Are you ready for this?

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Location: United Kingdom

Yes...this is ALL about me, and mine. Marvellously self indulgent, feel free to tell me how splendid I am, leave comments, nice ones please, I have little kids and teenagers who can do the rude stuff. I am a grandma, to the glorious Joshua, I'm allowed to look frazzled and weary, I earned it. The older I get, the more I see that hanging on and being patient is worth it! They ( whoever 'they' are) are so right when they say you never know what is around the corner, it isn't always an articulated truck! It is vital to make the time for making memories, friends are the greatest treasure, I love mine. I am rich!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Dear Eli.

Happy Birthday little man.
What a joy you are, to our family and everyone who knows you.
Wherever I go I hear " Oh that boy is just divine!"
And you are.
From a tiny baby you have been such a happy boy, always willing to help and always with a smile.



Before you were born, Sophie was so angry, always so angry and she didn't smile very much...when you were born, look what happened....

Oh how you made us all smile.

Jordan adores you...and we know you love him too,



Daniel too,


Everything you do in life, is done at twice the speed, with twice the enthusiasm and the biggest smile.



All day today you have been saying " Thankyou for making my day so special" ...that's you all over. In fact, today, you had your presents and cards, we had cake...but we aren't having the fun until tomorrow, I hope the sun is shining so that you can go to the zoo with Hannah and we can have a splendid time, just for you.



Happy Birthday Eli, I am so happy to be your mummy.


Thursday, July 23, 2009

A second childhood?

It's tomorrow you know. birthday.
I am so excited I almost went to bed at 7pm so that it would come quicker. I have NO idea why I am excited, my birthday is renowned for being a non event, seriously uncelebrated but this year, I don't care to remember every other year I am excited to have my birthday and it began early...Jordan came by with beautiful flowers, cards and $50 for me to spend in Boston.
Is it weird for your child to give you cash on your birthday? I loved it, have to say. My house is quite little and it is full to bursting with stuff, I really don't need anything so to have some money to take with me on my holiday is great! I can buy all kinds of treats over there.
Elijah is excited because once my birthday is over it's his next....he asked me if, because it is my birthday would I like them to take me to the park tomorrow. I think I might take them up on that and allow them to make me a picnic to take ( and we shall not believe the heavy rain forecast either!) that would be fun, for them to do the running around.
I am going to see 'My sister's keeper' in the late afternoon with my sisters and friends, we shall eat after the film and I suspect a great time will be had by all.
I think I am excited, not because it is my birthday as such but just a lovely feeling of knowing I have had another year to live and to experience all that life has to offer. the older I get the more I appreciate the wonders of life.
I have more time to enjoy life, the boys are growing so beautifully, there are at an age that I would love to freeze, old enough that they can be out and about and responsible enough that I don't have to follow their every step, we can sit at the park and they can play while I read.
They are young enough that they go to bed between 8 and 9pm, they have time outs for misbehaviour, we are still very much in charge.
I have time to enjoy my friends and such wonderful ones they are too.
I have always been so lucky to have great friends, from a little girl I had best friends, people to share secrets with, to have sleepovers and make memories with.
I have friends that I have known since I was a young thing, way back when there weren't computers. I have newer friends that I met online ...some I have never met in person but I forget that, so many experiences shared, pregnancies, births, miscarriages, you name it, we have shared it, it doesn't make any difference that we haven't met in person.
Then we have the friends I have met...and what a joy that is.
I love feeling that my birthday is something to celebrate, I love being here, I like what the next year promises.
It's my brother's birthday tomorrow as well, imagine kind of him to share his birthday with me, I arrived on his second birthday and our little sister, Jane, arrived the day after my 4th birthday. It's a busy time, and a tradition I seem to have carried on, my mum had 3 children with a clump of a birthday, I did the same thing.
We are about to start our birthday clump, with mine at the start ( as it should be of course )
Let the party begin.

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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

On not being 47, yet.

Whew, if that wasn't just the thing to stop me being miserable about turning 47!
For years I haven't really given my birthday much thought ( or have I? Might have to check back to last year to see if I was whining about it then) I am in a sort of neither here nor there phase in life, why, it's sort of smack bang in the middle, like a mid life, middle age type thing. Hoorah.
I see that whatever my complaint might be, I can guarantee HORMONES will be mentioned.
Forgetfulness, MENOPAUSE.
Irritability. MENOPAUSE.
Shut up.
Bloody menopause, I haven't had my perimenopause yet, let me catch up.
I never was one for half a job. let me do it in it's correct and proper order thankyou.
I need to research before I agree to any of it.
Middle aged. Good heavens.
I still have acne, I am a veritable spring chicken.
47 sounds so boring doesn't it? 47. *sigh* can't wait.
Being middle aged has it's pluses, if you look really hard and exaggerate them, should one fall in you lap.
You can say pretty much what you like and no-one cares, because no-one listens to you anyway.
It doesn't matter really what you look like because even if you are drop dead will be described as 'looking great! (For your age')
Being overweight isn't such a terrible thing because grand children love a squishy gramma, they are the best kind.
47 isn't quite old enough to abandon all hope of getting it together before it's too late. Not quite old enough for polyester slacks and sholley. I still can't quite throw caution to the wind and pop to Asda in my comfy clothes.
I do feel though, that from now on I shall mind if my birthday passes unnoticed.
I want a fuss, of sorts.
Listen family mine, my birthday is first in a terrifying clump of birthdays, forget mine and you might find yours is low key too, there's a warning for you.
Poor Dan, his is last.
We start with mine on Friday 24th, then we have Eli, 26th, Jordan 29th, August comes along and we have H, 9th, Isaac 10th, Seth 22nd and Dan 25th, by the time Dan's birthday is here we are all completely birthday'd out. Which is OK because he hates his birthday, from the littlest boy, when asked he would say " I don't want anything, I want to stay in and be bored" I love that boy.
Where am I going with all this? Oh, yes....I've been sick, poorly, ill. Really.WEIRD ill.
On Sunday, I fell asleep, on the sofa, watching a film with the boys, when I fell asleep I was fine, when I woke up I felt more ill than I can ever remember. My throat was on fire and it hurt right the way down my chest, my chest was so sore, stabbing and it was hard to catch my breath, I didn't get a fever at all, not even a little bit.
My head was painful, my ears hurt, I couldn't walk in a straight line, if I bent over to try and pick anything up off the floor ( which is something I do 7465 times a day) I fell over that. I had that awful thing where if I moved my brain didn't catch up for a few seconds and then it smashed into my skull at a billion miles an hour.
Every part of me hurt. I slept all of monday, woke up at 7am, went back to sleep at 8, woke up at 11, back to sleep at noon.....was awake for 4 hours in the evening and slept most of last night.
Today I have been tired and sore but much better. My head feels too heavy for my neck and the breathing was hard, I just couldn't seem to get the breath into my lungs, until 6 o'clock when like some magical flick of a switch it was better, can breathe in and out as I please, without thinking about it. Amazing how you can take that for granted until it doesn't happen to order.
If I had had even a remotely increased temperature I would have thought it was swine flu.
Whatever it was I am SO glad it's on the way out and 47 doesn't seem nearly as bleak a prospect as it did last week.
The alternative doesn't look like fun at all.
P.S. I bought a plane ticket this week. To Boston. For me.

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Friday, July 17, 2009

Sometimes, it's just not funny.

It's happened. I knew it would. Have been waiting for that final sign that I have lost it.
Today was the day.
Seth had an invite to his best friend's house for dinner. I agreed to go and pick him up at 6.30, no problem, I've been there a lot, Seth is friends with Lewis and Eli is friends with Lewis's sister Hannah, oh how he adores Hannah.
6.30 came around and I grabbed my purse and phone, got in the car, headed off, most of my driving around town is done on auto pilot, off I went and drove up the steep hill towards Lewis and Hannah's house, which is ...hmmmm, it's um, oh come ON, how many times have I been there? It's right....where the hell do they live? Is it even up this hill? Yes, I'm sure it is and then I turn....oh for goodness sake, what now? I can hardly call Louisa and say, "Oh HI! On my way, funny thing, have totally forgotten where you live! I know! Hysterical! " Next idea, call H..." Hi, it's me, this isn't even funny and I'm not kidding but I am half way up this hill and I have no idea where they live, don't laugh.... oh, of COURSE! I knew that because look I am almost there! Bye"
Got to the house and of course started to doubt myself " yeah, right, now knock on the door and find a total stranger there. Stop, this IS the house, look Louisa's car! Or is it? Pretty ordinary and popular car, might just look like Louisa's. Enough, knock on the damn door already!"
Oh, LOUISA!! ( may I kiss you? Perhaps not! Stroke your hair?? That would make you uncomfortable? Let me just hug you REALLY tight because I am so happy to see you!") Hi! how's he been? Oh good, thank you for having him!
And then of course I TOLD her how I forgot where she lived because how HYSTERICAL is that ( and also, should I be foolish enough to offer to have her children during the summer hols, you think she'll let me? Score! )
Off we went, picked up some milk, went through the car wash, drove home.
I was a bit weepy about forgetting something so basic, it's not the first time, when I was pregnant with Seth, I went to register with the Dr and was filling in paperwork, the receptionist called over to me ...Mrs W! Can you give me your address?
Mrs W?
Yes, of course, it's errrrr.
H was there, he told her, pregnancy does weird things to you. I got worse with Isaac's pregnancy, Eli sucked just about the last teeny scraps of functioning brain cells out of me, I accept that. All funny stuff. Ha!
Anyway, I was quiet when I got home and I went upstairs to change, lovely baggy sweats, comfy clothing, safe trousers.......that's better, jeans off, go down and watch TV, relax, chill out.
I got downstairs and went to go into the front room when I realised I FORGOT MY TROUSERS!
All is well, that made me laugh, whistling belly laugh, all on my own in the hallway, up the stairs, into the bedroom, putting on trousers, back downstairs.....sometimes it's just not funny and other times it is so hilarious I could pee my pants. If I had any on that is.


Thursday, July 16, 2009

Look me straight in the eye, self.

The Guy in the Glass
by Dale Wimbrow, (c) 1934

When you get what you want in your struggle for self,
And the world makes you King for a day,
Then go to the mirror and look at yourself,
And see what that guy has to say.

For it isn't your Father, or Mother, or Wife,
Who judgement upon you must pass.
The feller whose verdict counts most in your life
Is the guy staring back from the glass.

He's the feller to please, never mind all the rest,
For he's with you clear up to the end,
And you've passed your most dangerous, difficult test
If the guy in the glass is your friend.

You may be like Jack Horner and "chisel" a plum,
And think you're a wonderful guy,
But the man in the glass says you're only a bum
If you can't look him straight in the eye.

You can fool the whole world down the pathway of years,
And get pats on the back as you pass,
But your final reward will be heartaches and tears
If you've cheated the guy in the glass.


What an emotional week this has been.
When faced with choices and hurdles, sometimes we can look to other people to tell us what to do, where to go, how to choose. We might expect them to make us happy, pamper and stroke our egos, we might believe all the hype about ourselves and feel superior or lofty, begin to think that everyone about us should hold us up and sing our praises.
More often than not, we will enjoy such times and begin to feel that the world is our oyster and owes us a favour or two.
How worrying when we forget that we are all just the tiniest of pieces in a jigsaw, the smallest of stitches in a tapestry and without the rest..well we're insignificant.
Our lives are such that we are given endless opportunities to serve one another, in grand gestures or tiny, almost unnoticeable ways.
There will be a day when we will stand and answer to how we lived our lives and it won't matter how many friends we had, no-one will care how important we were, there won't be any measurement of how popular we might have been.
It will all be about how good a friend we were, how we made others feel important and how often we made others feel as if they were loved, special, cherished.

This post could be so overflowing with cliches, sayings, quotes.

It's nice to be important but more important to be nice.

No-one cares how much you know, they want to know how much you care.

I don't even know what I am trying to say, except I am so thrilled to know that I am loved.
I am unbelievably humbled by the volume of true and unconditional friendship that is given to me every day by so many people.

I am part of the cool group, probably THE coolest group.
Not the way the cool group in school was run, never THAT kind of cool group, this gang, this club, has very strict membership rules.

You have to be a young mother or a grandma.
You have to be married or single.
You have to be rich or have nothing.
You have to work outside the home or stay at home with your children.
You have to be skinny or overweight or somewhere in between.
You have to be dressed to kill or wearing sweats.
You have to wear high heels or crocs.
You have to be religious or an atheist or unsure of what you believe.
You have to own your own home or rent.
You have to be tee total or a drinker.
You have to live here or there.
You have to be honest.
You have to be kind.
You have to take the rough with the smooth.
You have to be funny.
You have to give and take.
You have to serve
You have to be served.
You have to share.
You have to be open.

What a cool group to be in.
No leader, no high ranking, crown wearing superior but a whole membership working towards being the best, the kindest.

To get in you have to be able to look in the mirror and feel at ease. That's a tough entrance exam alright.


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

In case you were wondering...

Sometimes, it appears as though I am doing nothing. Absolutely nothing. That would be because I'm not. I do this sometimes, because I can.
When Sophie was 10 weeks old, the first one left. I've been pretty clear about how I felt about that and how I feel about now.
What I felt very strongly was, on top of all that sadness and betrayal, all the heart-rending surety that I would never get over such misery, was a real panic about my children. I hated the fact that they would grow up saying " Oh my parents are divorced" they would know about 'my dad's girlfriend' they would know all about broken families and I really, REALLY hated that.
10 years.
I was a single mother for TEN YEARS! In all that time, the first one would have the boys every month for the weekend, wasn't competent enough to have Sophie as a baby, when he decided he was going to leave, quite soon after I conceived her, he distanced himself from everything to do with the pregnancy, he didn't discuss it, wasn't interested in it, she was mine from the very start I think.
He started to take her when she was 2, his girlfriend was very jealous of this blond haired, blue eyed, chunky thigh-ed baby, she did not want her around and when I heard that she had smacked Sophie, across the face, hard....I found her ( she used to wait down the road while the first one would collect the kids) and I shoved my face right in hers and told her that if she EVER raised a hand to my children again, any of them, I would find her again and I would hit her, harder that she has ever been hit and she would never ever want to hit a child again. I then told her that she wasn't about to get the chance to hit Sophie again because she was staying at home, with me. Which is what she did.
So, for 10 years I didn't get out much, I stayed at home and I kept things beautiful, I made sure that no-one could ever tut tut and put it all down to, you know, single parent.
I didn't go out, unless the children came too. I went out with my sister a few times, to a nightclub ( ack) one night, I went to the toilets and as I walked in, out came 2 women in their 50's doing that drunken cackle laugh and leaning all over each other, I looked at them and though to myself
" I am SO glad I don't have a mother who comes to a place like this" followed quickly by " OH MY children DO!" and I never went again.
I lived my life with the assumption that whatever I did, my children might one day hear about it and so, I didn't do anything I would hate for them to know. I so wanted to be a good example, I felt that if I didn't have anything to give them, if there was absolutely nothing in the world but a safe and honest life and a mother who they could be proud of, that's what I would give them. It does strike me as ironic that between them they have pretty much done every single thing I DIDN'T do..but it was a great plan anyway.
I didn't have any 'breaks' I didn't go away, we weren't invited anywhere often because Sophie was a live-wire and as unpredictable as can be,I think for those years I was pretty much switched off from life, all except from what these children needed right then and there. It wasn't terrible, there were terrible things to get over but life, actually was OK. I treasure that time because it was MY world, being a single mother has it's benefits and I loved being able to raise these children exactly the way I chose, without any contradiction. I do thank the first one for that, he always told me I was a good mother and he never spoke poorly about me to the children. He also went with whatever I said was right for the children, he didn't always like it but he did what I decided.
When Sophie was 8 or 9, my sister persuaded me to go with her to Utah....such an out of character thing for me to do and my mum was happy to stay with the children because it was such a novelty. I had a great time, saw America and came home saying " It was great, loved having a holiday there but can't understand why so many people want to live there."
Funny how soon after that I met H online and the only reason I was able to get on a plane and brave the thought of America was because I had been with Jane and seen that it was quite nice. If I hadn't taken that trip with Jane I would never have gone, on my own to meet H in L.A.
When Sophie was 10, I met H online in June, went to meet him September and came home, sold everything I owned and moved lock, stock and barrel to marry him in November.
We were married on November 27th and 2 weeks later I had a positive pregnancy test. When Seth was 10 weeks old, I had another positive pregnancy test and 11 months later along came Isaac. So, new country, new husband, 3 teenagers, one Sophie, 2 babies.
I didn't make friends in America, not until I was about to move back home. Typical.
I did not, ever expect my older children to look after my babies, it was not their job, they did not choose to have these babies, they had a huge adjustment to make as it was.
Howard's first son lived with us and he was SO mad at the world at his dad who had gone from being Mr easy going anything for a quiet life what on earth an I meant to do with this hey! New mom! New siblings! Poor kid. Poor me. Poor everyone.
So, what I am trying to say is, no-one helped, it was us against every kind of horror you can imagine and a few more.
Oh how we laughed at all the people who would exclaim "Hey I guess you have lots of help with those babies, huh?"
NO! We didn't.
Teenagers, on the whole don't take kindly to actual human reminders that their parents are, you know, *doing it*. They will try everything possible to pretend *that* isn't happening.
Teenagers keep you up late at night, they are loud, they are not in the least bit worried about making sure they KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING AND EWWWWWWWWW! GROSS!
Little babies sleep through the evening ( unless they have colic) and then, just as the big kids fall into a coma, WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH.
They also wake up ( mine did anyway, every single one of them) around 5am. 6 if you're lucky.
Teenager suck your soul. They have such hormonal angst, they need your attention every bit a much as a baby, but it's your MIND they want, not your opinions or your advice, just your face, sitting near theirs, looking interested but not as if you are going to tell them what to do.
Be seen but not heard.....that's what teenagers want from their parents.
They want to be ferried and taxied and picked up and handed money.
Babies take your physical energy, every ounce of it. Day and night. Such little lumps of heavenly preciousness and they can rule the world.
Put teenagers ( 3 boy ones) preteen ( Sophie, angry and determined to make H leave) and 2 babies....whoops, THREE babies, here comes Eli, precious and so wanted. Put all that into one house.....with 2 parents.
Oh. So. Tired.
We came to England when I was pregnant with Elijah, I was 5 months pregnant when I came back, H arrived the day before I went in to have Elijah.
So, I had 4 months, nearly 5 months of being alone, with Sophie and the 2 little boys. Mum and dad helped me and they drove me here and there, the boys were clingy because this was such a big change for them and they missed H so terribly. So they stayed with me, mum did take them out a couple of times which was such a treat, I was so tired. Oh so tired.
H arrived, Elijah arrived and now we were 6, in a tiny little house.
In 6 years we have had 6 houses, H had a heart attack, I have been a raving lunatic, all is well.
When Elijah started school, after a few weeks a splendid thing began to happen. H and I began to lift up our heads and look around and we liked what we saw.
We started to breathe.....Sophie left and came home and had a nightmarish 16 months in between. Jordan moved in with us and for 2 years we had 7 in our house.
H and I still don't go out in the evenings, we sometime go out together in the day, sometimes we don't.
Very often we don't do anything, or go anywhere and that is just as we like it.
so now I am a grandma and it would seem, even though I was very clear before he was born that I was not going to be a hands on, here he is, give him to me because I haven't had enough of babies grandma, it appears no-one believed me.
I find, more often than I would like, find myself saying "no" "Nope!" "sorry, no"
I explain that look, I have been at home, being a mother for 24 years, I have been there, done that, over and over again . I get phone calls asking me to have Joshua because "oh it is IMPOSSIBLE to get anything done!"
I am asked to pick him up when they want to go somewhere and he isn't happy about it.
I am asked to babysit so they can have a break.
I like that I am able to say no, they never take offense, they don't complain ( to me anyway!) Sophie is often the messenger, because she isn't afraid to say " But you're not DOING anything!"
She's quite right, more often than not, I am NOT doing anything. Because I can.
I am going to continue not doing anything. If that's what I want.
And what's more, I am not going to apologise for it.


Wednesday, July 08, 2009

It's an age thing.

It's actually rather splendid getting older, I admit that the chin whiskers would take over if I wasn't on constant beard watch, the grey in my hair is a sweet memory and when I leave my hair undyed for longer than 3 weeks I see that actually, my hair is snowy white now, lawks. That's not something that fills me with much joy but on the whole, getting older is quite lovely.
I was putting my pyjamas on the other night ( still know when to do what, that's a plus) and I always put the top on before the bottoms ( riveting, I know) and I pulled my pyjama pants on and as I looked down, blow me if the top wasn't tucked in the bottoms, like some dear old lady determined to hold it all together and rather than feel horrified I was actually quite happy as I thought to myself " Not long and you'll be able to get away with that, in the day, outside, in public"
When I was young, I would look at older ladies, with their stretchy waisted trousers and slip on shoes and wonder what in the world had happened, no-one in their 20's or even 30's thinks that elasticated waist polyester trousers are OK. Ever.
Yet look around and you will see old ladies wearing them with such pride, some with creases ironed in, the very posh older lady will wear those skirts, of a certain flowery material, in vibrant pinks and purples that no-one under 50 would ever dream of wearing. Is there an old lady shop that I don't know about because I swear I haven't ever seen those skirts in a shop, ever yet so many older ladies have them.
I adore old ladies, I do, I love to see them walking through town and I always want to talk to them and ask them their stories and I rejoice in their ability to wear their shirts tucked into their stretchy waistbands.
I don't mind at all hurtling towards being a member of that club.
I think my ovaries are having a last hoorah, I find myself for only the second time in my life, so painfully broody. I feel as though I want one last baby, especially a baby girl, one with curly hair and big brown eyes. Oh what a beautiful baby she would be.
I think, also, that the desperation is stronger because I can't have any more babies. I am sure that if H hadn't had a vasectomy and I wasn't so old and creaky, I wouldn't give having a baby another thought. If the choice was there, I probably wouldn't want one. Probably.
I am just indulging my feelings by thinking of how lovely it would have been and not telling myself how this poor old body would collapse if a new person were to grow inside it, never mind have to look after a baby again.

I find, also, as I get older that the need to tell other people how to live their lives is almost overwhelming, especially famous people. I read all about these youngsters splitting up and moving on to the next 'love' 2 weeks later and I want to bang their stupid heads together.
I even think in sentences that start with " now listen here!" and " what in the world?"
My sister called me the other day, she is 4 years older than me and she doesn't have little children to help her think she is younger than her 50 years, so she called me to tell me, with both horror and pride that as she came out of Asda, she saw some hoodlum throw his empty pop bottle on the ground. She said before she knew what was happening she had picked it up and was running behind them saying " EXCUSE ME!!! HEY! You dropped THIS!!! HEY!!! Come back here and put it in the bin!"
She told me how the other part of her head was yelling at HER saying " SHUT UP! You stupid old bag, they'll turn around and beat you up..what are you DOING! You are making a holy show of yourself!" But that other part, the one that was actually yelling after 2 young men, just kept shouting and running after them. Even when they turned around and said " Wasn't me lady" she said " YES , yes it WAS because I SAW you! Put. it. in. the. bin!"

I am considerably less willing to deal with drama and nonsense. The longer you live, the more you learn what is really important, the easier it is to walk away from situations that are getting you nowhere. Life is so short and it's such a shame to waste any of it in futile pursuits.
Life is about giving and gaining good things, knowledge and friendships, memories and joy.
Perhaps it's because I will be 47 this month I am noticing how my place in life is changing, how the things I find important are so different to those that mattered 20 years ago.
There is such joy in the smallest of things. Time is more precious and what I do with my time seems to matter more.

It's not all bad getting older, especially when you think of the alternative!


Friday, July 03, 2009

I knew you when....

I have this theory, it isn't mine exactly but I believe it. I believe that we meet people in this life, that we knew before.
I am sure we didn't just 'happen' that we come from somewhere, that we were made just the way the Lord wants us to be, we come here to fulfill a purpose and then we go on to continue who were are, for eternity.
I am sure that as we travel through this life, we come across people we already know.
For me, I meet people and I have one of 3 reactions, I love them, I recoil from them or I look at them and tell myself that this one, well, we'll see, nothing there that makes me jump back and run the other way but no spark, nothing to make me feel this is someone I will love. ( does this all sound like it's all about ME? Oh good, because it is.)
I have super friends, real honest to goodness friends and usually, I love my friends for always.
Sometimes I meet someone who seems lovely and yet, something doesn't gel, even though I can't put my finger on a reason, it doesn't get past the chit chat phase. That's fine because we can't be friends with everyone we meet, how sickly would that be?
Then, there are those times when you see someone, you bump into them and every sense is heightened, I love that, I love that those moments are not confined to age or gender, sometimes you can meet someone, quite by chance and you know that somehow you have always known that person, that this is just a reunion of sorts.
I did that today.
For a few years I have been online friends with someone, on a message board for mormon mums, I left that board forever ago but kept in touch with Karen, we have met up before on a crazy thanksgiving at our house and today I drove down to see her again before she moves from Cornwall, back to America, from whence she came. Her husband is in the US military and they are moving back to the USA, they had a couple of years in Italy and a couple more in England.
I was so glad to be able to see Karen and her family again, she has 3 delicious children, Natalie, Robbie and Clayton. I met Natalie and Robbie before on that busy thanksgiving day, both so little and Clayton is a teeny weeny boy, a new one that I hadn't met before ( oh tiny boys, is there anything nicer? I think not) Anyway, I didn't get lost, not really, I went the scenic route but I didn't get lost and I loved seeing the old familiar roads of Cornwall and some new ones too, the scenery and countryside is out of this world, truly breathtaking....





I stopped on the way home and took those pictures, I stood in one spot and took them, just look at how glorious that is. When I see countryside like this I know God exists, mistakes or explosions don't make beauty like this.
Anyway, I arrived and waiting in the tiny narrow lane was Karen and Natalie and Robbie. I got out of the car and Natalie came right over, she grabbed my hand and I felt that feeling.
This little girl has always been my friend.
We sat and chatted for a while and she drew me pictures and wrote me notes, the whole time I was thinking how happy I was to be near her, then she put down her notepad and she snuggled right into me, you know what you just have that urge to squeeze the breath out of someone when you see them after a long time? She did that and I squeezed her right back.
Then, she did something that was so touching it almost brought tears to my eyes, she got hold of my shirt, stuffed her face into it and she breathed in really deeply. Then she just looked at me and smiled.
I almost asked her if I was stinky but her little face showed me that I wasn't. ( and when I got in the car I sniffed right where she had and it smelled rather lovely of fabric softener and fresh air)
What a precious thing it is to feel that with someone, especially a little person because they are just so open.
There have been many times when I am so happy to see someone that I want to grab them and just breathe them in, take great big lungs full of their smell, squeeze the breath out of them and just have them know that I love them, without saying a word. Old age stops me doing that, which is a shame, after today I might just go with it because I feel like I won the lottery today.
The moment was over in a flash but will stay in my heart forever and I am sure that even when Natalie is old and married, when she is a mother and can barely remember living in England, I will still be her friend.
I asked her, after she sang me the sweetest song, on the way to school, if when she came home from school and I wasn't there, if she would sing that again and have her mommy put the video on the computer for me so I can watch it again and again and she said " Yes, she'll put it on Face Book because when you put things in the computer they stay there and you can look at them again and again, even when I am in America you can still see me if I am in your computer can't you?"
That's what I love about the computer, I get so many great things from my computer, a husband, great friends and all manner of treasures. I love that distance dissolves, it's so easy to forget there is an ocean between us as we chat and laugh as is we are in the same room.
I so love my friends, life is so much more colourful, more valuable when you have friends to share it with.
I love that true friendship is so effortless, nothing is hard work, it is entirely possible to go days, weeks even years sometimes without seeing or speaking to someone and then, when the chance arises, it's as though you were never apart.
I am so grateful for friends who understand me, who know without being told how I am, who take the time to tell me I matter. I am even more grateful for friends who don't need to tell me I matter to them because I already know. I know because I am pretty sure I knew them before, way back when.