Friendship Paradise

There is nothing like spending a day immersed in Friendship. It renews, rejuvenates, refreshes the soul like nothing else. I am lucky in this respect. I have forever friends, friends I have known for years, that understand and forgive my quirks, comments, and craziness. Yes, I frustrate them. Yes, I try the limits of these precious Friendships. Yes, I am both thankful and apologetic when I consider what I have made so many of them endure, people who are so dear to me that I cannot imagine a world without them.
So, I thank you, my dear Friends, for loving me despite my obvious flaws, and for providing a life-long Paradise in which we can laugh, grow, and love. And an extra thank you for helping me teach my daughter, by example, what Friendship means.
Whether it is the Friend who constantly saves me from frustration for all the days I cannot be the after school mom I wish I was, the Friends who freeze with me in the early morning Sunday hours as we prepare for yet another race, the Friends who made sure I made it through high school alive, or the Friends who know how to make me smile, no matter how many tears I feel ready to spill, I cling to the opportunities to share a day of Paradise with them. And, sometimes, even a day is too much to fit into life’s crazy schedules. It is the time for a phone call, a visit to the tea shop, a funny text or post, a surprise card in the mail, or watching our kids play together, developing another generation of Friendship.
May you create an opportunity to do the same. Remince, relax, and remember that Paradise is only truly there when you share it with those you love.

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Past Paradise

Treasures from the past can transport us to a Paradise of days gone by. For my husband, that was time in the garage restoring his BMX Supergoose bicycle. I met him when he rode it new so to see this bike restored to former glory days allowed both of us to savor moments from decades past. The delight in this restoration was the thrill from its new owner, our daughter. She LOVES her new bike, trying tricks (much to my mommy heart’s horror…yes, I confess, I watch them holding my breath!), and hollering the all too familiar phrase, “Mom! Watch me!” We spent the first day of 2015 in a place I consider a Paradise, by the Pacific Ocean, riding bikes and basking in the shining sea and sun. To share in the excitement a New Year brings is certainly a moment in the layers of Paradise. Hope you are bringing in this brand New Year in a way that reminds you of Paradise. If you didn’t, what are you waiting for? Go do it! And maybe, you, too, will be fortunate enough to bring a treasure of the past along with you.

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Paradise through the Years

My husband’s Grandfather will celebrate his 94th birthday next week. Talk about perspective! He has seen, (and done!) it all. I love listening to him tell stories of the eras gone by. There is nothing more captivating than hearing an authentic account of history. A soldier in WWII, he is of the Greatest Generation, a description so perfectly named. He, despite his good fortunes, clings to a ‘worst case senerio’ perspective that provides a realistic approach to an otherwise charmed life. I often wonder where Paradise is for someone who has lived a life so full and dynamic. Yet, it seems, based on years of conversation, that Paradise is a fabric weaved with all the best threads of your times. Something to cover you with and provide a warmth like no other when the days are growing colder. So, I challenge you to find your memories of Paradise and capture them so you, too, can cover yourself in the warmth that only special times with those you love can provide.

Postcards from Paradise

Any paradise will do. That was a statement on a shirt I wore all throughout the 8th grade. I loved that shirt, “borrowed” from my sister’s side of the closet more times than I can remember. Little did I know the significance of that statement. Now, older and wiser, I am beginning to understand. My husband often states, “It’s all about perspective!” and I have come to embrace this notion. For me, home is and has always been my paradise. I have visited glorious places: walked the Hall of Mirrors, soaked up Hawaiian sunsets, shivered from┬áthe Nordic chill on the streets of Oslo, admired God’s tapestry in the cliffs of Lake Powell. Yet no matter where I am I appreciate the arrival home more than the journey. My paradise is with my family and friends, enjoying the perspective of times when I am surrounded by them, whether in celebration or contemplation. And so, with a welcoming spirit, I invite you to glimpse my Postcards from Paradise for 2015. Enjoy this new journey and may it positively shift your own perspective to Paradise.