Saturday, March 22, 2008

Hand-Me-Down Acres

"Family life is full of major and minor crises--the ups and downs of health, success and failure in career, marriage and divorce--and all kinds of characters. It is tied to places and events and histories. With all of these felt details, life etches itself into memory and personality. It's difficult to imagine anything more nourishing to the soul." ---Thomas More

This evening, I talked to Valine for a while as she cleaned up from her annual Easter celebration. Her family takes turns hosting the different holidays and Easter is "hers". I'm sure she cooked a great meal and everything looked pretty. But, once everyone was gone and she began cleaning up the kitchen, it was time for a "best friends" talk.

Years ago in college, we discovered that while we are very different in lots of ways, we share so many of the same experiences. We met in our education classes and bonded over the fact that we both were dating guys that were out of the country---hers working off-shore and mine in the navy. So, instead of having dates for the big football games and other occasions, we spent a few weekends at my parent's lake house in Texas. And we've been best friends ever since.

Through the years we've shared so many things. Those overseas guys eventually became history and we met the ones we were to marry. We shared weddings within a month of each other, the birth and raising of two daughters each, teaching young children , and the woes of working with a bunch of women. A few years ago, though, we unfortunately shared the deaths of our mothers to cancer and the remarriage of our fathers shortly after. When your mother dies and your daddy remarries it changes your life forever---even if it happens when you are 45 years old.

So, while we like our step-mothers and are pleased that our dads have found someone to be happy with, we find family get-togethers difficult. Even when they go well, I usually drive away with tears stinging my eyes from missing my mother. It's not that anything terrible happens or that someone says something mean or anything like that. It's just that things are now so very different. Everything looks different, it tastes different and it feels different---and I long to be with my mother again.

Tonight, Valine and I were talking about houses, furniture, etc. and from somewhere, she came up with the idea of the bed-and-breakfast that we should open someday. We can use all the belongings we've recently inherited and decorate it with various heirloom knick-knacks. In fact, between the two of us, we have so much stuff in storage that we just might have to open two inns-------"Hand-Me-Down Acres"!! She can cook and entertain, and I'll sew and decorate!! Sounds like a plan!
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Callie said...

I say--do it! Number 40 on my list of things to do in life is "stay at a bed and breakfast." May I be your first guest?

Callie said...

I say--do it! On my list of things to do in life, number 40 is "Stay at a Bed and Breakfast."

May I be your first customer?

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