Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Hometown Weekend Highlights

What a great long weekend at home y'all! First time I'd felt ready to head down there for any length of time since so many memories exist down there, but it was time...and it was restorative in so many ways.

Reason #1 I headed south: THIS GAL:
Photo: My wonderful sisters.
My best gal, who is more like a sister to me than anything else. We've been friends through the best and some of the worst for 15 years, and while we've had lots of great moments, it also hasn't always been pretty between us. The biggest irony is the last four years have changed both of us in many ways and we've finally come to admit that we've probably always been more alike than we ever cared to admit. I love this girl more than words can express. She's my biggest cheerleader, accepts me for who I am, and is not afraid to tell me the hard honest truth. I'm so thankful for our years of friendship, I'm SO proud of the woman/mama/wife she's become, and I honestly can't wait to see where the future takes her. (And somehow she agreed to have her picture on the blog...no take backs girl! ha!)

But all that was to say that she, her hub, and babe have been in Oregon visiting. I spent one mid-day with them at her parent's place during the week, but then headed down to spend the long weekend in our original hometown together. Lots of great moments, including:

--First Friday Wine Walk downtown---totally neat to see our community getting in on this action. Mom was also going with her women's group, so I got to spend time with both Mom and D's in-laws...drinking lots of vino and checking out the local businesses.

--D's also been running (remember, she got my butt out of bed and re-motivated to run while I was in Savannah?), and we had a great run together on Thursday afternoon after I first got into town. Fun to be "training together" across the distance now!

--J's (her hub & my good buddy) mom has an annual Harvest party, so Saturday evening I headed to join them there. J and Tall D share a best friend, so all our mutual friends were there also. After D left, I spent some quality time catching up with D's lil sis and then with Tall D's "fam," and ended the evening with some good convo with J around the fire pit. It was so nice to catch-up with many of my favorite hometown people at one event, and the conversation with the "fam" was really needed and informative....and led me to decide that... yes, I will sign the papers.

Reason # 2: My Parents
This is from last Christmas, but we look the same for the most part...

What can I say? I'm blessed with some amazing parents. Sure we still butt heads about things and Dad will forever feel the need to tell me where and when it's safe for me to do x, y, and z....but my parents are some of the most steady, most supportive people I know. They might not agree with every choice I've made in the last five years, but they will not cease to love me anyway...and they continue to be proud of the woman I've become, even with recent failures and faults. In fact, my father knows my faults so well that he will warn me ahead of time "Remember, be nice" and "Take your time and maybe you shouldn't date for awhile" being some recent gems in the last six months. In his quiet way, Dad's not afraid to tell me how it is either. :)

So a few thoughts and awesome moments regarding my parents this weekend:

--They always spoil me with a trip to my favorite restaurant in town when I visit. Can we say amazing sushi and salads, please? Yum.

--Wine Walk with Mom. I know I already mentioned this, but until recently Mom hasn't been able to drink alcohol. While alcohol isn't a huge deal, it's been fun to be able to do things like this Wine Walk with mom cause she is able to partake these days. FUN!

--Their love of the dogs. You might think this isn't a big deal, except it is. My dad's never been a huge fan of us "kids" bringing our dogs to visit....however because Tall D did such a good job training our girls, Dad actually has come to love my dogs. As in he even asked if I would bring them...and then spent 20-30 minutes the first afternoon hanging with them outside...and even pet Anna's head when we put them to bed in the back of his truck one night. 

--Afternoon beach trip with Dad AND dogs. I had planned to take the dogs to a different beach than usual to run them one afternoon and Dad came along. Again, he rarely comes to the beach and the fact that he rode in the car with the dogs (he's actually allergic) was pretty big. He took pictures while the dogs and I headed down for a very short beach run, and then he met us on the beach on our return. Memorable...and truly awesome. These are the little moments that matter.

--Church on Sunday. Dad runs the projector and sound equipment these days. Mom and I sat in the pews. (Both my parents are heavily involved and/or employed by the church.) The message was good. It was communion Sunday, which I've been itching for, and for the second Sunday this fall, Amazing Grace was sang, causing me to choke back tears. (This was also what Mom would sing to me as a child...)

--And right before I left, Dad gave me a quick tutorial on how to use the Mikita he was passing on to me and we chatted about needed tools, etc. We'd also discussed what I need done around the house, so he and my brother will be rerouting the TV hook-up for me and hanging a few things....

ADDITIONAL THOUGHT: I'm trying to remember to take time to CHERISH the moments with my parents. This trip just reminded me yet again that my parents are truly, well, grandparents and nearing 70...and they won't be here forever. While they frequently make me feel like I'm 16 again, sooner rather than later....my siblings and I will be the ones taking care of them.....

Reason #3: Other Family and Friends

1) I grabbed breakfast with an old buddy of mine and then accompanied him to an estate sale. Being a small town, his cousin and her hub came to the same restaurant and joined us for half our meal. :) Our families have been (church) friends for years and beyond our long-time friendship, there was always an unexplored interest between us that was kind of being questioned when I met Tall D. I'd been looking forward to clearing the air and restoring a friendship, but ironically, the morning did feel a little date-like only making me realize a) again I'm not wanting/ready to date b) I'm enjoying refinding who I am and what I want c) I still want the same qualities in a partner that I'd wanted 4 yrs ago and d) any questioning about my buddy was answered. Was great to reconnect with him though and I hope he and I can continue to recreate our old friendship and support each other through what life grants in the months/years to come.

2) I had coffee with Tall D's lil cousin who needed some support & advice. She was one of my students when I was a student teacher, so it was nice to reconnect and offer some words of support and insight. Tall D is incredibly private, so I'm glad to finally be myself again with our friends and family. Their family is a bit interesting, and I'm so hopeful she'll blaze her way out of the old family patterns. The gal is gorgeous, determined, and incredibly strong-willed; going to be supporting and praying for her however I can.

3) Before heading back on Sunday, I met Brook for a quick lunch. We hadn't connected since our roadtrip to Arizona, so there was lots of updating on both sides. Always great to spend some quality time with another "rock"---so love that gal. I'm blessed to have friends that no matter how much time passes, it's like no time at all when we do get together. (Of course, after 17 years....a few months truly is "no time!")

4) I also briefly was able to check-in with my other best hometown gal's "lil" brother who now lives across from my parents. Always so nice to see him doing well and happy in life...and to warn him to prepare for 600 trick-or-treaters. ;)

Beautiful drive both ways, especially with the trees just starting to turn on the back highways. Tried to stop both on the way down and up to see Granny, but she was out and about each time! And I'm pretty sure I ate more in the four days of this trip than I had in the entire week prior--still stuffed!

Hope you had a good weekend too!


  1. I am glad you had a great weekend! Your friendship you described with that friend reminds me of mine with a best friend I've know for about 13 years. She is my best friend and loves me enough and values our friendship enough to be honest. Which I appreciate, even if it's hard to hear the truth at times!

    1. Yes! It's always great to reconnect with lifetime friends :)

  2. It's kind of hard to realize that sooner or later you'll be taking care of your parents, isn't it? I think that every time I visit mine, and it makes me sad I don't live closer to them.

    1. Definitely agree. Dad's struggled with health issues for the last gosh, ten years, and even my Mom isn't in the best of shape always these days. So sad to seeing them starting to wear out...and also makes me aware of my own aging process....