Barrage of Goodness

Here we are, the Monday after Thanksgiving.  Many have mixed emotions today.  Some wake in dread of another Monday of the work week.  Some are just plain exhausted and want a few days to rest before returning to work and some are happy to get back to a normal routine after four days of out of the ordinary stuff.

This year, my boyfriend and I drove to Virginia to share Thanksgiving with my children and grandchildren.  There are a lot of changes just in the fact that we went.  #1:  We never travel on Thanksgiving. #2:  We never leave our state on Thanksgiving.  #3:  We have never actually gone on a road trip together.  #4:  We have never been in one house with 14 people for three straight days.  #5:  We have never spent Thanksgiving with all my kids and grandkids and their spouses and my ex-husband.

That’s a lot of new things to experience in a three day period, especially for my boyfriend who is a homebody.  It was completely out of his comfort zone.  Let’s break this whole thing down step by step.  #1:  I have always heard that the Wednesday before Thanksgiving is the most heavily traveled day of the year.  For the most part, the travel was fine because it was 95% interstate travel but we came upon an accident within the last 50 miles of our 7 hour journey.  The whole dynamic changed at that point due to being tired, cranky, hungry and the disappointment of being almost there but you have to wait a little longer.  The trip back home was awful in a whole new way.  Driving rain followed us from Virginia all the way back to New Jersey along with temperatures hovering around 32 degrees in the mountainous regions.  Visibility was almost non-existent.  On top of that, My boyfriend was having stomach issues and was unable to eat for the two days after Thanksgiving.  So, he was tired, weak, and hungry.  He hates to drive so he’s not the best road trip partner to have.  There was no singing in the rain.  I believe that I have just covered points 1 through 3.

Point number 4:  The house we stayed in was an open floor concept with three bedrooms.  There wasn’t any extra beds so we all brought air mattresses.  Bedroom number one was extra big so we fit two queen air mattresses in there to inhabit my daughter and her husband and my son and his wife.  Sounds all fine and good until you get one person who snores enough to activate the richter scale.  Much laughter came from those stories in that room.  There was even video evidence of my daughter-in-law sleeping so deep that she didn’t realize my son was sticking his finger up her nose.  We move on to Bedroom number two where my boyfriend and I slept. That was a master bedroom with a beautiful garden tub in the master bath.  When other people can’t sleep during the night, what’s a person to do but get a bath in that glorious tub.  So, people would come in and out throughout the night as we tried to sleep.  But sleeping on our air mattress was a struggle in itself.  There must have been a slow leak because during the night, I would roll over into this deep dark hole in the middle.  It was like a bad water bed.  But we survived.  Moving on, the living room was sleep central for my son, daughter-in-law and 5 grandchildren with three air mattresses and a couch.  Usually well after I went to bed there were shenanigans in the living room.  The third bedroom is where my ex-husband slept.

As I stated before, the living room, kitchen and dining room are all open concept so there was movement of one form or another throughout the night.

During the day and evenings all kinds of crazy took place and that is where the magic happened.  Silly games, kids shouting, adults laughing and mudslides going down nice and easy.  One night was craft night, so we took over all the tables as we each made our own Christmas wreaths.

Thanksgiving day was amazing.  There were no rules, not just one person cooking.  We each decided to make a specific dish.  Much to my surprise, we each were able to share the kitchen and we worked like a well oiled machine in bringing the meal together.  My two sons were outside frying the turkey in a turkey fryer while the rest of us were working on the ham and side dishes.  We placed the food out on the island in the kitchen and gathered around in a circle to share our individual gratitudes which was followed by such a heartfelt, sincere prayer by my son.  There was one person missing this year and that was my former mother-in-law who passed away in September.  We were in her kitchen, in her home and as we gathered, we knew her spirit was right there with us celebrating a very momentous occasion that she would have loved.

The things that made this gathering extraordinary were the gathering of all the sects of this family.  Being able to have 5 of my grandchildren together.  We came together from all different states.  We all traveled to be together because we wanted to.  Everyone got to meet my daughter’s new husband and my daughter got to spend this time with her father.  After Christmas my daughter will be deployed overseas.  This gathering was a very necessary one, full of love, laughter and joy.  We came together despite differences in circumstances, living proximity and time restraints.  We were one family unit, the support system for my daughter and I believe, the best send off team anyone could ask for.

As we said our goodbyes, we shared our love and prayers with each other.  We shared our blessings with my daughter on her journey.  We bonded as a family to a level that we haven’t reached before.  The word grateful cannot begin to describe the experiences of this holiday.

My heart is so full that I believe it can explode.  The explosion will consist of joy, peace, tranquility and love and my intention for this outburst is to let it all fall on everyone I come in contact with.  I share my explosion with all of you.  Please pass it on.

As far as the mixed emotions regarding this Monday after Thanksgiving; My boyfriend was filled with dread to start another Monday work week.  I am thrilled to be back home and welcome my daily routine.  I also have a sadness in my heart with having to say goodbye to my daughter for an extended period of time as she serves our country away from home.  For the most part, I think everyone was thankful to be back to their own homes and beds.  I think I can speak for everyone when I say that we came away from this Thanksgiving with new love, respect and a stronger bond with each other.

I don’t want to lose this feeling of family joy so I will choose to keep it close in my heart and reignite it each and every day.


Moment Living

I’ve been so busy lately that I haven’t had time to sit down and write.  Well, that’s not really true because as humans we tend to make time for things that we actually want to do.  I guess I was just hoping that some miraculous words would come to mind and I would throw them on paper and boom, a blog post would be born.  That’s not how it works, Ever!  Usually I sit down and just start writing and the subject kind of pops up on its own but it doesn’t mean that I don’t have to sit and focus and actually write.  Let’s face it, it’s not going to write itself.

The truth is that I have been busy.  My puppy of 5 months old had been very sick last week and I was up for three nights in a row with him as he threw up constantly.  Between Vet visits and taking care of him, I was busy.  But at the same time, he was very tired and so he would nap during the day and it was at those times that I could have sat down to write but I just didn’t feel like it.  There it is; I just didn’t feel like it truth be told.

Today, I had an ache in my heart to just sit and write something.  I was never that person who liked to write.  I hated English class and I didn’t feel like I was very good at it.

In the last 8 years or so I have been on a journey of growth, both spiritually and emotionally.  Throughout this time I have realized that I do have things to share with others.  I may not have the talent of showering flowery words around but I have important things to say, lessons that I’ve learned on a daily basis.  I have finally realized that my life and my journey deserve to be shared if there is any value in the things I’ve learned along the way.

Sometimes things don’t have to be profound in order to be valuable.  I find that in each day as I clean the house or walk the dog, I can stumble upon some pretty good stuff to talk about and share.  For instance, last week was vacation week for my little family which consists of my boyfriend and his daughter and I.  My boyfriend only gets one week vacation a year so we try to make it count.  We don’t have the means to go on lavish vacations but still we make the most of what we can do.

We live by the bay so we got up early and went fishing and crabbing on two occasions.  You might think that waking up at 5 am on a vacation is not much fun but what we get for our efforts is the gift of watching the sun rise, minute by minute, the smell of the sea water, the anticipation of what we will catch and the fun of watching the lunes diving under the water and wondering where they will surface again.  When we finish for the morning, everything is quiet, there are no seagulls around but the minute you start to throw out your old bait into the water they all come flocking down from out of nowhere.  It’s so cool because I just don’t know where they were watching from but they don’t miss a trick.

One morning we went to the beach, early again because we are our best in the morning, open, free and fresh with energy to take in the joys of the day.  We took out the boogie boards and swam in the fresh and clean ocean.  The dolphins were frolicking in the foam and they never cease to bring us the joy of the freedom they are living.  On occasion we like to pick up McDonald’s and take our food down to the dock of the bay and just sit and watch the boats and the people while we eat our breakfast.  We ate take out most days of our vacation which is truly a vacation for me since I don’t have a very receptive family when it comes to trying new foods and our meals can become quite boring.  One afternoon we went and got ice cream cones which is something we never do.

Despite the dog being sick for the last three days of our vacation we were able to enjoy the little things in life that matter most.  Just being together and doing simple things,  we enjoyed each other’s company with the peace that we should feel in each day of our lives.  So, why do we live in the moment for one week a year and not everyday of the year?

Life should be about substance.  It should be experienced through its simplicity.  True living gives us something so deep and pure but we only allow it for one week a year.  It’s time to change the  paradigm of this way of thinking.  Balance is what we need.  We all need money to survive and work is what we do to fulfill that necessity but if that’s all we do, what is it good for?

Freedom, peace, joy and caring for one another should be experiences we feel everyday.  Life is just too short to only allow ourselves one week of something that is so innate in us.  Our true calling is being set aside so we can pay the bills.  What a sad state of affairs!

Please share with me how you find time to live in the moment of each day.  I find great peace watching and hearing how others live life to the fullest even though they have to work like everyone else.  It gives me such inspiration and I’m sure others would love to feel inspired also.