“Memories, pressed between the pages of my mind… Memories, sweetened through the ages just like wine…” Elvis Presley December 1968

Welcome back to SOLO at SIXTY!

Ever pulled out an old photo album, flipped through the pages and just relished those old memories? Re-lived the good old days? Did it make you happy or sad? For each of my children’s birthdays, I post pictures on Facebook of their “younger selves” and try not to embarrass them too much. Last week I was going through my photo bins (I have MANY large bins of old photographs) to find special baby pictures of my sweet middle daughter for her birthday on Saturday. I have been doing this for years for each child. But for the last 3 birthdays of each of my kids, this has been both a delightful and a painful task. Delightful in that I get to “relive” all of the memories of their precious childhoods, looking at the sweet pictures. Painful, as I am reminded of the way my family “was”, when my “wasband” was still part of my life. I have to say though, it was a bit easier this year. Time does begin to ease our hurt. Thankfully.

“Life brings tears, smiles, and memories. The tears dry, the smiles fade, but the memories last forever.”

My beautiful family….

My kids and I celebrated my younger daughter’s birthday all day Saturday. She and I left Charlottesville at 6 am for Chapel Hill and returned at 10:30 pm. It was a full fun day! We met the Tailgate Crew (my older daughter and son-in-law) at our spot, where everything was set up and ready for our arrival: breakfast (thank you Chick-fil-A), Mimosas, and Sports Center on TV. My son came up from Charlotte to spend the day with us and celebrate his sister’s birthday, even though he had to get back to Charlotte that night for a “Friendsgiving”. I truly have great kids. We spent the day playing cornhole, watching other games on TV, visiting with each other and other tailgaters, walking through campus, and shopping on Franklin Street. Grilled burgers for a late lunch (game was at 3 pm) and celebrated my daughter’s birthday with mini cupcakes, balloons, and presents. Gosh it was a beautiful day – sunny and cool.  And to top it all off, Carolina won! YEA! We are now 2-8! Wasn’t pretty, but it was a win for my daughter’s birthday. The icing on the cake (pun intended) was that my daughter’s birthday picture made the Jumbotron at the game! I had taken a picture of her at our tailgate and tagged it #goheels on Instagram and lo and behold we looked up during one of the time outs and there she was!  What a perfect day! Good memories made Saturday and all season long… only one more home game to go!

“In the end it is not the years in your life that count, it’s the life in your years.” Abraham Lincoln

Sunday morning, my sweet older daughter and son-in-law, and of course my granddawg Paige, took me to get my Christmas tree. Yes, it is early in the Christmas season, but the trees were in and I was ready! I used to agonize over getting my tree, going from lot to lot and tree to tree looking for that perfect tree, but for the last 3 SOLO Christmases, I have been able to pick out my tree immediately and successfully. This year my son-in-law found the perfect tree for me. It is up and my house smells like Christmas. Planning to decorate it tonight while watching Hallmark Christmas movies! Time to celebrate “the most wonderful time of the year!”

Sunday was such a beautiful day that after getting my tree, I decided to visit King Family Vineyards, see my younger daughter who was working, and just sit outside with a glass of wine, bread and cheese, and enjoy the afternoon. I watched as a fall wedding was being set up and pre-wedding pictures were being taken. A celebration. Loving memories being made.

Cheers to a lovely Sunday afternoon!

As I told y’all last week, yesterday was my birthday – #61. And I have been making the most of it! My celebration started last Friday when I met a dear friend who also shares a November birthday for dinner. Saturday, I shared cupcakes with my daughter at our tailgate. Monday I met some friends for a glass of wine and ended up staying for dinner. Then yesterday morning, on my birthday, I drove to Richmond to take my older daughter’s 6:15 am cycle class in the newly redesigned cycle studio. And my younger daughter showed up as well! What a great start to my birthday – my daughters, a hard cycle class, flowers, and a balloon! And arrived at my office to find it decorated for my birthday with cards and presents and cupcakes. I work with a wonderful team! We are a family and I am so thankful for them.

“What if we lived each day like it was our birthday?”

And to celebrate both of our birthdays, my younger daughter and I dressed up and had dinner at a fun, wonderful new restaurant on our downtown mall, Prime109. What a dinner! And as is our tradition, we followed dinner with a trip to Splendora’s for gelato. I am so thankful for my children and for my birthday!

“Do not regret growing older. It’s a privilege denied to many.”

So what am I saying here? I am one very lucky, blessed lady, SOLO and 61. There is so much to celebrate and be thankful for. I have wonderful children, family, friends, and teammates. And those times when my memories get the best of me, I remind myself of this and that life is good. My life is good. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. A time for all of us to reflect on and be thankful for all of the blessings in our lives – the BIG ones and the small ones. They all matter.

“Memories take us back, but dreams take us forward.”

Tomorrow, give thanks for all of the special people and blessings in your life. Memories, whether happy or sad are a part of YOU. And even when bad things happen in our lives, which will happen, look for the positives, no matter how small they may be. Remember that life IS good. Celebrate your life and be thankful for it. Tell your loved ones how thankful you are for them, because as we all know, none of us is promised tomorrow.

Best,

Leslie

 

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