Time Spent Together Is Never Wasted

I received my COUNTRY magazine in the mail this weekend. As I browsed through the magazine, my eyes fell on an article about rediscovering the art of visiting, by Carole Christman Koch. I agreed with the author, that families and friends used to visit a lot more than they do now. I personally have many wonderful memories of Thursday night, family visits, to my grandparent’s house. I remember Tuesday nights were grocery shopping nights with my mom, aunt and little sister. There were many happy days spent with aunts, uncles and cousins. I would go to friends’ houses and they to mine. That kind of thing rarely happens anymore. Everyone grew up and went their own way. Life became complicated and busy. Schedules were tight and the calendar overflowed with activities.

And what the soul really needed, longed for, is rest.P1020495

Visiting used to be that way.

No real agenda. No fancy food or drinks.

Just good company.

Yesterday, my husband and I hosted our son’s graduation party at our house. I’ll be honest, it was a lot of work to get everything ready, and I definitely needed help with it all, but the visiting part was pure joy. Chairs on the deck, drinking sweet tea, and sharing life. One of our friends said, “We live so close…we will invite you over soon. This has been really nice.”

And he was right. It was nice connecting with others…and it is good for us all.

Time spent together is never wasted.


Life On The Road

Tim Hortons in Ottawa, ON, Canada

Image via Wikipedia

I won the alphabet game!! Woo hoo! It’s the small things in life that matter…especially when stuck bonding with family on a 9 hour road trip. Usually, my husband wins the alphabet game on family trips. He said he was busy driving and couldn’t fully concentrate. Excuses. Excuses. I take my wins however I can get them.

We played Crack The Code (a mystery card game), and Twenty Questions which my husband also almost always wins.  My husband and I listened to talk radio, and the kids played on their PSP‘s, and computer.  We listened to our oldest son recite poetry. All in all no one pulled their hair out it was a good trip. Family togetherness. Because between the luggage, Christmas presents, and junk we were crammed in like sardines

I am not a fan of toll roads. A family is pretty much stuck in the matter of where to eat dinner on the road. If one gets off the toll road, one pays. Or if one gets off accidentally, thinking it’s a rest area, one pays. Not that, that happened to us. Arrgh.

We ended up eating at Tim Horton’s. I love Tim Hortons for coffee and hot chocolate, but the food is highway robbery expensive. That’s true of most eating establishments these days.

We survived had a good trip.  Enjoying today. Visiting family. Relaxing. Life is good.




You Can Go Home Again

As an adult, going back home is always a treat.  Going home, for me, means Maryland. I grew up in Westminster, Maryland in Carroll County. The county I knew–and the one that it has become are not really the same. What once was rural is now congested with homes built on top of each other. There are some things that have remained… Like Hoffman’s ice cream store. Or the church I grew up in. My old high school, my relatives homes……. but, even these things, though they remain, have changed. The church doesn’t have the same name anymore, buildings added, houses have additions–things are moved around and there are a TON more people. Home in my memory looks different, and yet I can still see the reflection of times past.

As I sat in my Aunt’s backyard this past Sunday evening looking at my cousin’s children and my children rolling down the hill, I was taken back in time to when my cousins and I were the young ones playing on that hill. The hill seems a lot smaller to me now than it did 35 years ago. Things remain the same, even though they are different. Time marches on. Now, I am the forty- something sitting in the lawn chair watching the kids play, and my aunts and uncles are now grandparents. Time has changed our roles in this family scene.

My aunt and I had a discussion about how things have changed. We can’t expect that things will stay the same forever. People get older, move away, new people move in, births are celebrated, deaths are mourned, schools are added, new stores, churches change names….in short, life happens. The truth is I wouldn’t want things to remain exactly the same. That would be weird, huh?  With all the changes over the years I’ve come to realize that I can’t physically go back home. Not really. Not to the home that I once knew. It no longer exists. Time has taken it prisoner. It is tucked away in pictures from years gone by. I like to visit, to be reminded of what it used to be like.

It’s not sad. I’m not sad. I’ve come to the conclusion that the word home really is about the people. The relationships. Those are what make home real. It’s the collective memories of family history that connect us….that take us home. Whether one still lives in the same community he/she grew up in, has trekked across the United States, or half way around the world, home is being reminded of family. Home is shared memories of home made ice cream on hot summer days, playing wiffle ball with cousins, family gatherings at Christmas, Friday night football, baseball at the park, and grandma’s potato salad. Chocolate sheet cake, wild games of UNO, trips to the ocean. Baptisms, scholarships, graduations, summer afternoon drives, and just being together.

So, even though the surroundings might change—and home doesn’t look like home anymore, just know that home is there. You can go visit it again….and again, because home resides in the heart.