Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Five Days Older

I got to my work desk early yesterday morning and out of nowhere a flood of tears came. I had just said goodbye to my long time high school friend and a five-day vacation getaway. I haven't quite figured out why it hit me so hard but I was definitely not ready to be sitting at work. Luckily, I went to work a half hour early so I could adjust my otherwise vacationing mind to the fact that I was back at what my husband calls "the law factory".
Vacation was good for me. My high school friends and I had planned this trip months ago. There wasn't much for me to do except write it on the calendar. Brenda took care of the hotel reservations (I had forgotten she had a travel agency business in her past life). All I had to do was scoop up our other friend, Kathy, from the airport and drive us to Spokane for three nights of our 2nd Annual Great Girlfriend Getaway.
In my life experience, it's not easy to find good fellow travelers but these two friends are above and beyond good travel mates. Three days together could wear on some people but it didn't with us. We talked, ate great food, shared recipes, revisited the old days, kicked our feet up, laughed out loud and saw a bit of Spokane.
Above all that, I learned that Brenda writes an email to her mother every single day. I marveled at this and thought about it a lot. In a world that seems so instant and fleeting, I'll bet she and her mom have racked up hundreds of emails back and forth that will remain forever. As a writer, I freaking love that. Brenda talked about a road trip she is taking with her recently retired husband across the U.S. to see family on the east coast. I am so envious.
Kathy and I got to spend an extra two special days together at my house. We brought home a pile of tomatoes and butternut squash from Brenda's garden. One of my favorite moments from the weekend will forever be spending time in my kitchen, making a new recipe for squash alfredo with my good friend. We also whipped up a batch of homemade spaghetti sauce with Brenda's recipe .... a first for both of us. It turned out great.  Kathy recently retired. She is enjoying her newfound freedom and it shows. Both these friends are paving the way for me for when it's my turn to turn in my work badge. Love that!
Me? I'm coming down from cloud nine this morning as I write this. I'll truly look forward to the next adventures with these fine friends. There is a lot of life left in all of us to live. I look forward to seeing them again ... sooner rather than later ... to see what they've filled their days with.  Living forward.
In the end, we are all five days older. Isn't it a wonderful thing when you get to sometimes be on the path with people you love?
love, susan

Manito Gardens in Spokane, WA

Conservatory at Manito Gardens

Riverfront Park in Spokane, WA

Apple Store in downtown Spokane

Oil & Vinegar store at downtown mall Spokane

Riverfront Park, Spokane

Chinese Lantern Festival, Spokane

Saw an owl mid-day at McNary Wildlife Refuge
on a walk with Kathy

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Free the Wang Campout 2015 ... and other musings

Another great weekend at the Oregon coast with family. It never grows old. A nice reprieve from a busy life. Even if it is for only one day, the 600 mile roundtrip car drive is worth the price of winding down and getting away from it all. The car ride is part of the adventure.
I'm amazed how quickly the daily stresses of life fall off when we get to the beach. This trip I found a little turtle shell on the beach, that was a first. We heard sea lions barking all Saturday night, another first. There was a cougar sighting at our campground a couple days prior to our arrival. Another first for that spot. Weird.
I think this may be the 6th year of our annual campout. It has been so much fun to watch the kids grow into teens. Two of them are seniors this year.  Eeek. I felt a lump in my throat thinking about what that will be mean for next year. It was suggested that maybe we try another campground next year. Perhaps that will take our minds off the fact that maybe they won't have time for us any longer.

Next week, my high school buddy from Alaska will be coming to visit and we're heading over to meet another friend for a weekend spree in Spokane. As my favorite readers may know, I'm not a future tripper but I am here to tell you that I look forward to that weekend very much.

Isn't it the best when you have something to look forward to? It doesn't have to be a big trip or an expensive concert. I'm going to my friend's house on Thursday night to meet her chickens. I've got agility class tonight. Coffee with a friend tomorrow night. What's on your calendar that you are looking forward to? 
love, susan

You Made My Day, Dude!

A couple weeks ago while I was driving back to Portland after spending the night on the Oregon coast, we came up on some road construction ...