July 4, 2013
Good friends came to visit for the week of the 4th and introduced us to the perfect summer drink. Apparently, it’s one of the *hot* cocktails these days with many versions. We like this tart, thirst-cutting interpretation best. It’s satisfying and goes down very easily!
This is how you pull it together …
• Fill a tall glass about 2/3 of the way with ice
• Add 1 jigger (1 – 1 1/2 oz) of tequila
• Squeeze a chunk of lime into the glass and drop the squeezed lime right in.
• Pour sparkling grapefruit beverage to about 1 inch below the rim of the glass.
• Garnish with more lime and salt, if desired (I don’t)
I’ve thought of adding a sprig of mint from the garden, but haven’t yet. Also, you could skip the tequila, I guess. But, why mess with perfection?
This morning at 5:30 (yes. AM), I boarded a flight to New Orleans that wasn’t in the plans 24 hours ago. A trip promising to be an adventurous cap to a busy week. As you know, Mother’s Day was a week ago with its gathering of generations over steaks and hot dogs. Our fifth grandchild, four months old, was dedicated in church, and we got to hold our bright-eyed girl in our arms and give hugs to her big sister and brother on their way to Sunday school. We stayed in town to work (the husband) and join friends for great food and catching up (both of us); college graduation of our second oldest son (proud doesn’t express our state of parenthood). Casino Royale night for The Hub’s company (what fun dressing all the way up in gowns, heels and eyeliner!) We were happily looking forward to making it back to the cottage to relax for a couple of days and give finishing touches for the upcoming (Memorial Day) weekend … YUMMMM!
Which brings us full circle to the topic of today’s story. Yesterday morning, I found an email from our (very early-rising) girlfriend. Her S.O. is so busy getting their properties ready for the vacation season then he can’t swing taking off a couple of days to attend her cousin’s full-out, New Orleans-Style wedding. Which is the illustration of the point of the story. When you start living tired from sleeping less during the night and the elasticity of your skin just isn’t what it used to be. When your children are old enough to be having children. And you’ve learned that one really CAN sleep wrong … There are still perks. Like being free and able to change plans at the drop of an email in order to breakfast on a true, N.O. breakfast of peppered grits with butter, salted/spicy/loaded-with-fat breakfast meats and a tall Bloody Mary (which I ordered for the pickled okra) in the lobby of the Bourban Orleans Hotel waiting for a room to be ready and your friend to arrive from her own flight. Just because you want to!
This, dear ones, THIS is living Nest Half Full!
As you can see, it was deLICious! Reminded me of the breakfasts my grandfather used to make. But that’s a story for another time …
3 disparate thoughts awakened me this morning.
Thought 1… CNN pushes captioned in red on my iPad – News of the capture of the second suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing. This morning, Watertown, Boston and America sighs with relief. Yet again, hundreds are left to grieve the loss and wounds of loved ones, stunned at the violence that brought them to this day. Yet another family agonizes over the inexplicable and evil actions of their children. Relief and grief.
Thought 2… My friend, Sharon, is gone from this world after deciding that loving her family while she was here was better than the pain of continuing to fight Stage 4 Lung Cancer. Sharon, I love you and am so proud of you. I miss you, Shining Woman.
Thought 3… And then I saw the date and realized that today is the 84th anniversary of my dad’s birth! Daddy was a brilliant, happy, thoughtful man his entire life. A truly loving man who dedicated himself to God and pastored people through joy and pain and the daily business of living a life. I picture him humming Beethoven (always a Classics Man) over the stove while he concocted something ugly yet surprisingly delicious for supper. Or talking quietly with someone as their pastor and friend, offering encouragement or comfort. Dad consistently, daily, taught us by action and word how to love, forgive and accept people where they are; a Christ-like man. He went Home 7 years ago this month. I miss him.
3 disparate thoughts awakened me this morning.
I guess what ties these all together is this. You cannot put off telling someone you love them, that you accept them. If needed, tell them you forgive them. Tell them now. You have to pick yourself up and get over to see the people you hold dearly in your heart, hold them in your arms for a moment when you walk through the door. Listen to them while they tell you stories of their daily life. Ask questions and don’t hold back. Hug them again when you say goodbye. And tell them you love them. Say the words. Again and again.
How many of us woke up to snow yesterday morning? Quite honestly, I’m not a big fan. My choice is the kind that is heavy enough to beautify the neighborhood and slow life down for a morning, maybe a day… and next morning, it’s gone. Not plowed to the sides of the road. Gone. Not masking the shrubberies or merely lingering in clumps on lawns. Gone. Gone and replaced by golden skies, spring colors and the promise of a balmy day. Even when I was addicted to alpine skiing – that’s the kind where you hitch a ride to the top of a mountain and then let gravity get you back down to the bottom; never to be confused with cross-country skiing which requires actual work – I only ever wanted to visit snow until I was tired of controlling my descent down trails of the stuff and could head back to dry sidewalks and open windows. What can I say, I like my weather warm. (Give me a few months and I’ll be moaning about how hot summer is in the DC area! My kvetching all balances out.)
So how to explain the joy that shivered through my waking. The sky was heavy with white fluff and every surface softened under inches of bluish glitter. Throwing a heavy robe over my flannels and shoving bare feet into a pair of booty slippers, I grabbed a camera on my way down the stairs and out the front door. Fortunately, it was early enough that no neighbors were subjected to the spectacle as I trudged around the yard trying to capture … magic. What is it about the susurrating crunch when you are the first disturbance? Or the way light is captured and returned, glowing, by each tiny, perfect flake? The thrill of the chill. Simple awe of God’s world.
Snowfall lasted almost all day. Soon, all was melting. Almost gone. Almost the way I like it.
So why am I a tiny bit saddened that this happened at the end of March instead of the beginning of January? Why am I looking forward to next winter, my least favorite of all seasons, when perhaps there’ll be another opportunity to sneak out of the house while man and dogs slumber, to lose myself in the glory of snow?
We’re on our way back to the big city, my lovely husband maneuvering the now-familiar twists and turns through beautiful farm land. We’d planned on making the trip back last night. It turns out that a crisp blaze in the fireplace backdropped by ocean driven rain is just too seductive to pack up and leave. Being able to change our minds and stay one more night is one of the great perks to getting older with adult children in their own home, not needing us this very minute to be safe and happy. I truly miss my son as a little boy jumping into my arms, thrilled to see me after a morning at pre-school; and having energy to go out with friends for BOTH dinner AND dancing. Waking up without so many aches wasn’t too shabby, either. But this place in my life is exactly where I want to be right now. Life is a blessing. Life is good.