Love is being there

It was a pretty uneventful Mother’s Day for me this year. My son did cook me a nice dinner, but the fact that my two grown daughters both now live out of state and were not here to celebrate was sad. The cold wet weather outside didn’t help my mood. I sat and reflected on all of my years as a mother. (This was my thirty sixth). As a single mother of three children money was often tight and I wasn’t able to always buy my kids the fancy things they wanted. Despite my shortcomings, they have all turned into amazing and successful adults. People often ask me how I raised such wonderful kids.  I think the secret is just being there–for all their events and activities. Letting them know day by day that you support them in everything they do. That you are their biggest fan. That they are stars! This was really brought home to me this Mother’s Day, when I got the Facebook post from my youngest, now an Emergency Room doctor in a big city. Along with the several cute pictures of her and I throughout the years this picture was attached. mother's day notes

You see through all those years, I always managed to stick a little note in my kids backpack or athletic bag the day of a big game or meet. Just to let them know I loved them and would be there cheering them on. As you can see they were written on little sticky notes of scraps of paper. It didn’t matter, it let them know I cared.  I had no idea my daughter had hung on to them for all these years. It was a great Mother’s day just knowing the love that is there, no matter what the distance in miles separate us. I love being a Mom!

Where in the world is Amber?

elephantThose of you who know me well, know that my oldest daughter loves to travel. That’s probably an understatement–she lives to travel. Every few months she’s off to somewhere else in the world. For someone who has a mother, me, who’s never been outside the United States, I’m not sure where her travel bug came from, but she sure does enjoy it.  Actually, I do enjoy travel, the kind I can do in my car, in a country where we all speak the same language. But my daughter has ventured out to the far reaches of our world. So, currently she’s in Sri Lanka (I have to admit although I am well educated, when she first mentioned it, I had to look it up on a map. I had no idea where it was).  For those of you who as unworldly as me, its a small island off the coast of India. Anyway, she there, having a blast, making a new friend in the photo,  and marking off yet another country on her world journey.

Summertime

colo roadWell . . .looking back at my last post a couple of months ago, I promised to share my second road trip adventure when I returned the end of June. Tomorrow it’s August!  Where has the summer gone?  I guess I’ve been busy and enjoying the warm sunshine. Have I mentioned I love summer!!! We can have some cold winters here in Colorado, winters that sometimes last into May, so you have to get outside and enjoy every warm, sunny day.thermometer

So back to my roadtrip in June. It was good. Nothing bad happened. It was just long, really long! And hot, really hot! Both ways across Southern Utah, all of Nevada and Eastern California the temperatures hovered between 110 and 115.  (Did I mention I l love summer? I meant I love Colorado summers.) Every time I attempted to get out of my car, it felt like walking into an oven.  And I had my dog and traveling companion, Laddie, with me, of course. So it was too hot to leave him in the car alone, so no chance to go inside and cool off.

IMG_1817Anyway, I made it to San Diego, had a wonderful week with my oldest daughter and celebrated my brother’s 60th birthday . . . and then drove home.  I was so tired of being in my car when I got back, I swore I would never take another road trip by myself. But now that its been over a month, in hind sight, it doesn’t seem so bad. We’ll see, next time maybe I will look for a copilot. Or fly, flying is looking better all the time 🙂

Ed

Texas Road Trip

carhenge_nVacation starts tomorrow 🙂 Always a happy statement. This time I am especially excited because I am headed to Dallas to see my youngest, Ashley! I haven’t seen her since Christmas, a long time in the life of a mom. So anyway, I’m driving. Its about a 13-14 hour trip. When I share my plans everyone asks “Why?”  Not why on the visiting my daughter part, but why on the not flying in 2 hours part.

There are several reasons. First, it allows my dog and best friend, Laddie to come along for the ride. Second, I’m not a big fan of flying, not sure why, maybe it has something to do with the feeling of being out of control and for a control freak like me, that’s hard. But probably the best reason is I just like road trips! There is so much to see across our beautiful country, even in those “fly over states” as Jason Aldean so aptly described them. My favorite thing is to stop at every cheesy roadside attraction. The “World’s Largest” anything, always grabs my attention.  Every trip to California always involves a stop and photo op at the World’s largest thermometer. We’ve seen the world’s largest giraffe, a real six-legged cow, the world’s largest pop bottle (seriously if you are ever near Oklahoma City, you’ve got to see this-its one of my favorites). And if you are unfortunate enough to find yourself in northwestern Nebraska, you cant miss Carhenge. What could be better than an exact replica of Stonehenge, made out of old junk cars (see pic above) I’ve posed in front of giant cowboy boots, teepees and stuffed animals of numerous varieties.

So tomorrow begins another excellent adventure. I’m spending the night in Amarillo, Texas, where according to the internet, there is another fabulous site for me to visit. I’m not going to give it away right now, but come back tomorrow for pictures and the whole story. Do you like road trips? What are some memorable sights you’ve seen?

March 17th

cover_art_thanks to my momIf you are one of the 99.9% of my readers, you probably looked at the title and assumed I am going to talk about the green holiday of St. Patrick’s Day. I like St. Patrick’s Day, its a chance for normal people to consume alcoholic beverages mixed with green food coloring, and wear  shamrocks and bright green clothing with buttons that read “Kiss me I’m Irish!”  I’m not Irish, but my flaming red hair and green eyes might lead you to believe that I am, so I’ve been known to wear such a button a time or two. Its a fun and silly holiday.

But back to my point, I am not here to write about St. Patrick’s Day.  This year March 17th is also the release of the latest Chicken Soup for the Soul book entitled, Thanks to my Mom.  It is a wonderful book filled with 101 stories written by those of us that owe so much to our moms.  I am honored to be one of the writers in this collection.  Nine years after my mother passed away, it was a joy to be able to write something honoring her memory.

Please read this book. We all have mothers. And even if you didn’t have a great mother of your own, I’m sure you had one or more women in your life who played a mother role for you. Join me in honoring these great women by picking up a copy of the book.