Welcome back to SOLO at SIXTY!
Forewarning: picture overload today. Apologizing in advance, but oh my, did I have the best weekend y’all! My world righted itself back on its axis last weekend, thanks to time filled with family, friends, love, and so much fun. Not even Carolina’s loss could put a damper on how happy I was/am.
“It’s really nice to wake up in the morning realizing that God has given you another day to live.”
I left Cville early Thursday morning heading to Winston-Salem to meet my sisters for lunch. This was the Christmas present from my older sister to my younger sister and me. No, not just lunch, but lunch AND glass blowing! We went to The Olio in Winston, a furnace glassblowing studio, where they not only make beautiful glassware, but also teach others the craft. It was so much fun. And so interesting! We were each trying to decide what we would make – a bird? a penguin? a seashell? a trinket? Trinket it was! My choice was a trinket in the shape of a seashell. The other ideas would have been a huge undertaking. We got to choose our color of glass – I chose teal, my younger sister pink, and older sister dark blue – and then it was on. One at a time we learned how to hold and twirl the rod that would hold our molten glass. The instructor actually dipped the rods into the molten glass to get a “blob” to work with. We rolled that molten glass into the bowl of broken color glass, then it went back in the oven. We then rolled our “blobs” on a thick steel table to cool the glass and begin to shape it. Then back to the oven once more, all the time twirling the rod, and when it came out, we used big tongs to begin shaping our “trinkets”. I was trying to make a conch shell. Keep that suggestion in mind when you look at my creation below! My sisters and I decided we would do it again in the fall and actually do the glass blowing and make Christmas ornaments. It was so much fun (lots of laughs and jokes), especially with my sisters!
“You and I are sisters. Always remember that if you fall, I’ll pick you up. As soon as I finish laughing!”
Since we were all together, we left there and went to visit Mom to celebrate Valentine’s Day with her (a day early!). She was thrilled to have all of her girls together. We took her to the Ice Cream Parlor where we had balloons, cupcakes, valentines, and of course, ice cream. At one point, my sister was searching in her pocketbook for something when Mom asked if she was looking for Daddy. “What?!?! Uh… Nope, he’s been laying low lately.” (Like for the past 20 years!) Lots of laughter and reminiscing before taking her back to her room. We left Mom and went to take valentines and balloons to sweet Jack and Izzie in High Point! So happy to see these sweet, loving kids. Plus my sister had a special present for my nephew and his wife (see the portrait of sweet Jack at the beach below). Ended up going out to dinner all together. Such a fun and full Thursday!
Friday was just as full (which I love). Started off with breakfast at Pete’s, the best breakfast place in Clemmons, with a dear friend to catch up. Not only did we have a great breakfast and visit, we felt right YOUNG there (if you know what I mean! Haha!). Then back to visit Mom where she was playing Valentine’s BINGO (and winning!). She said “Oh Les! How did you find me?” Told her I saw her Valentine’s balloon still tied to her wheelchair. “Wonder how that got there.” Hmmm… maybe from my visit Thursday?!? Before I left, I checked in on 2 friends’ mommas to wish them Happy Valentine’s Day. (8 of my childhood friends’ parents are out there now.) Made one more stop in Clemmons to see a dear “old” friend I’ve known since 5th grade, before meeting some other “old” friends for lunch at The Village Tavern in Reynolda Village, beside Wake Forest, some of my old stomping grounds. The bartender knew what they wanted before they ordered! Guessing they have been there before – many times. Great lunch, great time! Loved seeing all of these “old” friends. There’s just something special about being with people who have known you 50+ years, who you share your youth with. Don’t you just love being able to say “remember when”… or “remember so-n-so?” Times to be treasured. Hoping to crash their Friday lunch again soon! Such a fun day, but now it was time to head to Charlotte for drinks and dinner with all of my kids.
“Remember that the most valuable antiques are dear old friends.” H. Jackson Browne, Jr.
Left Village Tavern following WAZE directions to get me out of Winston and on the road to Charlotte. Winston-Salem has changed a lot in the 23 years I have been gone, and I was thankful for my phone belting out directions. (How did I ever find my way around back in the day without WAZE and Google Maps?!?!) Once I got on the highway, I called my older daughter, who was already in Charlotte, to coordinate our plans. Told her my car was making a funny noise…either that, or the car behind me had a busted muffler. Nope, it was my car… pulled off the highway, off the shoulder and onto the grass since cars were whizzing by. Got out, still on the phone with my daughter, and said “Oh NO!” Panicked her a bit, but reassured her it was just a flat, shredded tire. How the heck had that happened? Time to call AAA. Only one problem: I had no idea where I was. There were no road signs or mile markers and I wasn’t sure if I was on 52 or 40. I was just mindlessly following the direction of “stay straight for 61 miles to route 77” while talking to my daughter on the phone. Hmmm… what to do… Who has rescued me before? Yep, called my older sister and brother-in-law, who luckily, had just finished a Valentine’s Day lunch and were about 10 minutes away. Their first question? “Is there water nearby?” “Nope, learned that lesson well!” Following WAZE (same destination I had put in mine), they found me. My patient brother-in-law told me where I was (southbound on 52) and while I called AAA, he called around looking for a replacement tire. Done. Only 2 hours late leaving WS, but luckily would not be late meeting my kids. What would we do without family?!?! I hope I never find out.
“Family is the life jacket in the stormy sea of life.”
Got to my younger daughter’s apartment in time to Uber to a very unique bar, Farenheit, located on the 21st floor of an uptown building. My kids chose this one to show me the unbelievable view of the Charlotte skyline. It did not disappoint! With a mild night, and 2 outdoor fire pits, we spent some time on their rooftop patio, enjoying the views. Left there for another wonderful restaurant in Charlotte for dinner. What a perfect Valentine’s celebration. Topped with beautiful flowers from my kids. Perfect end to a great day. Flat tire was just a blip on the radar. Nothing could take away from my happiness.
“Live for the moments you can’t put into words.”
But the weekend fun did not end there! Saturday morning, my younger daughter (who I stayed with) and I got up and went for a run together so I could see the route she takes running. It was a brisk but beautiful morning. We then met my older daughter and future daughter-in-law to look at bridesmaids dresses. Color and designer have been chosen, but now it is time to choose styles. So many beautiful styles. We left there and met my son-in-law, son, and many of their friends in town, for lunch. These friends were in town for the engagement party that night. So great to see them all again, and meet the ones I did not know.
And then… the ultimate reason we were all in Charlotte together… an engagement party for my son and his fiancée, given by her parents. All of the people I love most in the world were there, except my sweet momma who just does not travel any more, and sweet Izzie who stayed home with a sitter. Jack came with his parents and my younger sister (since there would be another sweet 3-year-old boy at the party), and my older sister and brother-in-law. My family got to meet all of my future daughter-in-law’s family – aunts, uncles, cousins, neighbors, friends, plus the local friends of the engaged couple. It was the best party I have ever been to. Food was fabulous, desserts were wonderful, but best of all was my family meeting my future daughter-in-law’s family. My sisters met her mother’s sisters. All the siblings met. There were cousins galore and beloved friends. And one very, very happy young couple. The wedding is just 8+ months away. We cannot wait!
“Daughter-in-law, created by God, hand chosen by my son, to be cherished and valued as a member of our family.”
I am so very thankful for this past weekend. I have been looking forward to it for a while, and it did not disappoint. I got to spend so much time with my kids and my future daughter-in-law’s family. I am so thankful that not only has my son chosen the perfect girl to spend the rest of his life with, her family has taken him in, and he loves them as well. My family loves and adores her too. What more could a mother want? So much to be thankful for.
“Life is short…spend it with people who make you laugh and feel loved.”
This past weekend was one of those weekends I live for. There are many more to come. I am so thankful for the special times I get to spend with family and friends. Make the effort, make the plans, take the time, and spend as much time as you can with those you love, because as we all know, none of us is promised tomorrow.
PS… I was traveling this week for work, visiting one of our clubs, which is why this is late today! Did you know that tomorrow, February 20, 2020 is Love Your Pet Day? Yep! Go love on your pets folks!