Friday, September 25, 2015

Catching Up, Between Trips

Well, I'm on a bus to the airport.  I'll be boarding a flight to DC in a little while, because my #2 son's wife Ginger, who is expecting their first child in November, is going to be the guest of honor at a baby shower tomorrow and I'm heading down to spend the weekend with her and my boy.  I haven't missed any of the wedding or baby showers for my daughters-in-law yet, and I wouldn't miss this one for the world.

Not even a year ago, Ginger was a radiant bride.
And soon, she's going to become a mother.  For years, Ginger has devoted herself completely to her kindergarten students, but now she is going to devote herself to a wee one of her own.  She is on a cloud.

I am so fortunate that my husband's job affords me the luxury to travel to such wonderful family events using non-revenue stand-by tickets.  I'm sure I would have to miss some of them if not for him.

So, I haven't been here at String of Pearls in a while.  I believe the last time I blogged (on my daughter-in-law Preciosa's birthday six days ago), I had just returned from travels that included back-to-back Notre Dame football game weekends, the first one in South Bend, IN, and the next one in Charlottesville, VA.  It was fun but exhausting.  Finally, I was back home in NH, glad to be sleeping in my own bed again and puttering around my own house...but when my husband went on a trip a few days later and I was alone in that house, I started to wonder if I belonged there anymore.

I love my home here.  It has 100 percent happy memories for me.  It's where my husband and I raised our five boys, where they lived while they went through grade school and high school.  It's the nest they returned to on their breaks from college.  For so many years, my life here was full and busy, and I had many friends who were going through the same life stages as I was.  I saw the parents of my son's buddies on a regular basis, at football and lacrosse games or at team spaghetti dinners.

But now that my husband and I are almost constantly on the road, off visiting with our kids and grandkids (none of whom live close to their childhood home), we don't really have time to keep up with our old friendships.  Lately, it seems that we only stop in at our house to catch up on the mail we've had held while we've been away, and to make sure the place is still standing.

So I was driving to the post office one day last week, while my husband was away, thinking about all of this and getting really sad.  "Where are my people?" I thought.  "I have no people."  But then I pulled into the post office parking lot and saw one of my oldest and dearest Dover friends.  We hugged, and then I told her that she couldn't know how perfect it was that I'd run into her at just that moment, when I was feeling so lost and alone.  We made plans to meet for coffee the very next morning, at a local bakery in downtown Dover where we used to meet periodically when my baby and her son were besties in grade school.

We had our coffee and breakfast--her treat, a belated birthday gift to me--at an outside table on the sidewalk, on an absolutely glorious, sunshiny day.  We caught up as much as we could before she had to run to work.  She is the kind of friend I could meet up with after years spent apart and feel as if no time had passed.  It was blissful.
This friend is Irish through and through--I think she bleeds green.  Her Irish family tree has branches all over this town, and her family's roots here go way back--maybe not back as far as the events that I wrote about in Erin's Ring; but her relatives play an important role in Dover's Irish history.

A few hours after our meeting, I stopped by my friend's office to give her a belated birthday gift, too: a copy of Erin's Ring.  If anyone could appreciate the subject matter in this book, it's this woman!
It's good to know that I do still have people--like this friend--here; but with all the changes in my family over the past few years, it is also getting easier to imagine someday retiring to Oyster Haven, that house on the lake in Upstate NY that my husband and I recently bought and intend to use as a vacation rental property for now.  I popped up there for two days while my husband was at work. I painted the foyer and scrubbed every inch of the kitchen; I put dishes away and hung pictures.  There's still much to do, but the kitchen is almost all set up.  We just need to get a few more gadgets and utensils, and it'll be ready to go.

You guys...the kitchen there is TO DIE FOR!  Check it out.
I mean, there are two ovens--TWO!

And as wowser as the kitchen is, the lake view out those windows is even more amazing.

But more about that later.  It's getting tougher and tougher to blog on this bumpy ride, with my laptop resting on my knees.  And we're getting close to the airport now.

I'm praying for a safe flight and looking forward to a great weekend.  Hope yours is great, too!


  1. I hope the baby shower is wonderful!! I wish I could be there. And that kitchen ...WOW!

  2. I am sure the shower will be lovely. I hope you had/have safe travels. That kitchen IS gorgeous! And the 2 oven thing is sure going to come in handy when your whole clan gathers. I am so glad you spent time with a friend, it's so important.

    1. It was a lovely shower. And I'm with you--having 2 ovens when you have a big (and ever-expanding!) family is so handy.

      Thanks, as always, for stopping by here and leaving the sweetest comments. One great thing about blogging is the eFriends I've made--whom I may never meet, but who seem like real friends.

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  4. So thankful for you and that you could come this weekend! Thank you for making the trip!!!

    1. You never have to thank us for making trips--we just feel so lucky that we are able to do it as easily and as often as we do. If not for Dad's job, we would have to miss so much! And there's just so much FOMO I can take. ;)

  5. Wonderful to catch up, it has been too long! and so much keeps happening in your life. Yes I can see the transition stage you are in, real friends are like that, you can catch up after years like it was yesterday.

    1. I know! I hardly have time to blog these days, so I'm not reading many blogs lately either. I'll have to stop by Seven Little Australians and see what's new with you, too. It seems my husband and I are always on the road. We just got back from a trip to visit with our oldest son and his family; and in a few days we fly out west for our youngest son's Army graduation. Then our middle son just called and said, "Hey, what are you doing the first weekend in Dec.?"--because it's his second anniversary and he and his wife were hoping to go out of town and leave G-Man with Papa and Grammy. So we'll be going to VA then, but there will also be a trip to DC in Nov. for the birth of our second son's first child...Phew! We're busier now than when we had kids living at home, it seems.

      It's so good to hear from you!

    2. Oh well I've been busy moving sites, have a whole new look. Not to worry the old link will take you to the new. Really wanted to have my book site linked in with my blog.
      Certainly sound busier with them all gone than at home!