Wednesday, August 28, 2013


We just returned home from a fun weekend in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada to reconnect with family. Our family consists of lifelong friends as well as my siblings and our spouses. Our base was at a home outside of Grass Valley, CA, which we choose for its proximity to rivers and lakes. As usual we shared great food, summer fun, and easy companionship. Food is ever present, as we have a grill master as well as a chef to cook it up.

Day 1 was arrival, and my husband and I stopped to explore the quaint and picturesque town of Grass Valley before heading to our base outside of town. My husband discovered an amazing ice-cream shop (if there is good ice-cream in the vicinity, he will find it) that we would return to a few times during the weekend. 

Day 2 was the Nevada County Fair where my adopted sister entered a handmade quilt in the quilters competition. She herded us all to the exhibition hall and instructed us on the voting process (she won first place in her division!). It was amusing watching our men become acquainted with the art and tradition of quilting. Who know they would be so taken with quilts. That evening back at our base, we enjoyed a great barbecue and amazing star gazing that us city folk rarely get to enjoy.

Day 3 we were on the lake with a houseboat and a ski boat. I had visions of water skiing (which I have not done in 20 plus years) but after an unsuccessful attempt to ride a banana (long water toy shaped like a banana) behind the boat, I decided against it. I am a little disappointed with myself that I chickened out on the skiing, but at least I don’t have any broken bones or strained muscles. Instead we floated, swam, ate, cruised around the lake, fished, ate, visited, and then ate a little more. A perfect summer day of relaxation.

Day 4 brings our reunion to an end. What a special weekend for siblings who wouldn’t see each other very often otherwise. A time to catch up, strengthen bonds, and laugh together reminiscing about our shared past. As we say goodbye, planning for next year, there is an occasional tear as we hug and go our separate ways. 

Tuesday, August 6, 2013


No matter how grown the kids are, they will always be your precious babies.

I saw this on Facebook today and thought how true, at least for me. My sons, ages 26 and 30, think I am a royal pain. I can’t help myself; I will always be their mom. When I see them my first instinct is to offer advice, or helpful criticism: you should get a haircut, be careful driving in the rain, you should be saving more of your money, and on and on. No wonder they don’t call or stop by as often as I would like.

I know they don’t want to hear my ‘advice’, but sometimes they need to hear it. I would feel guilty if they skidded off the freeway into a ditch in the rain after leaving my house without a warning to drive safely( as if that would help). For so many years they depend on our care and guidance. At what age do we let go?

Parenting doesn’t come with a guide book, but if it did I am sure it would recommend discontinuing the unsolicited advice long before they reach my kids’ age. I am working on enjoying the time I have with my sons, but I still have to bite my tongue when the urge to criticize or offer guidance attempts to spoil our time together. I still have slip ups, but I mean well.

In defense of caring parents everywhere, I think that grown children should be respectful and consider (even if they have no intension of following the offered advice) what their older and wiser parents are saying and consider our offered advice gracefully. And I must try to accept that until they are parents themselves they will not understand that they will always be my precious babies.