For the first 50 years of my life, my perfectionist self mistakenly believed it was all about knowing more, getting it right, planning, attempting to prevent bad things from happening, and keeping all of my chicks in a row. It took me this long to discover that the JOURNEY is all that matters. This quote from Gilda Radner sums it all up:

"I wanted a perfect ending. Now I've learned, the hard way, that some poems don't rhyme, and some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Twelve Days with My Daughter

 Our adventure really began back in February,
when it was just an idea we thought would never happen.
Four months later, this mother/daughter trip became a reality.

One young woman fresh from her college graduation
with a lifetime of experiences to come
one not-so-young woman, knowing how rapidly the
years come and go, who wants to fit more 
experiences in her lifetime 

wander for 12 days in London and Paris.

Before the trip, I tried to anticipate things that could go wrong.
I brushed up on my French. 
I printed out transit directions to get to our apartments in each city.
I researched ideas of places we might like to visit.
I picked up some Euros and Pounds at the bank.

More importantly, I also knew that Annie likes her solitude,
and 12 days with mom might create some tension!
How would it all work out?

I'm happy to say we had a great trip!
I feel we each had our strengths and 
contributed in different ways to resolve problems.

I was definitely feeling my age.

Annie could see signs much sooner than I could,
and she was able to process things much faster too.
This was a lifesaver (more than once) when we were in a hurry to catch
a train and she would take control and shout out
which direction to turn as we hurried thru the train station.

She also came to my aid when I went to pay and 
I couldn't read the lettering on those tiny coins!

I felt my age, too, when we got special attention
because of the presence of a 
beautiful, friendly, smiling young woman!

It was definitely a plus that we both enjoyed the same things.
We weren't really big on doing the typical tourist things.
In fact, we were happy to see the London tourist attractions
(Big Ben, Tower Bridge, etc) from the comfort of the London Eye.
Instead, one of our goals was to eat cupcakes
 at Peggy Porschen's Cake shop.

Annie thought I was infantile in London because it struck me as funny
 every time we rode a certain subway, 
and the proper British lady on the loudspeaker would announce
 "This is a Piccadilly line service to Cockfosters!" 

We did lots of shopping but bought very little.
We spent time in a park watching men play Petanque.
We discovered the convenience of Uber.

I discovered that Annie is uncomfortable in crowded places.
I realized that she needs much more sleep than I do too.
We took much-needed naps.

Annie remembered streets and surroundings 
much better than I did.  When I pointed something out
that I had never seen before, she'd say
"Mommmm, we've been on this street so many times already!"
Oh well!

I had the pleasure of teaching Annie about Princess Diana.
She hadn't known that Prince William and Prince Harry 
are Diana's sons.

We rode bikes in lovely places.
We flew on broomsticks over Hogwarts.
We ate scones and clotted cream with Polly.

We ate hot dogs baked inside baguettes
and gelato formed in the shape of a rose.

We played rummy next to the Eiffel Tower.
We played rummy next to the London Eye.

I think traveling with someone, no matter who it may be,
 requires each person to be patient, understanding,
flexible, and willing to do things (or not) to help make
the other person happy.  You need to know that there
may be days that you wouldn't want to repeat, but
so many days that you will never forget!

I will always cherish these 12 days exploring London and Paris
 with my daughter 
and I feel so fortunate to have had this opportunity! 
Thank you, Annie!

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Happy Father's Day to the Best Dad!

 From day1, Vance has always been a great dad.
He is never happier than when he is spending 
time with his children!

He could always be counted upon to meet 
their needs and keep them safe.

He got down to their level and did whatever
the situation called for!

He was often the object of their entertainment.

They always felt happy in his arms. 

He rode countless kiddie rides.

He always went to work late on the first day of 
school so he could see the kids off.

He was a good sport!

He went on the scary rides.

He taught them many things.

He left work for preschool holiday parties.

He carried heavy pumpkins.

He was the chopper of the Christmas tree.

He did little things to make them happy.

He waved to the camera on the helicopter ride.

He gave them encouragement.

He gave them comfort.

He made things less scary.

He went to Father/Daughter dances.

He left work to support his children's special days.

He lowered branches so they could reach the good apples.

He played along to make days fun.

He nurtured many pets.

He never missed a sporting event.

He tried to beat Kerry in basketball.

He climbed ladders to rescue cats stuck in trees.

He not only took an interest in his own kids,

but also their friends.

He watched Annie run her first half-marathon.

He has shown he can drink with them too - entertainment
in its own right!

He taught them to fish.

He helped with birthday parties.

He has been all of these things and more.
Thank you, Vance, for being a self-less father
and helping to make our kids
the wonderful adults they are today!