So, this has been an uncharacteristically long blog break for me.
I knew it was time to start writing again when someone asked me, “Have you quit blogging?”
Not at all…I have been busy living life and while I was doing that, my computer keyboard quickly gathered dust.
This has been an unusual summer in many ways. Here are some things I have learned:
1) My husband and I thrived during our 5-week empty nest experience.
Our son attended a five week Advanced Studies Program at a local boarding school and our daughter flew to the United Kingdom with the People To People program to tour London, Wales, Ireland, and Scotland.
They had the time of their lives.
And while Doug and I did miss them, we reveled in having time alone. It was peaceful, fun, happy, and joyful. We have been together for 23 years (married for 21) and his smile still makes my heart race.
Of course, we weren’t completely alone because we live with a very needy and neurotic Bichon Frise, Buddy. The instant the kids left, he proceeded to glue himself to our sides. He even went so far as to sleep beside us with his head on a pillow!
He is a tad spoiled.
2. Our kids are living an entirely different life than we did as teenagers.
This summer, Josh and Julia’s various friends have traveled to Spain, St. Lucia, California, New York City, Texas, and Ireland.
When I was a teenager, my friends considered the fact that my family went to my uncle’s beach house in Myrtle Beach every year exotic! How things change!
3. Our daughter is moving to Scotland.
Well, at least she is planning to apply to college there.
She was completely captivated by that land and is determined to live there at some point in her life. After hearing her stories and seeing her fabulous photos, visiting Scotland is now on my bucket list!
4. I love Les Miserables!
My brother, Doug, and I saw a performance while the kids were gone. Our little town provides professional Broadway-caliber actors a chance to escape the madness of New York City or Boston in the summer and perform in a Norman Rockwell-like setting.
I had seen the movie but there is something about seeing this powerful story play out live on the stage that is intoxicating.
The gorgeous music alone is worth the price of admission. It causes a heart to soar and then to break and it is glorious. However, it is this story of the sheer beauty of grace and redemption and love in the face of unrelenting, merciless law that is so beautiful.
You can read how the story showcases the Gospel message here.
5. I learned some family history.
Given that my dad’s family is Irish and Julia was going to be in Ireland, I called my aunt and uncle to discover some history. I learned that my grandmother’s family were from Northern Ireland and they were sheep farmers. Their names have long since been forgotten but I am grateful that somewhere along the way, one of them decided to come to America and begin a new chapter in our magnificent country.
I also learned that our family history reads like a soap opera: tragedy, love affairs, struggles with vice, etc. My aunt thinks I should write a book about it because (in her words): “It would be a blockbuster.”
Maybe so. Stay tuned. 🙂
6. Life is sweet.
While looking for something while the kids were gone, I came across a photo of the two of them when they were eight and seven. I know I say this all the time on my little corner of the internet, but it was yet another reminder of how very fast time goes.
When they returned from their various adventures to live under our roof once again, we noticed the changes immediately. Both possessed a greater level of maturity and a deeper zest for life.
They have truly begun to live their own stories and it is a beautiful thing to see.
I am very grateful for the “preview of coming attractions” that I received while they were gone because it makes me even more determined to treasure the moments and days of the coming year as our son enters his senior year of high school.
Our house is once again filled with the tremendous energy and boisterous laughter of the kids’ friends. One afternoon while a bunch of them were waiting for Julia to get ready to go to the beach, one of them sat down at the piano and began to play. The happy music mingled with the sounds of chatter and laughter for a few wonderful moments and then with a flurry of last minute activity, they were out the door and the house was quiet.
And my heart is full.
“God, today is the last like this. This place, this people, this moment—it will never again be just like this. Cause my eyes to see everything in my life afresh. I may not pass by here again. Now is not a forever grace but amazing grace.”—Ann Voskamp