Winter Wonderland

It is the Sunday morning after Christmas, and I find myself on the sofa as usual. Except my sofa is in Hoffman Estates, IL this particular morning and I have just spent a lovely holiday with my family. Instead of a four hour plane ride home, it was a three hour drive. Instead of tearful goodbyes, there were hugs and kisses knowing that we would be seeing each other very soon again. (God willing).

I am looking out the patio door and seeing a beautiful, winter scene, with the snow lying heavy on the evergreen branches, realizing how much I have missed an honest to God winter. Most of you will say that I am crazy, (my husband will be first in line for that one) but there is something about the silence of a snowfall. It is very peaceful to me and takes me back to my childhood where we had a lot of fun ice skating on Wall Lake, and sledding down Bever’s mountain every winter.

Last weekend we drove back to Kalamazoo and pulled in our Son’s drive just in time to see the Grandkid’s sledding down their hill. They had built a ramp of sorts and the joy on their faces made my heart skip a beat. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

The joy of being closer to home for me is something I have longed for and is finally a reality. I thank God every day for answering my prayers and I am going to make the most of this opportunity, for we never know what tomorrow will bring.

"So Long, Farewell,,Auf Weidersehn, Goodbye"

Well here it is, the time I have been anxiously awaiting practically since the day I got here. Everything has fallen into line and our move is imminent. So why, pray tell am I a little reticent to leave? If you know me at all, you are aware that I don’t handle change well. Not only am I swapping time zones again, I have to say goodbye to my friends out here. Friends it took me a long time to find, but friends that I will have forever.

To my dear friend Mary D. From the moment we met in our first creative writing class, I knew you were special and we have shared our secrets and dreams for the future. Your book will be a best-seller.

To Marg, who has been asked to endure more than any one person should. You are perhaps the strongest woman I know and you are in my thoughts and prayers daily. I will never forget your kindness when I first moved to this city and you will always be my friend.

To Sandy my choir mentor/ coffee buddy and so much more. You are always there to lean on and give an encouraging word when needed. My faith is stronger because of you.

To Lisa my writing protege. Your accomplishments are too numerous to mention here, but suffice it to say I am impressed. You are an artist in everything you do. Even though we have political differences we are still friends, and that somewhat amazes me. I will miss our weekly coffee at Starbucks.

To the girls at “The Barn”. OMG you guys are the BEST! You wormed your way into my heart and hopefully I did the same with yours. I miss you so much already (not to mention the 40% discount). PLEASE come visit me anytime you are in the windy city!

To Anna, Kathleen, and Kate my neighborhood friends. I will miss, walking and talking with you, and Kate you were a life-saver for us, helping out with the dogs when we had to go house hunting. I wish God would have brought you all into my life a little sooner.

And finally to my writing coach Christi. You gave me permission to be a writer. Even if it’s not the great American novel, I will continue to try and publish some of my work. You are an angel and I will forever be grateful for your encouraging words.

I have learned much about myself in these past five years. I believe I have grown as a person and seen that there is life west of the Mississippi (albeit a little stranger than what I was used to).

Everyone I have met has enriched my life in one way or another and I would not have missed this “adventure” for anything.

My goodbye is bittersweet, as it is hard to leave you all, but there is joy on the other side as I will be able to see my family much more often. As I’ve said many times in the past, “lay in the beer, I’m coming home”.