Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Time Passages

Today is my birthday and my plan is to sip coffee on the porch in my pjs until I feel like doing something else. Daughter2 is coming out for dinner and she might just find me on the porch sipping coffee in my pjs when she arrives.

I kid. I've never been that person who stays in their pjs all day. I might stay in my bathing suit all day, but definitely not my pjs.

When I'm through sipping coffee I have big plans to take my book and my raft and float beside the dock. Hubs will tie a line to the raft so I don't float away because I honestly plan to be that chill. We have road tripped over 1100 miles in the past ten days and I'm ready for a day of doing nothing.

The first stop on our road trip was Annapolis. We lived there once upon a time or was it only yesterday? Our house sat in a cozy little cul-de-sac where kids gathered in the middle of the street to ride big wheels and bicycles and slap hockey pucks with too big sticks.

Where they drew houses made of chalk and played flashlight tag as cicada sang their goodnight song. Where mothers walked to the bus stop and could be counted on to pick up a sick child from school if you were out of reach. A sweet safe place to be a kid.

It doesn't seem that long ago, yet there we were Saturday before last watching one of those littles walk down the aisle to her waiting groom.

Time slips by and you hardly notice until you notice.

Fifteen years ago we moved to England. We pulled out of that cul-de-sac in a hired car, tissue in hand, while our neighbors stood in the driveway and waved goodbye til we were out of sight. It was raining and there were tears, I do remember that. Some of them were mine.

What were we doing?

We didn't know exactly but we buckled in to our airplane seats and the next chapter of our lives and soared on into the future.  And these girls...

One already a Mrs. and a mama and one soon to be a Mrs.

Time presses on.

Hubs and I spent a few days with my mom on this most recent road trip. Something warm and familiar wraps itself around me as we pull into the drive. I marvel at the way I can walk through the front door and feel like I still live there. I pray I always remember the way home feels.

Technically I haven't called this place 'home' in some forty years. I know this for certain because I have a high school reunion happening next week. A reunion I won't be able to attend, but I do think about the number and the years and the friends all the same.

Forty years ago I graduated from high school? Can that be right? Didn't my soon-to-be Mrs. just graduate from high school? I guess not.

Time is funny.

Also bittersweet, slower than molasses, and faster than the speed of light. Mostly though, it's precious. Oh so very precious.

On my birthday I'll be grateful for the gift of another day. For girls who bloom where they're planted but keep their momma close in heart. For friends always near no matter how far the miles or years between. For family and home and memory.

For what's behind and what's ahead and all that glorious in between.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Birthdays Are For Blogging

Y'all. We have logged some miles this summer and I am not kidding. At some point I might try to calculate the actual number of miles, but we're currently busy logging more miles so math will have to wait.

We're once again mid-road trip, which wouldn't be a big deal except today is Daughter2's birthday and when I spoke to her on the phone this afternoon and told her I hadn't written a birthday blog post she said, 'I know... I checked first thing when I woke up.'  

Zing. Like an arrow right to the heart.

Her sister was here visiting the week prior and everyone agrees normal activity will be suspended when our favorite man cub is in town. Sometimes I think he recognizes how much his mama and his aunt mean to one another so he loves her extra extra.

Daughter1 and company eventually left town to attend a wedding one state over, and Daughter2 and her fiancĂ© spent the weekend with us at a different wedding in a different state. Then they flew back home and hubs and I got back in the car today en route to still another state.

Hence no birthday blog.

There should always be a birthday blog for this girl.

Secretly she was hoping somewhere along the way I'd have written something just for her because I'm her mother and mothers do their best to make birthday wishes come true. She told me last year when I thought about not mentioning her birthday here that reading my blog on her birthday was her most favorite thing, and those words ring in my ear more often than you might think.

How often are we mothers of grown up children told our words are very precious to them? I think that's one of the things I love best about my girl. She feels things deeply. She wears her heart on her sleeve and so often puts into words what I wish I could put into words.

Still she's had a nice day, most of it was spent celebrating with approximately 21 of her closest friends-ha! In other words, she taught kindergarten.

There were little voices singing out the happy birthday song. There were cupcakes eaten and wishes made. Blessings were counted, a calendar page turned.

Many miles away was a mother. A mother who thought all day about all the light and laughter this child has added to her life, keeps on adding to her life. About all the ways they are the same and all the ways she wishes she was a just little bit more like the child she birthed.

About how once upon a time a wailing newborn was placed in her arms and how that determined little blue-eyed beauty wrapped herself around the mama's heart and never let go.

About ties that bind no matter where we roam.

The miracle of life and family and love that grows in ways too wonderful for words.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Hodgepodge Au Revoir

Welcome to the Wednesday Hodgepodge. If you've answered this week's questions add your link at the end of my post, then leave a comment for the blogger linking before you. That's the way we've always rolled here on Wednesday mornings.
From this Side of the Pond  
1. What has been the highlight of your summer so far?

Our summer has been positively jam packed so it's hard to choose just one highlight. If I have to pick I'll go with celebrating my grandson turning one. 

He's just the sweetest y'all. 

2. What do you wish you'd done more of this summer? Less of?

More of? Tuesday nights with hubs. If you don't know what I'm talking about read this post. 

Less of? Carbs-ha! 

3. Something you're looking forward to on your September calendar?

Lots of fun things on our September calendar, including my birthday (and you know how I feel about my birthday), but I'll say the wedding of a friend's daughter. Our girls grew up together in a little Maryland cul-de-sac and I'm excited to celebrate this special day with them. 

4. Best/favorite book you've read this summer?

Again with the 'just one' kind of question? A few I really enjoyed were The Shadow Land by Elizabeth Kostova, None Like Him: 10 Ways God Is Different From Us by Jen Wilkin and The Mistresses of Cliveden: Three Centuries of Scandal, Power and Intrigue in an English Stately Home by Natalie Livingston

5. Share something positive, encouraging, or uplifting here.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

I've decided to retire the weekly Wednesday Hodgepodge. I've gone back and forth about it, but in the end feel the time has come. When I first started blogging weekly hops were a regular part of everyone's content, but now not so much. 

I will likely still do some Hodgepodge style posts from time to time, because let's be honest my whole blog is a bit of a hodgepodge, and I may add a link option to those type posts when I do. I'm kind of still figuring it all out, but I do know I'm ready to let go of the pressure to create, post, and manage weekly questions.  

I  have so enjoyed hosting this weekly link up and hope you'll continue to visit here and see what's new. Thank you for sharing your Wednesday mornings with me here on From This Side Of The Pond.

For anyone who may be interested Kate Motaung has posted 31-days of free write prompts for the month of October over on the Five Minute Friday blog. I'm planning to participate and hope to see some of you there.  

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Hodgepodge Questions-Volume 360

It's Baaaack. For today anyway. Here are the questions to the Wednesday Hodgepodge. Answer on your own blog then hop back here tomorrow to share answers and celebrate the end of an era.

Okay, maybe not an era but I have been writing Hodgepodge questions for close to nine years now,  and have decided to call it a wrap. I'll have more to say about that tomorrow, but for now keep calm and Hodgepodge on.

1. What has been the highlight of your summer so far? (It's still summer people!)

2. What do you wish you'd done more of this summer? Less of?

3. Something you're looking forward to on your September calendar?

4. Best/favorite book you've read this summer?

5. Share something positive, encouraging, or uplifting here.

6. Insert your own random thought here.