Friday, October 31, 2014

Full heart

My heart is incredibly full right now. For the first time since my children began to marry and have families, we are all together on a vacation. We -all twenty of us -have descended on Walt Disney World to celebrate our wedding anniversary.

It's an incredible blessing to have children and grandchildren. It's amazing when they all like each other and get along well. And it's a special gift, when one has battled cancer and seen the end of life in the rear view mirror, to be able to see something like this.

I don't think people who have never touched their own potential demise can fully grasp the way it changes you. I say that because I've always been someone who believed in grabbing every memory and making the most of every moment of life, yet I never fully appreciated my life until I faced the possibility that it might be taken from me. It changed who I am and I approach every day now with renewed gratitude and love. So this gift, this time together, is amazing and I am so full my heart feels as though it might break.

I had no idea when I married this man forty years ago that I would have all these incredible people in my life. I knew I was happy. But I guess I didn't fully understand what true happiness really is.

Thursday, October 30, 2014


The Disney magic is still very much alive down here in FL and we're enjoying it immensely. Because they know we're celebrating our anniversary we find things like swan sculptures made out of towels, and silk hibiscus scattered all over our bed when the maid has been here. People everywhere in Disney World are friendly and helpful and I wonder if there must be some sort of personality test they give applicants because I've never been anywhere-including church-where people seem so happy and friendly. It truly is Walt's vision for a better world. One can't help but wonder why the world can't be more like this place.

Their marketing people are incredible. When a line begins to form at the check-in counter at the hotel, more agents magically appear. When there are people waiting to pay for their purchases in a shop, suddenly additional check out counters are opened. They work hard to make every experience as pleasant and unstressful as possible. And it works. We are relaxed and smiling. It feels good to be taken care of for a change.

I think I'd like to live here. It may not be the real world, but I like the illusion...

Wednesday, October 29, 2014


Well all the agita about flying yesterday was worse than the actual event. The skies were clear and calm, take-off and landing were smooth, and I could see the ground the whole flight.

Of course the seats were still ramped and I felt claustrophobic, and the annoying people getting their things out of the overhead bins were annoying (shouldn't those of us with nothing stowed be allowed to disembark first?) and the long line of wheelchairs that got priority boarding made me think someone was taking advantage of the system (I have nothing against people in wheelchairs but it seems odd that there were twenty for pre-boarding and only about 5 that met us in Orlando). So the whole flying thing still annoys me. But I wasn't miserable and was grateful for calmer nerves than usual.

And everyone at Disney World is so pleasant and kind that it's impossible to ever get annoyed at anyone even when the computers are down and it takes 30 minutes to get checked in to the resort. Now we are officially on Disney time and life is good.

I'm excited about the day ahead and even more excited about seeing our grandchildren when they arrive tonight. Some of them have never experienced Disney magic before. And the magic has already begun!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014


Today is getaway day for us and I'm not sure how much blogging I'll get done over the next week as we fill our time with family and Mickey Mouse. This is a long-planned trip with the entire family, all twenty of us, and I'm beyond excited. My only issue is the fear of flying and sadly we can't really get there without that part of it all so I need to suck it up and get on the plane before the real fun can begin.

Well....hopefully I'll be able to catch a few minutes here and there to tell you about my adventures with all these kids and Mickey and Minnie. But if I miss a day here and there I promise to be back with stories soon. Because there WILL be stories!

Monday, October 27, 2014


I'm feeling a bit lost today as I don't have my twin granddaughters here as I usually do on Monday mornings. They have already left for Florida where we'll meet up with them later this week, so no babysitting today. It seems odd!

It really is amazing how accustomed we get to our routines, good or bad. They are habits, and as thus hard to break. And with children we miss their presence when they're gone. I can always tell when we haven't seen the family in Pennsylvania for more than 6 weeks because I can't get them out of my mind. Like every other habit we know when its time to satiate our longing! And with the twins, its every Monday! Except today.

I'll be seeing them Thursday so it won't be long now, but today I'm definitely feeling their absence.

Sunday, October 26, 2014


Today I have to start packing for our family trip to Disney World and thus the stress begins. Which clothes should I take? Will I need a sweater? Will I need different shoes? How about a rain coat? Do I have enough underwear to last without doing laundry? And of course "What am I forgetting?"

I have to constantly remind myself when I travel to my daughter's house in PA that she is literally 2 minutes from a 24 hour drug/convenience store so there is hardly anything I could leave home that I couldn't easily pick up there. I think its my curse to be overly organized and prepared for anything because it gets in my way when I want to stand back and enjoy the experience. I'm always worrying about the "what ifs".

This trip is especially that way because we are going to Disney World. Now I realize that Disney World is not outside the realm of civilization, but the thing is, we won't have a car so leaving Disney property will be difficult. They make it so darn easy to stay on their property there that who needs a car? Except that anything you need to replace costs twice as much in a Disney convenience store as it would at the CVS two minutes away by car....if you only had one....

Well - I need to take a chill pill and, as Disney has reminded us so well of late, "let it go". Vacations are not for stressing about.

Saturday, October 25, 2014


After nearly three full days of rain the sun has finally come out for the weekend and we're all glad. I'm not sure how the wonderful people who live in Seattle can handle all that rain, but a few gray days in a row is enough for me. I'm ready for sunshine again.

Even in the depths of winter there is the beauty of sunlight and the way it bounces off the snow and brightens our days mirrors the way it lifts our spirits. We are people who long for light. It's a basic of life, just as the rain and water are, but spiritually it completes us as well. This weekend is making us all feel better because we can see and feel the sun.

We're heading to Florida soon and although I'm not a big fan of the heat and cannot see myself ever moving there, I have to admit to a little thrill every time I've stepped out into that brilliant sun when flying in for a few days. The air, the colors - everything is brighter and lighter there. I like that.

So - the dark is gone for a bit and we'll enjoy the sunshine for now. We know the rain (or snow) will be back, any time now....