This year has been especially wonderful, and I am very thankful.
Monday, Mom celebrated her 90th year surrounded by family. Eldest sister Becky (a world class baker) made a 3-layer carrot cake, and we all enjoyed Indian food, especially Mom. lt has become a family ritual to enjoy lamb saag, naan, tandoori etc. with Mom on her birthday, or whenever we reunite in North Carolina.
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, so I feel the need to share all the things I am thankful for this year, because it has been eventful.
In June, we celebrated weddings. Rachel (Becky’s daughter) and Adam finally got married after 10+ years together. Rachel and Adam have lived in different cities and on different continents, demonstrating the true meaning of “distance makes the heart grow fonder”. However, they did sail from the west coast to Hawaii and back, which demostrates their ability to live in tight quarters. They were soul mates from first meeting, and we celebrated their marriage on the outer banks of North Carolina. A fantastic week of ocean, sand and sun.
Not to be outdone, we returned to Cary, NC the following weekend to celebrate the marriage of Rachel’s mother, and eldest sister Becky to Chuck. Chuck is a marvelous addition to this difficult clan. He likes football and other sports, we are not a sports family, BUT. Thankfully for me, he plays golf. Chuck and I played 18 holes last week, and while my score as 110, I didn’t lose a ball! Astounding, considering Devil’s Ridge is a monster of a course, and the leaf rule was definitely in play. Let me just say Chuck is great at finding balls under leaves or in the woods. It is his course, thankfully.
As I said 2019 has been an exceptional year. I was in Tucson, AZ and Palm Springs, CA in January and February, celebrating my Medicare Birthday at a Jazz club in Palm Springs surrounded by friends and family: sisters Kerry and Robin, friends: Randle & Jen, Carol & Kevin, Diane & Jon, and Deb.
If you have never experienced Modernism Week in Palm Springs, put it on your bucket list. President’s day week (mid-February) is the very best time to enjoy the California desert. Fabulous mid-century house tours, great weather and I am lucky to have lots of friends – especially Alaskan and Canadian snowbirds. I was also able to get in one round of golf with Canadian friends I met two years earlier.
Returning to AZ on my way back to the east coast for weddings, I spent a week in March with dearest friend Esther recovering from hip replacement. Esther is my Mom’s best friend from Alaska. It was Esther and husband Dale who were our very best friends during my father’s decent and final death from alcoholism. I am grateful to have spent a week with Esther, even if it meant sleeping on a cot in her living room. Esther is one of a kind, with the most positive outlook on life. I am happy to report she is walking with a cane at 90+ without pain. Her surgery was a total success.
I am so very thankful to new friends I have met in campgrounds. Best of all Phyllis and Chris, and their very special dog Molly. Walking Maggie gives me the opportunity to meet fellow campers, which is how I met Phyllis. She was walking Molly and I was walking Maggie, we bonded immediately. Especially when she said she played golf. My only disappointment in the coming winter in Florida, is not seeing Phyllis and Chris. But winter 2021!
After Tucson, I drove to visit Beth north of Austin, TX on her ranch for a couple of days of riding my favorite horse Hope, and swimming in the river. Thank you Beth! It was an extraordinary 3 days. I would have stayed longer, but, I had to get to North Carolina for weddings!
After all the weddings I returned to Washington, D.C. for my spring check-in with friends, and former colleagues. I am most thankful I am not working in the current political environment. I am breaking all the rules of retirement, drawing on Social Security and pension early and not have the savings recommended – but I would be suicidal if I was still trying to work in Washington, D.C. — more like homicidal.
Thankfully, I have my sister Robin’s house in Westhampton, NY to retreat to for summer. Everyone should be so fortunate to have a baby sister who is an Executive Producer at Disney. She’ll be moving to France in 2020 for work there, and I will be holding down the Long Island house for whenever she can fly-in. It is a very tough life…
Alaskan friends visited: Bruce & Lydia, MaryAnn & Melissa (with salmon and halibut) and Mary. It was a full summer of good food, walking on the beach and swimming in the pool and ocean. Robin has a wonderful group of friends she has shared with me, so there are always weekend dinners with Abby & Tom, Fred & Barbara, Randel & Jen.
Tomorrow, I am so happy Liz and Tim will be joining us for Thanksgiving. They will be flying in Tim’s Mooney, nice to have your own plane! Becky & Chuck are hosting. There will be pies!
This year has been exceptional, so very much to be thankful for. I look forward to arriving on Hutchinson Island, FL in December and spending Christmas with BBF Michelle and the Big D.
Let us all give thanks for living in the most amazingly beautiful country, to celebrate friends and family, and beating Trump in 2020. Please pass the turkey!