August ~ Southern California and Southern Oregon
As much as we love to travel, sometimes there is NO PLACE LIKE HOME! It has felt so good to be back in Southern California, spend some time with friends and family, get myself put back together a little, and take care of a few things that just can’t easily be done while on the road.
Since this blog was created originally as a memory tool for me (kind of combo written and photo journal), I want to fill in a few blanks of how we spend our time when not on the road to where ever.
Shortly after arriving back in So Cal and barely getting unpacked, we had a wonderful, but brief reunion with our dear friend Mary Beth who flew in from Michigan. I have written several times about just how small this big world is (I know that sentence makes no sense, but please hang in there).
We first met Mary Beth on a Caribbean cruise about 20 years ago and have shared some pretty amazing life moments together since then including a trip to Guatemala where we got to meet her brand new adopted daughter for the first time.
I wrote a bit about our past connections on a blog post a couple of years ago that you can read about here.
It may have been brief, but our lunch together arranged by her daughter, Leslie, and shared with two of her beautiful granddaughters, Allie and Averie, was pure joy. As always with Mary Beth, we take up our conversations as though it was just yesterday we had shared a cup of coffee.
My handsome nephew, Ian, surprised us with a visit up at our cabin in the San Bernardino mountains. We all got cabin fever and decided to go for an easy jaunt on the Children’s Forest Trail.
That evening we were invited to join Ian, his wife Nadia, and her parents (Lilly and Tarek) as well as extended friends and family for a fabulous home cooked dinner at an elegant home they had rented at Big Bear to celebrate their (Lilly and Tarek’s) anniversary.
I’m sad to say that I did not snap a single picture that evening. Boo Hiss. But to try to make up for that I can share some great pictures from that side of the family from Ian and Nadia’s wedding last summer. Our two families have blended so well together and we feel blessed by their friendship.
Speaking of long-term friendships (we were speaking about that weren’t we…), I have a couple of girlfriends who I have known since junior high who I had the opportunity to meet up with recently in our home town, Medford, Oregon.
Karen Snyder, Cheryl Erickson, Marla Gardner and I all headed off to Oregon State University together. Karen and I were roommates. Cheryl and Marla were roommates. We all lived in the same dormitory.
Well, thanks to Karen and Cheryl, we arranged a mini reunion in Medford to try to erase far too many years since we had all spent time together. Sadly Marla had to cancel last-minute.
Of course we reverted back to our childhood with a lot of laughter, a few moments where sentimental tears were shed, many memories shared and a long-time bond of friendship renewed.
Time was spent visiting over long meals, gabbing out by the hotel pool, plus a stroll through the historic cemetery and shopping together in the quaint shops of Jacksonville. We also had a memorable walk through downtown Medford recalling past businesses, and reflecting on the many changes.
We wanted to connect with anyone else in town who was available. Sooo, we threw out a last-minute invite on Facebook to join us for dinner at Kaleidoscope Pizza.
GRATITUDE MOMENT: Today I am grateful that the years and miles can not come between true friendships.