Our world is different today. We email, we text, we tweet. Families live miles apart and no longer congregate regularly around the dining room table.
The Ripple Foundation offers a variety of programs throughout the year. Most of these take place over the fall and winter when I am not here. But I have attended Elder Speak for the past three years.
Four individuals are chosen each year to prepare for this event. They speak of their childhood, their careers, their marriages, their losses and their life experiences.
Yesterday the discussion centered around such topics as relationships and courage. The ideas of living, loving and learning were stressed.
A quote by Everett Berts, one of the Elders, jumped out at me. “There is a difference between knowledge and wisdom.”
Thank you to the Ripple Foundation for sponsoring this event. And thank you to the Elders for sharing their valuable life lessons.
There is an age old controversy about defining family as blood relatives only. But it has been my experience that family are the people you feel closest to, the people who are there for us and who give special meaning to our lives, even though these people are not blood relatives.
When I first came to Culiacán almost nine years ago, I did not know a soul in Mexico. I met Juan and Lucila and they became much more than just friends. They became my family. At the time they had only one child. Juan Carlos was just over one year old.
The family has grown over the years and their four sons are my nietos, my grandsons. They call me abuelita, grandma. And I cannot imagine life without them. We haven’t lived in the same city for the past eight years, and Mexico is a large country geographically. But in the six months I spend in Mexico each year, I do try to see them as often as possible.
I’m delighted that my grandsons are learning English at school. I bring them back English books and activity books when I return from my time up north. But my Spanish definitely gets a workout when I am with them.
The photo in this post was taken when the baby was less than two months old when I was last in Culiacan in April. I wish I could visit more often. It’s tough being a long distance grandma.
This is my third year playing bridge here in Leavenworth with Betsy, Hilda and Karen. We play at the Senior Center on Wednesday afternoons.
I had the most spectacular hand today. It’s the best hand I’ve ever had in my life, and I’ve been playing this game since the early seventies. I believe it may have been a compulsory course in hanging out in the arts lounge at the University of Manitoba back then.
Back to the hand. Twenty-nine points and all 4 aces. Amazing!
Bridge is a challenging game. There’s always something new to learn. And of course different conventions are followed by different players.
Do you play bridge?
I’ve been through a lot in my lifetime but one of the most difficult things ever is being a long distance grandma.
My grandparents all lived close by when I was growing up. Although my dad had already passed away by the time my kids came along, my mom lived only minutes away when they were young.
I spent a few magical days with my granddaughter Madeline this summer. At 17 months, she had changed a lot since I had last seen her when she was only six weeks old.
Memorable times included a visit to a kangaroo farm, a splash pad, a children’s play center as well as her first haircut.
I miss building towers with her and playing in the “thunderdome” with her. I miss pushing her in her stroller or wheeling her around in a shopping cart.
What I miss the most was our cuddling time when I would read to her and give her a bottle before she went to sleep at night.
Although she came to the airport when I left, I don’t think she quite realized what was happening. I wonder if she looked for me that evening at bedtime, or looked for me the next morning when it was time for breakfast.
I know that I have this empty feeling and that part of my heart was left behind with Madeline in Kelowna.
It’s tough being a long distance grandma.
Another day, another suitcase to pack.
This past week was fabulous! Vacation Bible School was amazing. I immensely enjoyed doing craft and play with the preschoolers. We colored, glued, painted and played games. Each day the activity was geared toward the Bible point of the day.
I also spent the past week with friends in Dryden. We commuted to Leavenworth for Vacation Bible School. Of course that meant packing last weekend to spend the week in Dryden.
Today I am packing again. This time it’s a little more complicated.
I take the shuttle to Seattle on Monday where I will check into a hotel for the night. On Tuesday I fly to Kelowna to see my granddaughter. Maddie is 17 months old now and I haven’t seen her since she was 6 weeks old. Am I excited? Can’t wait to hold her in my arms!
Back to the packing. I’m also moving here in Leavenworth. If I get my act together I hope to move everything else over to my new home before I leave on Monday. It’s astonishing what I’ve collected in the past 3 months. Of course I did leave a few things here when I returned to Mexico last fall.
I’ll be back in Leavenworth in August and hope to begin posting more regularly. Until then, enjoy the summer and don’t even attempt to compete with my packing adventures.
Today was the first day of Vacation Bible School. This year I’m an educator in the preschool craft and play area.
The Bible point I taught today was “When life is unfair…God is good.”
While the children inundated me with stories of how their siblings got to stay up later or got to eat more cookies or bigger donuts, my mind was in another place. While the children’s laments of unfairness were justified in their eyes, they don’t hold a candle to the one I will write about in this post.
A close friend is recovering from a severe concussion sustained during a tragic accident at work last fall. Just recently she was informed that her employment had been terminated with no opportunity for her to even attempt to return to work.
How sad for her! How sad for all the families and children who will no longer have this amazing woman in their lives.
I know that God has plans for us that often differ from the ones that we may have. He takes us along a different path that leads to greater things in our lives in the future although the unfairness of a situation often overwhelms us at that moment in the present.
When life is unfair……God is good!
I was sitting at the 76 this morning waiting for the 22 to head into town. I had a great view of Highway 2 here in Washington and the traffic going by.
It was the semis and the campers that caught my eye. And a memory that felt like yesterday.
My son was about 2 at the time and we were staying at a hotel on Highway 2 in Michigan. He sat staring out the window and was totally mesmerized by all the vehicles passing by. He clutched a handful of his own little trucks and cars, thoughtfully comparing them to the ones he saw on the highway.
It’s hard to believe that 37 years has passed by since that day……….