Along with decorations, food, rituals and gifts, special dress can make an event even more memorable for a child.

Getting dressed up means you act different, talk different, do things differently, and use your best manners. Special clothes on a special day means special things will be happening – visiting with special people you haven’t seen for some time, eating special food, singing special songs, giving special gifts, playing special games. All of it is very, very special, requiring lots and lots of photos for those very special memories.kids carver 01

What all this means is, it’s worth it. It’s worth all the time, expense and worry to get it together for an event for a child. I remember a time during fourth grade when I was invited to a birthday party almost every weekend. My mother, the great seamstress. made a new dress for me for each party. When I expressed my wonder at her extreme effort, she said, “If you have a good time in a dress once, it’s worth it.”

That’s not to say every child needs new clothes each time he/she walks out the door. But it does mean that every child deserves our effort and time to make their days worth remembering. I does mean that if it’s an occasion for fun, food and festivity, it’s worth getting dressed up.

A Reason To Celebrate

It wasn’t Christmas. It wasn’t a birthday. It wasn’t even a designated holiday. It was a Tuesday evening and our grandson Mac had a piece of artwork chosen to be shown at a school district-wide art show. He was among about thirty first graders from his elementary school picked to share their mixed-media art with the community.tumblr_mc5ei0OpUB1rjrteio1_400

Of course, all the grades were represented from Mac’s school, as were all the grades from all the schools in the district. All total, there were hundreds of wonderful, clever creations hanging on the walls of the Education Center where the show was held. Everything one could imagine was used in the making of all that art – from paper to yarn to melted crayons to cardboard to photos to glitter to papier mache.

il_fullxfull.264703105Every inch of wall space was covered with colorful, thoughtful pieces, each telling their own story. Which meant hundreds of kids with siblings, parents and grandparents in tow, searching for that one special expression of his/her own self. Let me tell you, it was crowded!

But we were there for Mac. “We” being his parents and both sets of grandparents. His drawing was at the end of many turns and a labyrinth of hallways but no less crowded area.

Once found, the piece and the boy were photographed at length – at the right of, on theIMG_0585 left of, pointing to, kneeling beneath, smiling, looking serious, with parents and without.

Mac explained to each of us in detail the meaning and symbolism of all the parts of his artwork. It mostly had to do with Angry Birds and a king – huh? (You had to be there!) His enthusiasm and pride were so infectious and so fun to watch.

After the art show, which actually felt like a one-person showing despite the crowds, we decided to go out to eat. Artists and kids in general love food as part of a celebration. It doesn’t really matter what kind of food or where you go to eat it, IMG_0589the point is the enjoyment as a group.

As far as celebrations go, this one was perfect! So what makes a celebration, perfect or otherwise?

1) Any reason can be chosen.

2) It makes a child proud and happy.

3) It involves a family and loved ones.

4) Memories are made.

5) Lots of love, touching and laughter are shared.

6) Participants spend time together.

7) Good food can always be added to the event.

Bubbles Over The Back Fence

Last Saturday I woke up to the sight of dozens of bubbles through my back window, clearbubbles-final bubbles floating in the air. The closer I looked, the more bubbles I saw. More and more of them actually coming over the back fence and lingering in my yard, like little airborne gifts. All different sizes, wrapped in shiny round coats, with no particular destination in mind. Many, many lighter-than-air balls just wafting over my wooden fence for no reason.

This was truly a once in a lifetime event for me. I’d seen bubbles at weddings, bubbles in a laundry room, bubbles at a child’s party but never in my empty backyard on a Saturday morning. Never uncalled for, unsummoned or unexpected as these were.

It seemed pretty quiet outside. No loud yelling or laughing. No sounds of a birthday party or such happening on the other side of the fence. If I stood still for a time, I thought I could hear a small giggle now and then, but otherwise nothing.

imagesThere seemed to be no obvious occasion over there, on the other side, beyond my view, for any bubble making. And yet bubbles were there, pouring over the wooden divider of our yards.

How curious this was! How strange! The more I wondered, the more I imagined. My mind started to fill in where facts were absent. I began to picture all sorts of reasons why bubbles would be dancing in my yard.

Maybe a family of fairies was having a gathering next door and being so small, would be difficult to see or hear. But they were having so much fun that their laughter became louder and could be heard only if a human stood very still and quiet, as I did.

And maybe the fairy children were putting on a small (well, what else would it be?) talent show for the whole family, proudly sharing all their skills and talents with their loved ones. As the tiniest fairies danced, sang, gave readings, and shared drawings, the elders green_bubble1clapped, whooped and cheered.

And maybe, just maybe when a fairy claps, a magical thing happens. The clap does not make a noise . . . . . . it makes a bubble! And maybe the more a fairy claps, the more bubbles he makes. And maybe if a lot of fairies are clapping a lot, say for a talent show by the little fairies, well then, maybe a lot of bubbles will rise up. So many, in fact, they will flow over the fence into the neighbor’s yard.

And if that neighbor, who sadly has no fairies, seems to enjoy the bubbles, the fairies continue to clap just to make bubbles for her.

bubbles-theme-03-667x535So maybe the bubbles were little gifts from the fairies next door after all. Maybe if I hadn’t gone out to enjoy them, they would have ended almost immediately. Maybe I would have thought nothing about a few bubbles and gone on with my day. Maybe I would have had an ordinary Saturday.

As it turned out, my over-the-fence neighbor was testing a bubble machine in his back yard to take to a party that night. He claims he has never seen fairies in his yard – ever!1343122454_Fairies are real

I’m not sure. I think the fairies have just moved. I hope they are still in the neighborhood. I much prefer extraordinary Saturdays!

Play With Me, Granny

“Play with me, Granny”toy_grandma

How many times have I heard those words from a sweet grandchild with pleading eyes, pursed lips and a toy or a game in their outstretched arms? Plenty, I tell you, and also not enough!

Spending time with a little one has to be one of the greatest pleasures in the world. And when that time is face-to-face in imaginary play, the gates of heaven themselves seem to open up. It is great fun in the moment and the memory is beyond words.

Figure1Our 7 yo grandson Mark has always enjoyed games but recently has discovered a new level of board games that we have all been rediscovering with him. Checkers has become a real favorite, along with “The Ladybug Game.” It requires no reading, and was created by a first-grader as a school project. Mark was very intrigued by this and has decided he could do something similar. Such an interesting way that a game can be inspiring!

Another new favorite is “Qwirkle,” which is similar to Dominoes. Planning and strategy are necessary, so both of us are learning some new skills here.

Games and the time spent playing them can teach kids so much. And how to win is the least! In the beginning it may be just about taking turns and having fun. Later on, there’s much to absorb about fairness, truth, strategy, planning and having fun. Eventually, one must learn how to lose with grace, prepare for the future, visualize the effects of one’s actions, help others to succeed and have even more fun. The lessons of game-playing, as in life, never seem to end. And neither does the joy, thank heavens!

As I was cleaning out a closet recently, I found our old “Monopoly” game with a record ofmonopoly-game-boardjpg-8628f916002139a1 all the winning scores on the inside of the box lid going back more than thirty years.  One particularly lengthy and sweet entry: 2/10/1986, my son’s name (he was then about 12 years old), $11,860, the town where we lived in Texas, 10:45 AM, 8 hotels, 6 houses, 18 properties, happened on a snowy day.

I can picture in my mind the kids home from school on a snow day, a fire in the fireplace, hot cocoa in mugs and everyone playing Monopoly for days at a time, stopping only to eat. The youngest child succeeding and proudly writing his legacy on the lid of a game box. There to be found, read and wonderfully remembered by his mother thirty years later.article-new_ds-photo_getty_article_178_136_86509377_XS

Don’t think for one minute that time spent playing with your youngster is time wasted. It is profound. It is necessary. It is gobs of fun.

One Retirement, Three Days, Four Women, A Thousand Laughs

HappyRetirementNapkins1My friend Pam just retired this month. She is my age and I have known her since seventh grade. Let’s see, that would be about (Oh, my God!) 50+ years! Are we really that old? I guess we are. Anyway, retirement is a big deal and requires a celebration of sorts. So Pam and I and another friend Karen and her mother Nancy all decided to go to Karen’s ranch for a “girls’ weekend”.

Karen used to work with Gramps (both are engineering types) so I have known her for probably 20 years. Nancy, I met, naturally, through Karen about 10 years ago. Oddly enough, I was at one time the nurse for Nancy’s husband before he died. (I think we are down to 4 degrees of separation here!) And of course, Karen and Nancy have been related all their lives or at least all of Karen’s life. So all totaled, there are about 100 or more years of history between all of us. Amazing, yes?!women friends

History like this cannot be made up, faked or even rushed. You can’t cram ten years of experience into a ten month old relationship. It just doesn’t work. Longterm relationships, like marriages, require stamina, fortitude and work. They don’t just “happen” or “pop up” like dandelions from the ground.

We four have seen the good, the bad, the ugly and the precious in each other over the long haul. We have celebrated birthdays, anniversaries and graduations; dealt with deaths, disappointments and divorces; planned weddings, housewarmings and christenings all while managing laundry, teenagers, moves and occasional misunderstandings. In other words, we are long time friends and we know how blessed we are.

A weekend spent with women such as these is more than “time off”. It is a true rejuvenation of the spirit, mind and body. How did we accomplish such a miracle of rebirth?

First, we went someplace other than home. That way, nothing “yelled” at anyone to get done. No one felt compelled to clean, fold, vacuum or polish anything. No rules.

tea-friendscopy1Then we each planned and provided one meal for everyone, which meant a great variety of food. PLUS snacks. PLUS chocolate, of course. No sense getting together without chocolate. Really!

We had plenty of free time to do whatever felt good. A couple gals brought sewing machines and projects to work on. Others had hand sewing, books and crafts on hand. We walked, talked, reminisced and laughed by the hour.

One evening was spent in front of a fire watching a funny/sweet chick flick that we had not seen before but thoroughly enjoyed. The following day was filled with more food, fun, sewing, laughing, talking and repeated as needed.

When I returned home three days later, I felt as though I had been gone a week. Things looked and felt different, like the trees were visibly taller or the houses had somehow changed. What a simple, profound weekend it was!heels-red-shoes-jeans-women-girl-woman-friend

Isn’t it amazing how often the simple things in life become the profound things?