Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Memorable Moments

In my last post, I wrote about long term friends from whom I had recently heard. I also connected with another friend from my California school days, and her name is Cathi. We were essentially inseparable during our school years, and she was truly like one of our family members. My brother, John, was born when I was 15 years old and my friends considered him quite the novelty at the time. Cathi was right there to give him a bottle when needed, but I don't recall whether or not she was into diaper changing. As 15 year olds, I'd say we thought that was pretty gross and should be left to the parents whenever possible.

I'll never forget the evening my parents broke the news to me that they were expecting. It was quite a shock to me (as well as to them, I believe). They sat me down and told me that Mom was pregnant, but they promised that it wouldn't interfere with my social life. Dad specifically said that I would not be expected to be a built in baby sitter. "Whew!" I thought. "I'm glad to hear that!!" But something magical happened when that little guy was born. I really didn't mind helping with him. I spent many an hour with him cuddled against my neck, as I sat with him in the rocking chair in his nursery, singing sweet little songs to him to help him go to sleep. It turned out to be good training for me because when my own dear son was born when I was twenty, I felt reasonably confident about infant care. I have to laugh because Fred and I sat in Magiquest at Broadway at the Beach last night, chatting with my brother, John, as his three children raced around with their wands--doing whatever it is that kids are doing in there with those wands, and John's patient wife, Amy, was dashing around attempting to keep track of their three children and a nephew! It's rather mind boggling to realize how much time has elapsed since John was that little toddler who was always so curious about what his sister and her friends were doing. He's turned out to be a fine family man and someone that I am proud to call a good friend. And I always love to hear from Cathi.

Cape May was a fabulous time once again this year. The photo at the top of this post is from that location. I was able to produce a great deal of writing for my second novel during the trip. Once I get on a roll with the thoughts and ideas, it just flows so automatically, and hours can fly by. The Cape May Girls are making their bucket lists, naming all of the things that they would like to do before their demise. We're going to produce a booklet with a group photo on the front and individual pages with a photo of the particular person and their bucket list following. I have two participants who haven't yet turned in their bucket lists....I won't mention any names....but I hope they are almost complete. They know that I'll be hounding them before very long. As soon as I finish the three main projects I'm working on right now, I want to tackle the Bucket List booklet! It will be lots of fun to look at these booklets in the future. We had a wonderful week in Cape May, and the time seems to fly. I guess when you are spending so much time doubled over in laughter, the hours tick by quickly.

Okay, I probably shouldn't be blogging this late at night after working most of the day on a client's family history and then working on my book. I'm beginning to get drowsy and there is no telling what I'll write, so I had better sign off for today! God bless you all.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Connecting with Dear Friends

This has been a banner week for connecting with "old" friends. Don't you just love those friends who are a part of your history and although you don't see or hear from them for months or even years, when you finally have the opportunity to chat or visit, the time since your last connection is non-existent? It seems as though you just talked yesterday because you seem to pick up exactly where you left off.

If you have friendships that I just described, you are so blessed. Take a moment to call one of those special connections, and you will be uplifted by a sense of closeness that is punctuated by the unique space of your heart that is occupied by that individual.

This week, I heard from my friend, Janie. We've been friends since childhood, and although she lives in California, we touch base periodically. We'll always feel linked regardless of the miles of separation and the peaks and valleys of life that we have shared via letters, telephone calls, and e-mails. She probably doesn't know that she had a nickname in high school. She was referred to as "Hollywood" because her father was a cameraman for a movie studio and worked with many celebrities including Barbara Streisand. He was such a kind, down-to-earth guy--even though he was well acquainted with many famous people. Anyway, I'll see Janie at our 40th (you must be kidding!) class reunion in October. Our California high school class will be holding this milestone remembrance in Las Vegas, which is always interesting in itself. I hope that lots of the folks from our class will be able to attend, as it's wonderful to be able to catch up.

The other person that I heard from this week from the past was Tony, the funniest guy you'd ever want to know. We've been friends for many years, having become acquainted when Fred and I were big Siena College Basketball fans back in the days when Mike Deane was the incredible coach. Attending the games was something that we thoroughly enjoyed as a winter activity because those winters are cold and long in the Albany, NY area! It turned out, however, that becoming involved in cheering for the Siena team evolved into a cherished social activity that forged some wonderful friendships. Tony was a vital part of that scene in an era that we will never forget! The very best to you, Tony, in your retirement!!

And speaking of friend connections, I'm on my way to Cape May, NJ to meet a fabulous group of girlfriends for a few days of hilarity that we've been sharing for a week in July for almost twenty years. I'm not kidding. The eight of us never stop laughing the whole time we are there, and it's one of the most therapeutic events in my life every year. It's like a week long pajama party with bathing suits. I highly recommend this for other ladies--get a group of friends who are comical, considerate, caring and conversational and plan even a long weekend together. You'll never regret it!! Looking forward to seeing you Cape May Girls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

For those who are working on their lifewriting projects, think back to your most favorite vacation and write about the details of that trip. Include a good, solid description of the location, surroundings, accommodations, activities, travel involved, and what made it so special. Make your readers feel as though they were right there--seeing everything you saw, participating in everything you did (okay, maybe not EVERYTHING!), eating the types of foods that you ate, describing the local culture, and bringing us along the paths that you walked. If you can locate photos from the visit, use those to refresh your memory of the details. Capture the moments!

Happy 4th of July holiday to everyone!!!!!!!!!! God bless and keep you safe this holiday weekend.