Today, Tomorrow is Here


The beauty of mountains cast early morning shadows as the highway weaves upward toward a single triangle to form a perfect peak.  The tip nearly touches the sky of cotton clouds, dove gray with hints of slate blue.  And, although I’m enveloped in a valley of beauty unsurpassed, sadness descends. I’ve just left my ‘Babies of Two.’

Sprinkles of rain begin to fall. Slowly at first, then faster.  Windshield wipers wave from right to left or left to right. Both, if you will.  Rubber blades swipe across a window of glass to mimic miniature squeegees. My eyes follow back and forth while ears tune to sounds surrounding my space within doors and glass and leather.

Droplets of water fall on our metal rooftop, “ting-ting.”  Splatters of wet on a windshield, “ping-ping.”  The revving of car engines, ours and many others as we climb higher up the mountain. My ears begin to pop!

Trees become thicker.  Pines remain dark emerald and full forever, reminding me of bottle brushes, while neighboring natives are naked, barren to the elements.  Branches of some surprise me with colors of leftover fall.  Leaves dipped in burgundy red or burnished gold speckled in chocolate call to me.

It’s been quite a ‘ride’ these last few days. Blessed to be visiting friends and family over the holidays.

My son and daughter-in-law are settled into their lovely new home. Happiness floats in the air.  Huge hugs with kisses on cheeks.  At first glance, a toddler of two barrels toward the knees of Grandpa.  “Crappa,” she shouts with glee!

Then I see them there.  Gummy smiles with surprises of new front teeth. Seed pearls discovered in pink sand.  Magic land.  Two on top and one below…X 2.  Sitting atop her mother’s lap is a squirming babe topped with a moppet of jet black hair.

Below, on the walnut colored wooden floor is a second bundle.  She’s crawling now, wearing footed pajamas with rubber soles.  Fuzzy and pink with bottoms of white feet. Contrary to her “sissy,” tufts of strawberry blonde hair are barely there.

Twins, my ‘Babies of Two.’

Enormous eyes of green and two of blue  beg, “Pick me up!”  My husband reaches for one while I lift the other.  Warm cuddles of close. Closer still.  Gentle squeezes.  Open kisses shaped like the moon.  Drool and dribble. Tiny fingers pinch and pull to explore familiar faces. Wiggles and giggles. Teardrops fall upon flowered bibs snapping behind eyes gazing in wonder.

My heart is open wide to catch every ABC love letter for the next few days.  Far too soon we must part ways.  Thanksgiving, 1st birthdays and an early Christmas are celebrated day after day after day.  Tomorrow tugs at the lobe of my right ear. Reddened from rubbing between thumb and forefinger.  Tomorrow is so very near.

Today, tomorrow is here.  Goodbyes are said. Tears are shed.  One last kiss from a toddler plus cradled cuddles with ‘Babies of Two.’  Steps, measured and slow taken reluctantly toward a front door painted black until it is finally closed.

“I going to miss you, Crappa.” 

 


Thanksgiving Peace


Traveling to South Carolina to visit family including my grand-Babies of Two, I pause to reflect on surroundings along the way.  There is much to be thankful for and I wish to share some of it with all of you.

 

Driving south on a winding two lane road

To the left and to the right

In front and far behind

Are mountains covered in dark green pines 

As though God reached down to blanket the land

With one giant hand

Gently, gently

Lay-me-down-to-sleep

The sun has set, the moon shines bright

High and round amid golden stars shooting

Reflecting upon smooth glasses of water streaming blue

Flowing, flowing

Doe and fawn, lapping coolness

Liquid spilling over cliffs falling

Barely dawn

Tis a new day

Of peaceful blessings

Prayers

Ours and theirs

Of celebration

On Thanksgiving….

 

 

 

 

 

Lost and Found


The last weekend of long was filled with anticipation for me.  I was off to visit my elderly father in Phoenix, Arizona.  I use the term elderly in a loose manner as he doesn’t look elderly to me, nor does he behave as such.  A boy’s brain in an aging body it seems.  I thank God for that.

I met my sisters at the airport and immediately our togetherness could have become a pilot for an unscripted reality show.  Even at the airport, we got lost before finding each other.  From there it went downhill whenever our sub-compact rental car opened it’s doors to us.  Contorted in every-which-way, we felt caged in small can of tin on wheels of four.  Minus an opener.

My youngest sister was the designated driver.  It was only after we made a wrong turn coming out of the airport that I realized she needed glasses for distance.  She couldn’t read a single sign.  “Kim,” she playfully squawked at me, “I’m a great driver when I know where I’m going!”  “Kellie, you don’t know where you’re going because we’re in Phoenix, not Dallas!”  “Yes, but I’m really good when I use your eyes!”  Seriously?  Seriously??!  “That’s fine,” I responded, “but my eyes are not behind the wheel!”

What should have been a 45 minute drive to my father’s house ended up taking two and a half hours.  My GPS helped to re-route us while my younger sister’s did the same from the back of our seats.  Every few seconds or minutes voices were heard guiding us.  “Make a U-turn, proceed to ramp,” or “Merge on to I-10.”  Again and again and again.  Have you ever tried listening to two voices at the same time?  It was very confusing.  Even more so because one of them had a British accent.  No luck in turning it off.  I tried.  Several times.  The British accent was along for the ride!

Finally we called my father.  Five or six times….At least.  I can’t imagine what he was thinking.  It was nearly 11:30 pm.  He had been waiting for our arrival since 9:00.  Like any father, he was worried and scared, wondering what could have happened to his three daughters.

Guiding us into a parking lot of a nearby restaurant, San Tan Flats, his voice crackled in disbelief through the speaker of an I-phone.  “Oh you girls, do you see the stuffed bear to the left?  Turn right.  Drive until you see a For Sale sign at the end of the parking lot.”  We did before somehow ending up at the restaurant’s hulking emerald-green dumpster.  Our bright lights caught a raccoon scampering off in the distance of the desert darkness.

“Dad, what do we do now?” my sister asked, in panic.  I could tell my dad couldn’t believe his ears.  “Back up, back up, turn around and follow the smoke from the campfire.  Go out the nearest drive to the first road.  I’ll stay on the line.”

Bless my father’s heart.  He did stay on the line, hearing a big thud as we drove over a Saguaro that had fallen during a recent storm.  Car lights, bright from our rental car soon shined on the best of him.  Standing in the middle of the dusty desert road he stood wearing baggy jeans and a loose yellow shirt.  On his feet were tennis shoes, glowing in fluorescent white.  His legs were balanced straight, even and wide apart.   His arms of two lifted high towards a clear endless sky with hands swaying back and forth in a frenzy as if to yell, “STOP!  Turn off the engine now, before it’s too late!”

In spite of our trials of lost and found my father together with all of his children had the very best time.  Rare because the five of us were all together with him.  During the weekend we went to the American Legion where he sang Karaoke and danced the night away with his girlfriend.  Yes, she is so kind and they are happy!

My sisters and I woke in early mornings to share coffee under quiet, peaceful canopies of leftover stars.  We walked at dawn to discover horses who neighed, mongrels who barked and flowers that bloomed “Hello” from nothing more than dry cinnamon dust of a desert crust.

Then the inevitable happened.  Such sweet sorrow to say, “Good-by.”  A whisper in my ear from my father. Choking up he said, “Your mother would love to see all of you kids together like this.”  Hugging him tight, I whispered back, “She does, Dad.”

That’s what life is all about.  Love and bonding.  Togetherness.  No matter how far apart, get together again.  Create new memories.  Laughter.  Even the mini-trips of lost and found with my sisters will forever be with me.  I dare say one of my ribs might be broken from laughing so hard.  No matter.  All was worth it.

From every second in the desert dark to each minute of my father’s mark…..All above is in my heart forever.

The Next Best Thing


It was the luck of the draw if you will.  An oblong piece of paper, stiff, printed with computerized letters and numbers.  One letter larger than the others, a capital A.  One number smaller, leading me to a seat next to a window where I could see clouds of fluffy cotton candy high in the sky.  Floating by.

Beforehand, while waiting to catch a plane, I noticed her.  A young girl-woman excited to take a new adventure.  Her face was fresh and pretty, scrubbed clean and framed by long, strawberry blonde hair.  Straight, it was held back by a headband of leather.  She seemed perfectly comfortable alone, as if already a veteran traveler at a relatively young age.

Settling into my seat, I stuffed magazines into the back of the one in front of me.  All the while, people tall and short with kids of little, plus parents holding babies passed by, single file.  My head popped up from reading.  Smiles my way, a nod of a head or eyes straight ahead every few seconds…Or once in a while.

Then a backpack of black trimmed in royal blue plopped down next to me.  Jammed and filled to the brim.  Pockets with side zippers nearly split open.  Papers peeking out together with brochures depicting colored pictures of a world I had never seen before.  Clutched in a hand of right, a plush walrus, soft and cocoa colored with warm, comforting dark eyes and a fuzzy, tickling mouth.  A good-luck charm?

“Hi,” she said, enthusiastically!

How lucky was I?  It was the girl I had noticed in the airport waiting area.  The girl-woman surely about to take an adventure.  Although much younger, I sensed she was about to teach me…. Life Lessons.  Closing my book, I welcomed her, ready to absorb whatever she had to say.

Turns out Becca was a member of her high school Rotary Club together with a group of several students boarding other flights that day.  Each had been assigned to live with host families for the next nine months.  It was part of their high school education of which they were expected to journal, in addition to keeping up with all of their regular studies.  Becca was beginning the first leg of her journey to Thailand, where she was scheduled to meet one of three host families who she would live with for nearly a year.

Tossed over an empty seat between us, Becca’s jacket rested over her backpack.  Covering nearly every inch of the front were pins collected from countries around the world.  She proudly showed me many of them, gingerly rubbing her fingers over her favorite, a pair of smooth, cream-colored wooden shoes from Holland.  They were brightly hand-painted with tiny wind mills, surrounded by colorful tulips sprouting at the tips of the toes.

During the whole rest of the flight, Becca thumbed through page after page of what was to be her lifeline, a paperback book on the topic of Thailand.  Several sticky notes stuck to the beginning of chapters, marking the importance of black and white words written inside.  Where to go, what to see and do, political correctness together with the vast, endless beauty of a country never seen before.

Vibrant pictures of color were captured within Becca’s book.  People and places, food, culture and language, dress, customs, transportation and tradition together with life.  It was fascinating to me.  Even more so, was the thought of this young girl-woman off to another side of the world for nearly a year.

Becca taught me a lot in that short ride on the inside of two wings.  Beside all of the facts about Thailand, I learned about Becca, the person.  How very different life was for her than when I was a teen! Thrilling were her opportunities!  To see the world, to learn and grow like most would never know.

The best thing about meeting Becca was getting to know her personality.  So down to earth she was.  No airs about her.  She appreciated all gifts in life and looked forward to giving back.  I had a feeling that whatever she learned or received from the people of Thailand, they too were about to be given life lessons never imagined.

Most of the Thai people probably would never make it to America, but they would see it through Becca’s eyes.  Soon, many of them, families of young and old would take an imaginary trip across a great ocean of blue to stare wide-eyed at our Statue of Liberty where they would be welcomed too.

The world around us.  So much to see and do even if only through paper pages of a book.  Read one today.  Touch the vibrancy of spectacular colored pictures to imagine that you’re traveling all around the world.

It’s the next best thing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reflection


 

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Less than a week ago I was contemplating…..Contemplating my father’s reaction upon seeing his special delivery.  That of his three grown daughters falling from the sky to land on the front of his stoop, surprising him at his home in Arizona.  Two coming from the state of Texas, one from St. Louis, Missouri.

After arriving by plane and renting a car, we parked a few feet away to slither to the front of his house like a local rattle snake, albeit one without any venom.  Giggling like school girls we were nervous to knock on his massive wooden door nearly six inches thick.  “You do it,” my middle sister said.  “No, you,” I responded, jiggling the skinny of her arm in gleeful anticipation.  Finally, our youngest sister pushed both of us out of the way, rolling sapphire eyes in mock disgust.  “Tap, tap, tap,” her knuckles loudly rapped.

Today, I’m reflecting……Reflecting upon every moment spent with my father.  The whole of each second is stuffed inside denim pockets or hidden within silken folds of wrinkled shirtsleeves waiting to be unpacked.  Before I shake them out I must push them deep to the far corners of my mind, lest they forever be lost.  Every joke and laugh, smile and tilt of his head, hug, silly story told, family minute and clink of our glasses to cheer our past.  This I must remember for all my future it must last.

My father was totally surprised when he opened the door, nearly falling to his knees with a look of shock and joy.  My sisters and I sat with Dad on a western sofa while he finished his curly chicken noodle soup to tell him of our plans for the next few days.  It was the first time he did not balk at our staying in a hotel.  Truth be told, I think he was a bit relieved since he was recuperating from Vertigo.  He needed to rest, after all.

Around a table of square that evening, girls with giggles shared wine of liquid red from bubbled glasses clear.  Later, in the shadows of a stark hotel room, whispered voices wafted over down comforters, reminiscing of long ago youth.  Stories of high school days, cheerleading, old boyfriends with shoulder length hair and parties where record players blared.  Mind photos of mini-skirts, bell bottom pants, first cars and learning lines in plays.

The next day my two younger brothers joined us.  It was the first time we were all together in nearly four years.  There were smiles and laughter with a little bit of teasing now and again for old time’s sake.  We nibbled on cubes of cheese like scampering mice while snapping pictures with camera phones.  Later, under twinkling stars in the blackest sky we sang Karaoke songs to the top of our lungs.   Eyes glowed fluorescent green in the luster of a yellow moon, and if one looked close enough, scraggly coyotes scattered every which way.

On our last day together, we all shared a grand lunch followed by visiting relatives while enjoying the desert sun.  We prayed over my aunt’s struggling fruit trees, and shared a delicious pink grapefruit, freshly picked.  My youngest sister, who recently passed her Personal Training certification gave my father a lesson in Yoga, much to all of our delight!  A picture of him in the CHI position is my very favorite, one I shall treasure always.

In reflecting upon my trip to Arizona, I had the greatest time with my sisters, my brothers and of course, my father too.  It seems like weeks were packed into a small duffel of four days.  The CHI picture is my fondest reflection of my father.  His love of life, all people and especially family.   I do not take my time with him for granted.  Not one minute nor a second on the clock.  Every moment that I think of him is a reflection, a mirror on the wall, a ticking watch wrapped around my wrist forever to remind me.

Reflection……

 

 

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I Took My Dying Dog on a Bucket List Adventure – by Lauren Fern Watt


A post with words to make every dog owner hug their own a little tighter today. Creative and beautifully written, you’ll love and laugh and cry for Gizelle and her owner, Lauren.

Kindness Blog

When my 160-pound English Mastiff was diagnosed with terminal bone cancer, I was crushed. Together Gizelle and I had been through college, boyfriends, our early 20s, and a move from simple Tennessee to big and scary New York City.

This dog wasn’t just my best friend — she was my roommate and confidant. What does the vet mean she only has a few months left?

My sobbing seemed unstoppable, but Gizelle was sensitive and didn’t like to see me cry. I had to be strong. So I decided we would bury our worries in the dog park and create a bucket-list adventure of everything we wanted to do before she died. It was my mission for us to indulge and explore life’s joys. We’d escape the city and search for waterfalls, cook lobster, and nap in the grass. We’d jump in the ocean without towels, just to enjoy the sun…

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Heaven on Earth


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While on holiday or vacation, how do you choose what sights to see?  Reading through bundles of accordion-folded brochures, my fingers brush over glossy pictures of scenic images.  Where should I go?  What do you recommend?  So much to see…so little time. 

The drive is only a short distance from the villa my husband and I share with good friends.  Stopping to speak to the Gatekeeper, a nice middle-aged man wearing a copper cap atop his balding head, we’re directed toward the “Cougar” lot.  “There it is,” I exclaim! An outline in bright green tells me so with a paw of claws to the left.  Crunching sounds are heard beneath the weight of our mini-van from stones of crushed quartz together with variegated granite.

No sight of a genuine “Cougar.”  It’s safe to jump out!  Skipping to climb stairs and steps in sets of three or four, suddenly it’s time to rest.  Whew…hard to breathe for me.  The air is different here.

Crisp and clean, but thinner.  One-two-three, short breaths for me.  A voice booms loud over an unseen speaker, startling me. “Departure!”  It’s time to catch a free ride on the aerial tramway.  Soon we’ll be pulled all the way up to the tip of majestic mountain before me.  I see it standing stately in the background sky of royal blue.

Along the way my eyes of wide glance side to side and all around looking out a glass balloon floating on wires of two.  My mouth drops open, agape in awe.  Yes, I do realize what I’m looking at, yet my mind is having trouble catching up.  I’m spinning together with the mountain top around me.  Up-up-up we go all the way to the top of God’s wilderness where we stop at 8,500 feet.

Heaven on Earth….

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“Praying Hands”

Copyright Kim Gosselin

 

Off Tips of Shiny Silver Wings


Off on vacation, I am.  Sounds of humming engines vibrate below covered feet.  Whooshing air blows cool and quietly past ears to the left and to my right.   Unaware, those around me sleep fitfully with eyes partially closed. Irises of blue, green or brown, some speckled with golden flecks peek from bodies twisting this way or that in an effort to get comfortable in nearly impossible positions.   Hmmm…I’m looking at rows and rows of ‘pretzels’ poured from cellophane bags.  Twisted arms, legs, and feet sticking every which way, their cushions nearly too small to hold them all.

Here I am, sitting huddled in an assigned seating space near the bubble of a plastic window shade.  Raising it with the left of my hand, morning light floods the cabin with a brilliance never quite seen before.  Shades of golden yellow, coral, orange, and cotton white nearly blind me with the beauty of a magnificent sunrise painted against billowing clouds of smoky blue.

How sad for the salted “pretzels” around me who shall miss this magic in the sky!  I want to shake them, wake them from their slumber.  Suddenly from the Flight Attendant’s microphone an announcement is made.  “Hurry, look to the East.  Wonderment is awaiting you.” Ahhh, my imagination is playing tricks on me once again….

Then, I stop to sigh.  Perhaps this “Here and Now” moment is for me alone to embrace, to tuck within my heart or to lock away in a trunk of forever memories?  Yes, my bubble window space has been a quiet blessing during this unexpected dawn of spectacular seconds for this day to stow away.

Sparkling rays of brilliant sun point towards Heaven off tips of shiny silver wings.  Look beyond to see and hear what angels do……

 

 

Priorities


Yesterday, I admit it.  No words in my head.  Lots of images for future posts to come, while ten fingers rested ever-so-lightly atop an old keyboard friend.  Not once did they press a printed letter up or down.  Never, did I see a word appear on my old familiar screen.  Instead, it remained blank the whole day through.  Like a ghost of white, it called out to me through French glass doors of an empty library room when darkness fell.

The last month of travel, together with visiting my dear Great-Aunt, seemed to sap the energy from one bone to the next.  Whispers of my old St. Louis town wafted through open windows as our car traveled back from Michigan.

When I woke-up the next morning, I heard the message loud and clear.  “Take a rest,” my body said.  Still, there were appointments already made.  Red X’s penned on the calendar that told me so.  “Get up,” they said.  Oh, how I hated to get out of bed!

Suitcases were unpacked the night before.  Clothes in lumpy piles plumped among the sunlit, wooden floor to be sorted sometime later.  Garbage cans were dragged across the driveway to the curb before whisking ‘Doodle Dog’ off to the groomer.  Whew…..a fresh smelling bath with a trim for him!

With seconds to spare, I made it to a doctor’s appointment.  Yes, barely on time.  Annual blood tests taken with an X-ray, too.  Next, I stopped to pick up my husband’s dress shirts from the cleaners, all perfectly pressed.  He’ll be flying in late from work tomorrow.  One thing less for him to do.  A few minutes later, my cell phone rang.  It was the dentist calling to remind me, “one more time.”  Off with my head!  Truth be told, I think I’d rather…J

A few calls on my Bluetooth to check-in with my son and some friends before stopping at the store for milk and bread.  Maybe a banana, some salad and a chicken breast or two.  I’m almost afraid to check my e-mail box.  It’s been several days.  There wasn’t any service in the thick woods of Michigan.  I may tackle that chore next, I guess.

My ‘words’ will come to me, tomorrow and hopefully the next.  They’re in my head, perhaps hiding under a wished for mattress or squeaky springs with a fluffy feather pillow.   When time is taken off, the clock at home seems to stop.   Yes, my work has piled up.  It’s waiting for me.  Yet, all is worth it in the end.  Life is fleeting, gone too fast.

Hmmm…When I think of God’s gift of feelings that I’ve just been given, the waiting work hardly seems to matterMy sweet baby grandson held against a beating chest, napping in my arm, or resting upon my lap.  My precious grand-daughter giggling with delight, her ringlets of curls swinging like a picture postcard against a backdrop lake of blue.

When on my death-bed, will I wish that I had worked a little harder for one more day or rested just a little longer?  Never for a second against that backdrop lake of blue…..

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Sisters…Friends Forever


Sisters…I’ve had them in my life for over fifty years. 

Middle’ Sister was born on a snowy Christmas Eve morn while little brother and I searched Santa’s treasures under whiffs of a fat needled tree.  Santa brought me a cherished doll that holiday.  Perhaps it was something to love me.  Soon Mama would be very busy with her own baby doll of new.

I remember hearing big tires drive-up on crushed pebbled stone.  Sound my ears heard before the car engine stopped.  Two heads peeked up and over the back of sofa springs to see out window panes in our itty-bitty house of asphalt shingled pink.

Through the front looking-glass, my budding brother and I saw Daddy-So-Young hurry to get out of our old weathered car.  Running to the other side, he opened Mama’s door.  Carefully, he lifted something from her arms.  What could it be?  Another gift for under the tree?  Cradling a pink bundle of newness in his big strong arms, Daddy helped Mamma gingerly step out onto that same crushed stone.  “Careful,” he said.

Inside our front door we gathered round our tiny living room.  The special Christmas present sounded like a mewing kitten.  Oh, how wonderful it would be!  No, beneath the pink flannel blanket lay tiny lids with lashes so long.  Creamy skin with yellow downy hair peeking out.  Snowflakes fell while melodies of Christmas Carols drifted from an old radio. Little brother saddled-up his rocking horse while “Chatty Cathy” looked at me from under silver tinsel smelling like pine.  I pulled on a white plastic “O” behind her head before carefully letting it go.  “I love you,” she said, over and over and over again.

Six years later my youngest sister was born on a fresh spring afternoon.  While laboring in the same hospital, my paternal grandfather lay dying of cancer a mere elevator button below.  Push…push.  Down, down.  My father’s heart broke with grief.  His own father’s life slipped away day by day.  Push…push.  Up, up.  Ecstatic joy.  God’s miracle bringing a very first cry of breath into this world.  Tears down cheeks…. Why now God, why?  The cycle of life.

It’s been many, many years since the three of us…. SISTERS…. have been able to get together…really together.  As adults, we have always lived so far apart from one another.  States apart.  Finally it was time.  An added plus was having my niece there to visit with us. She looks so much like her beautiful mother.  Truly, they look more like sisters themselves than mother and daughter.  Too, my brother-in-law was home as often as he could be.  The perfect host.  He cooked like a gourmet chef, drove us around like a limo-driver, and often laughed together with the rest of us.

It was the perfect time to relax, to talk and giggle from the deep of our bellies to the very tips of our toes.  We cried until we hugged in our little group of three while telling secrets of long ago.  Sometimes we bared our souls.  No longer little girls or young mothers who had dragged children across floors from pant legs, after all these years we had finally grown-up.

Chronic Conditions was a distant topic during this visit.  Various long-term illnesses have affected our families in one way or another throughout the years.  We empathize with each other and are bonded by them in a way.  Still, on this special visit, we got together without any specific plan or any list of things to do.  From one day to the next, we saw the world anew.

Each morning before the sun rose over my sister’s fence, I swam in her aquamarine pool.  The fresh cool water cleared the cobwebs from my mind while relaxing my body together with my spirit.  In the evening, the three of us sat by the candlelit water, talking until wee, wee hours of the morning while drinking red wine.  Afraid to go to bed, for fear we might miss something said!

Some days our merry group of three shopped in little boutiques for things we didn’t need but purchased ‘just because.’  We strolled along paths of Plano, Texas, stopping to taste the ice of gelato.  There, we let it melt until it slid down the back of our throats to cool the bottoms of our toasted, dry bellies.

One late afternoon, we discovered a delightful sidewalk café where guitar music strummed behind the wafting scents of Spanish food.  We ate a light appetizer while sipping the proprietor’s famous strawberry mojitos.  Such a nice waiter we had together with excellent service.  “Mariano” was his name, and I was proud to pronounce it like he did, with a roll of the tongue.  Ma..r’….iano.  No doubt, I repeated it more often than necessary.  So lyrical was the sound of his name.  Mariano.

My sisters and I had the most fun of all that afternoon.  Sitting in the open air with a slight blowing breeze we said whatever came to mind, without a care in the world.  We made patio friends with everyone!  “Mariano…”  Mariano….My youngest sister kept calling him “Mario.”  Silly we were by then.  I have to clarify by saying we are lightweights in the drinking department.  Although I dare say we had a better time than anyone on that outdoor patio, we drank no more than two drinks apiece!

Today, I am back to refreshed reality, but closer to my two sisters than ever before.  I can tell them anything.  They are and always will be my very best friends.  How I wish we lived closer to each other.  Until then, more trips like the one above are promised to each other each and every year.

Sisters…Friends Forever.