Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Leaving a Beautiful Scent

The road trip! It started off as a plan to keep my children busy this summer since Dad was working nights. Then we got so excited during the planning process....even though Dad is working days...we HAD to go. People have called me crazy, insane, brave...really I'm none of the above, or maybe I'm all of the above, either way it is so rewarding to spend memory making time with my boys.

I'll show a few pictures to show what we've done so far. But really, the best part of this trip so far (and we're only on day 4 of 24) has been the conversations we've had with old friends and perfect strangers.

We all made shirts for our vacation. Yes, this means that we stood out a little, but it was fun to do and it really sparked interesting conversation - especially while riding the metro in DC. There was plenty of time to talk while I stood up holding on to a bar for dear life while others sat with their eyes closed after a long day. So here is what we were asked: "Have you been to all these places in the past 6 months?" No...we're just starting out...and doing it all in 3 weeks. :) "How is it you have time for this?" "You are still smiling even with traveling this far with 3 boys?" "What is Deb's Cakes anyway?" (That was my favorite, because it is my friend's business...and we'll be seeing her on our return trip.)  Well, I was able to advertise Deb's business and in fact one woman wanted my facebook to connect her with Deb's Cakes for her sister in North Carolina. How about that?!

These questions brought out such interesting and even some deep conversations. Comments from total strangers. One woman even asked the boys about their homeschooling experience. She said she knew there was something a little different about them, when she watched my two boys get up from their seat to allow a woman to sit. I didn't tell them to do it (but I have told them in the past). We teach them, they learn...sometimes. :) Someone else commented that she was a teacher and she had the wrong impression of homeschooling.  In fact she had been outspoken against it...but she said my passion and my children had her rethinking. We can't put everyone in a box and condemn it.

One person asked about my faith. She said she saw it on my face. (Don't ask...it makes no sense to me either)...she said that she watched my boys and I interact on the Metro and saw that we were truly joyful. Well that just blew me away. I was EXHAUSTED that day!

Before leaving for this trip I prayed that my boys would see people the way God sees people. He LOVES all...deeply. I want my boys to have a heart for people, to see beyond the exterior, to get past the lifestyle  or political differences and genuinely love people. That has been a big part of this trip so far.

Here are a few pictures from our trip...won't bore you to death with all of them:

Special Operations Museum in Fayetteville...such a great place..every boy would LOVE it!

What an incredible experience to share with 3 of my favorite people on the planet!

One of my favorite pictures...I feel strongly about teaching my children to respect our heroes and our history!

Of course we had to stop by and see Shane's future home.
See..he fits pretty good!

Taking time to grow a "stash"..while they're on vacation.

My old high school...walking down memory lane.

My teen years...spent in a neighborhood with author's names...hmmm?
My children doing the things that I did in elementary school.
Mama Rosa's Tomato Pie
Friends from the class of 1987

 Let me pause a moment right here. That tomato pie, brought back every wonderful memory of my childhood. So sad that food has a way of doing that isn't it!? Oh...I really feel bad for my Florida friends...I wish I could bring some back for them. There is nothing quite like it.

Now for the girls! I took the picture of the food and they were shocked that I didn't snap a picture of them first. They all wanted to be sure that I blogged about them. So...here it is! I left this amazing night feeling so loved. We're all so different; different political views, different faith views, and some of us share more memories than others, but..around that table tonight...I was proud to call these women my friends. So much talent, so much character, so much heart and passion...I'm humbled that they all took time from their schedule to share a meal. I was reminded today of how insignificant your high school years really are....once you are on the midlife side of things. However, I also realized how significant our relationships are. I'm thankful for facebook. For keeping us in touch with one another. We can be proud of each others children, we can rejoice with each others successes and we can relate to life experiences! After 26 years we sat at a table and caught up, laughed and now look forward to the next time we have Tomato Pie together.  Who knows...perhaps we'll be having grits and hushpuppies...or riding on a pontoon boat together. I love the way people leave an impression on your heart. Kind of like a fingerprint or a scent. One of the things that keeps resonating in my mind and heart is when I first got to the restaurant tonight, albeit fashionably late, they were all asking me..."When are you going to write that book?" "What it is all about?" They were genuinely excited and happy for my new endeavor as an author. I'm feeling very blessed right now...to have these ladies as friends...even after 26 years...each one has truly left a beautiful scent behind. 

I hope that my boys and I leave a beautiful scent behind! Next leg of the trip...takes us to Philadelphia, North Jersey then NYC.