December 17, 2015: Enjoying Friendships and the New Norm....

Lunch with my dear friend, Patty Johnson
I now have time on my hands.

That is new for me. And I like it.

Driving Grant to school yesterday, he and I were discussing logistics on getting him to bowling practice.

Grant: "Mom, do you have time to take me?"

Me: "Grant, I have all the time in the world."

Grant: "Oh yeah. I forgot."

And then I went on to tell him that I could now fill the role of stay-at-home mom. His response was an expression that appeared close to shock. But being the good boy that he is, he just smiled and ended the conversation. My conclusion was that most 15 year old's don't think a more 'hands on' mom is a good idea. But he'll warm up to it, I'm sure.

With Grant's semi-dissing, I moved on to Larry, my father-in-law and partner in crime. Garrett often comments that he feels like the third leg when the three of us are together. I remind him that Larry is just showing me the ropes on being retired. At least for the short term.

Larry and I are a good team. We fill our days with planning our meals and other daily routines. An occasional 4:00 beer at the local pub is welcome as well. The young bartender asked yesterday how my retirement was going. Larry then told me we were one step away from being regulars. Okay. I will follow the lead of my mentor.

The other plus on an open calendar....lots of openings for spending time with dear friends. Although I want to call it the 'listening tour', I do plenty of talking as well.

Today was lunch with Patty. We shared life for two hours and it was divine. Other than interruptions from my kids, it was a quiet solace with a dear friend. It was a great reminder to me on the importance of getting off the crazy train. Learning from the journeys of others carries a much higher weight. That takes time. And it takes being present.

After an afternoon of used book shopping with Larry and other miscellaneous errands, we had dinner with Russ and Robbie. I have known this favorite couple since I was 17 years old. I attended their wedding 29 1/2 years ago. With starry eyes I learned about young love from a college couple with a baby. Sweet Baby Russ. 1986 seems like yesterday. It all felt so magical way back when. Now the kids are grown and Russ and Robbie are planning their 30 year wedding anniversary. Who ever would have projected forward to our life tonight at Roja, 30 years later?

There are happy endings. There is no doubt. Enjoying the ride while appreciating the company and advice of our friends is just frosting on the cake.


Finishing the night with dinner with forever friends, Robbie and Russ


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