Wednesday, July 20, 2011

When you head out of town....

All this past Friday I looked forward to hoppin' on the freeway and heading to Santa Cruz. Soon as I turned onto Hwy 4 and pushed the button for "love songs" on XM radio, I new it was going to be a great drive. After all, it was Barry Manilow singing "This one's for you". I enjoyed the 3 minutes of terrific memories and began the switch-up. When I didn't care for the song, I clicked over to Laugh USA (Clean comedy fun!). That is a great plan... particularly when Marvin Gaye's back up singers threaten to blow out the windows and your ears start to sting.

So, I'm cruisin' along enjoying my drive immensely and approach the turn off in Walnut Creek that I used to take to visit my granddaughter, Chloe, when she was in the NICU (the sweet blessing born at 1 lb, 14 oz.). Thoughts turn to those emotion packed days, praying for Chloe to be strong and healthy and I remembered (all in the matter of seconds) that I had blogged about it and put up a picture and a song, asking readers to join in prayer.

Here's Chloe's Song. IF you click on it, it will open up a youtube video and if you watch it, just hit the back arrow at the top left and it will bring you right back here...

Anyway, as I drove past the exit, thought of all those things, guess what song starts up? Yep, You'll Be in my Heart. Right then and there. God is SO cool! I sang my heart out.

The drive continued on with switches from love songs to comedy and soon I was winding along the hills near Scott's Valley, belting out another Barry Manilow Song, Somewhere In The Night. Good grief, could it get any better?? Okay, please just put up with me. It's not my fault, you know. During ages 7 and 8 I must have heard Barry Manilow's record played 10 times a week. I happen to have nearly every song memorized to this day. I didn't set out for that to happen... Really.

(And, hey, Barry Manilow songs are great to share with teens who get all emotional... you just print the words and don't tell them who wrote it... SH! Those and Barbara Streisand songs played in the background can go a loooong way some days. Don't mention her, either.)

I had a great weekend. I stayed with my children's grandmother, who did a terrific job hosting me. Time was spent connecting with several of my dear kids. I took Stephen to a studio to get his senior pictures taken... Lucky for me, Stephen didn't prefer to change out of his clothes, so after a few ice cream cones and a walk on the beach, I made him stand in some trees and let me have my own shot at senior pics.... Here are my favorite photos from the weekend up to that point:

I am particularly fond of the senior picture that I took, found a printer/supplier and in weeks to come, will have a lovely oil painting of that photo!!

Visits continued with a photography-crazed mom and kids who sweetly cooperated... Well, except Julie and Nathan. Neither of them wanted to be photographed (Nathan did end up in a couple of shots, though). Julie gave me the gift of taking my camera and put ME in view of the lens and she shot away and did a wonderful job. Definite genetic link. She's got a good eye for photos.

Here are more shots:

(Nathan was doing Algebra II homework...)

I loved every moment connecting with the kids.

Saying good-bye... was... not... easy. And that is good news for me. For many years I have blocked off my feelings to protect myself from pain. It's only been in recent months that I have allowed myself memories... and feelings. In one way I wish that weren't so, because I would often times refuse to cry. Since my heart has softened, though, it was not easy to force away tears and for that I feel badly because children (well, they are pretty much all teens now) feel badly when they see a parent cry. I tried, believe me. But, to adore them so much and say good-bye, get in a car and drive away... well, there are no words. My heart goes out to all split apart families... no matter what the cause, whether it is justified or not, no matter whose fault it was... even if it was young people making stupid decisions... I feel much more compassion for all of us. Child or parent. Separation stinks.

After a not-so-good (truth be told) sleep, I did, however, move forward into another week. I am loving my photographs and have become passionate about learning more and more each day. Although I think of my children each day, I also know the best thing to do to take care of myself is to have a dream and a goal... to live each day fully... to embrace moments during the mundane week and find the beauty in life. So, that's what I am up to...

Blessings, everyone!

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