Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Dearly beloved; Your mother is in town

Mother's Day Weekend Surprises for All

At long last, here is "Part 2" of my quick turnaround trip to the west coast....

**"Where in the world" was I is located HERE

** Part 1 of my trip can be found HERE

What a greeting soon after my arrival into the Vancouver airport

A friend I hadn’t seen in some time was awaiting my arrival for an afternoon visit, and a late lunch spread fitting for royalty was on the table. Not that I have any connection to royalty of course...snicker. It was the first time we had ever been able to visit without any children present, complete with plenty of heartfelt sharing, stolen moments I render high on the top of my list just as all my moments turned out while in the area for the few days. Thank you to Katarina for your incredible hospitality and for blessing me so much!

Blossoms were everywhere,

taking my breath away at the beauty of it all

Since the last visit, three of our adult children had acquired new abodes, new places for me to find (!) and visit them in, and consequently new dreams were unfolding for them and their families. Little ones were awaiting Nana’s visit and our biggies were awaiting their mama’s hugs. This is what happens when children grow up. They spread out and it becomes a whirlwind to meet, greet and come together. Stretched at times, fatigue reigns here and there, though nothing of course a hot strong cup of java wouldn’t cure within a short amount of time. The comfort of a night’s sleep during this trip often became my treasured end to a long day, especially when my brain didn’t connect with western time zones as opposed to eastern ones I am now used to.

Mornings came early, somewhere before 5am. And even my silly cell phone didn’t co-operate by shifting time zones automatically for me upon my arrival onto Vancouver’s terrra ferma. This new cell phone is the only one that has ever NOT done that for me! Crazy! Used as an alarm clock to meet a loved one for an early morning breakfast, rather than sounding its piercing signal for me at 6:45am as directed, it rang at 3:45am instead. Awake I was sunk...and so the story continued. Thank you Herta Yawn, yawn, yawn..I loved every second spent with you.

Have you ever just wished for a few more hours every day to get more done? I learned my days were longer out west. Longer due to time shifting zone changes my body refused to allow into my life, so sleep was a delightful thing for me at the end of my very, long, long days. The term, “crash” became a given for me, just the way it was to allow stolen moments with all those special folks in our lives. Not all actually, there are naturally always some disappointments.

Hockey: It runs in the family for this is how these two met! We were blessed with more photos for our family's future "sports room" here.

Our oldest son and wife invited me to stay with them in their new home, actually they even insisted, and both played host to their roving mother. I am so grateful I have older children who don’t mind me around (giggle), and actually enjoy time well spent with me if possible during my crazy and hectic schedules during such business trips to their area. As well both sets of our parents have been more than gracious at the way we tend to surprise them and create a flurry of feathers fluttering around with little notice to them either. This is just the way things seem to happen at times, out of our control, which is whenever business trips such as these ones require immediate action.

Proud oldest daughter at her own daughter's Mother's day tea

As time passes, noticeable changes in ones we love are visible immediately. Our sons are involved in renovations in their new homes, and our daughter recently painted the entire interior of her home. Without any bias of course, all our four older grown adults have turned out to be outstanding citizens, simply fabulous young adults with spouses equally special. Truly!

Lovely news; another new grandbabe on the way

Thank you to all of you for making time to spent it with me while I was there, to invite me to be with you no matter where it ended up being in the end. Loved every moment spent with you! And our very precious grandchildren have blessed our lives for the past ten years during times when we were yet with our own newborn babies still remaining in our own quiver. Hugs and kisses to them please!

So great to see my grand-daughters this day!

Thanks for inviting me girls!

During this trip it was an honor to hear and bear witness to three of four speech/public speaking commitments our older grandchildren were involved in. I was in awe of the selections chosen to render excellent presentations to their audiences, even if a couple were only to their Nana in between stage countdowns. I had plans to film them all, but only caught one live. He was so sweet and appeased his Nana’s request to perform for me while standing in their family’s living room.

Nana, take my picture okay?
She was recovering from her long speech practice in front of me

And, I still can’t get over what an incredible memory one grand-daughter had when reciting with tremendous expression the entire chapter 9 of the book called; “The Borrowers”. Wow! I was even able to attend the Mother’s Day Tea at the private school where two of our grand-daughters attend, and never before have I been so entranced with the expression on one sweet cherub face.

Wow, my Nana is here to watch me perform

The many faces of my sweet grandbabe while reciting her poem;

Good Job!

I became smitten and grabbed my camera to shoot all those fun expressions, so happy I did too. Thank you for inviting me along!

She played with her baby and tried to feed her

What fun I had trying to tap into the boundless energy of a few sweet and delightful youngsters wanting one more, just one more tickle, lap cuddle, little chat or kissy faced hug from their Nana. Awwww, so cute!

She was trying to wear out her Nana, already extra tired

from longer hours in my day (wink) Loved the snuggles though, so wonderful.

On no worries to the big kids, they had equal time from their mother, at least I tried to zoom around and offer it with little notice to my trip, even if it was only spilled onto them after my arrival was really real (!) and I was truly there in their presence. Tee hee... Schedules don’t always jive at the best of times. I wanted no pressure on them all just because “mom was in town”; rather I prefer to work around their timing. Somehow it usually works for us, and often there are one-on-one possibilities to render sharing moments of the heart.

Blossoms were everywhere

Business before me, I had to spend the better part of a couple days tending to it, surrounded with thoughtful scheduling to prioritize loved ones. A quick meet for coffee or a meal was the best I could offer without feeling torn and worn. There was much on my mind with much to tend to and make decisions on while I was over there, so anything personal offered me a flip to the tense moments of the business requiring attention. With my husband at the helm at home, together he and I formed conference cell phone times and continued forming strategies while making serious plan A and plan B types of decisions so that when I would return home, there would be no further signatures, glitches or dropping the ball of responsibilities. One son was instrumental in assisting his mother when necessary, we so appreciate him for his help the past few months.

Spending time on the other end of our vast country during “Mother’s day” weekend felt strange at first, being away from the younger children still living at home was weird for me and for them. Ask my husband and he will agree, weird to have me missing for the first time in 32 years on this Hallmark weekend. They survived well being in the midst of their chef daddy. Oh yes, they were all just very fine without me there.

Moreover, my little sneaky act of sneaking into my parent’s church and surprising them turned out fabulous! I tiptoed up to where they were sitting in their pew and leaned over to slip a kiss on my father’s cheek (he was on the outside), and then watched the look on their faces as I leaned inward to do the same to my mother and wish her a Happy Mother’s Day. There ended up not being room for me in their pew, so I slipped in to the one in front, the one where my young grandchildren were sitting and soon three of them were vying for a position next to their nana. Little hands softly moved across my lap on either side until both of my own hands were clasped by another. The ornate side altar was loaded with floral stems in honor of the month of May, and after mass it was adorable to watch the two older children try to light votive candles and pray for their Grandpa over here.

Sending prayers to heaven for their grandfather here in the east

On the spur of the moment some of the older ones gathered and together we shared a lovely Mother’s Day brunch.

He was thrilled with the new book Nana brought to them all about the birds in B.C.

It was quite fun to catch one younger grand-daughter’s birthday party, however brief I was able to stay. I will always remember the look on her face once she spotted me parking outside the doorway.

Ten sweet little toes

And speaking of “looks”...I will also never forget arriving at our son’s home and while I was rustling to find something in the trunk of my car, two little grandchildren ran like the wind towards me with arms outstretched calling my name. So cute!

Sadly our youngest grandchild didn’t remember me and wasn’t too keen on me moving closer to her, but I’m happy to report she did in fact warm up to me eventually. Whew.

Our youngest grandbabe didn't recognize her Nana, sniff

Vancouver Canuck hockey games filled radio airwaves, not to mention residential television screens and ice hockey fever was everywhere one went. I felt right at home amongst the nutty happenings, strange but true.

One evening I had the opportunity to drop in and surprise a dear friend and her family, but wasn’t able to notify her of my pending arrival due to my cell phone battery dying and having no hook up along with me. After I knocked on the door, I asked the two teens opening the door if that was the party place for watching the Vancouver Canuck game in action. Thanks Karen and family for a fun cheery visit with walloping hoots in my midst upon each goal.

Stormy days met us and then the sun popped out afterwards

As per Vancouver weather, rain clouds visited often but the sun did shine to allow for springtime moments. I was in awe of how much more ahead the vegetation blossomed, and it took my breath away soon after landing to note the ever present pink cherry blossom trees in spectacular form dipping archways over roads and driveways, spilling pink confetti-like petals on whatever lay underneath its blooms. Beautiful!

Beautiful blossoms spill everywhere

At one point the rental car I was driving had been parked underneath of two and as I left the area, I felt like a new bride with all the petals flying off the car, leaving a trail behind me.

Lifelong friendships reunite to celebrate together

It was perfect timing to attend one of my childhood friend’s 50th birthday party surprise. She gave me great honor long ago by accepting my invitation to be one of my bridesmaids. Never would I have wanted to miss out on this opportunity to celebrate with her for anything.

Happy 50th dear friend

Three sisters in a row

I grew up just one block away from her family, most of whom were also present and what a hoot we had that night together talking over “the good ole days” when riding on one another’s handle bars was in vogue, and laughter filled the room with our fun reminiscing. How I loved being present with this incredibly warm and loving family once again. Even though it had been quite some time since all were in the same room, it was as if time and space were never a factor. Hugs and kisses greeted me at every turn, such a great memory I will always keep close to my heart. Happy Birthday to you my "BFFL" (grin) and the rookie “red-hat” stage to come.

Now graduated to a "red hat".

It was lovely to spend time with my parents, however brief during an impromptu dinner at their home, with my daughter joining in the visit at the last minute when she found out I would be going there. It has been a few weeks since she had seen them so visiting with both myself and them was a great privilege for her. Thanks mom and dad for the dinner.

A special and impromptu dinner evening with my parents and daughter

Gathering together with whoever was available was interesting, as much of the time I had older ones who just wanted to “hang out” with their mother so they were able to come along to a few of my spontaneous visits, which of course was just very fine with me and I loved the fact they weren’t coy or lacked desire to join me in the first place.

She came almost everywhere to "hang out" as much as possible with me while I was over there

Even this lovely all-grown-up former neighbor (we first

met when she was 2 yrs old) wanted to come to see me

I felt honoured they all didn’t mind spending extra time with me, never dreaded having me near, in fact some mentioned not having me long enough, but shall we say, this seems to be the way the tide has turned these days while living in another area of the country.

"Tracy Cakes" in Fort Langley, quaint and sweet for high tea

My mother’s love of taking tea was something I wished to bless her with, and though she wasn’t feeling well enough to join the rest of the family for brunch on mother’s day, I was able to pick her up and treat her and my daughter to high tea nearby at a quaint and delightful eatery. I loved the quiet calm during out teatime even though rain threatened to ruin it all initially. And to top it all off, this was my last day in the area, sun was sorely welcomed by the end of the afternoon believe me.

Mom and daughter in law having high tea together

After a brief rest and more time with my daughter in law, it was time to pack up my bags and head further out into the Fraser Valley. This was BC’s election day and my mother in law was working her booth, awaiting the end of her shift because I would be picking her up to bring her back home with me after we two would spend the night at a hotel nearby the airport for our early morning flight. She was so eager to travel to have a visit with us, to see our new home and to spend time with her son. And I was the perfect candidate to assist her at the airport and beyond.

It was a godsend to have her along because with the requested airport assistance we marveled over how we were chauffeured around the airport in golf carts and offered a myriad of privileges including; priority check-in, priority baggage check, front of the line security passage and early boarding. Spending time in the Maple Leaf Lounge in the airport with guest passes offered to us, we were quite relaxed after our breakfast and morning coffee, and were equally pleased to have a smooth flight soaring amongst super sunny skies.

Rested, we waited for our flight

Overall, this was the fastest paced trip anyone could hope for, one initially almost not taken with the timing at home, but everything I had encountered even with such short notice was incredibly beautiful, and I will treasure every single moment I was able to spend time with all of you over there. Thank you again to my son and his wife for I was very comfortable while “crashing” in your new home with you.

Finally, though I wasn’t able to see all my loved ones and/or treasured lifelong bosom buddies, I will be sure to give more notice (if possible) the next time I’m on west coast grounds.