Just Life

Staycationing with Sara.

at the airport Saturday evening – Marc took this photo and shared it on Instagram!

Greetings, friends! We’ve had A FULL WEEK with Sara … one with moments I could almost forget what was happening outside the walls of my house … and then the things we did (and didn’t do) with others … and the photos. It’s clear things are different. and. This is the life I have. I am going to live into the good parts and celebrate them. and find ways to make more of them when I can.

Obviously, the opportunity to lay eyes and hands on Sara (who has been living solo in a flat in Bristol since mid-March … and hasn’t seen another human in real life without a mask since then), well. We celebrated. First with Saturday Night Snacks.

Sunday morning Sara was up first! a few hours later, we went for a run in the park. I haven’t had a buddy to run with in years. It was wonderful. and hard (whoa hills!). and I didn’t think to take a photo until the end and she told me I couldn’t share it, but I’m pretty sure she’d be ok with me sharing it HERE.

Sunday afternoon, we saw Karen and Jillian & John (aka “the newlyweds”) and had fun catching up. On the way home, we stopped by the tennis shop and picked up two test racquets.

Sunday dinner was a highlight of the week (and it was the first “real” night!) … we all cooked – Marc grilled the steaks and the sweet potatoes; I made croutons and washed lettuce; Sara made dressing and sautéed spinach. Sara also contributed the wine.Setting a table for three adults … and pouring wine into three glasses … ABUNDANCE.

….meanwhile we were on a quest to watch ALL OF HOMELAND SEASON 8 (because Sara can ApplePlay it) … we watched three episodes Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. I think Sara blogged about that and I’ll share a link because it was for sure one of the memorable parts of the week. and of course I have no photos to spark a memory….

Monday we started Tennis. Sara helped me figure out how to reserve a court at the local park and that morning we “hit balls” (and missed a lot of balls) for an hour. whoa. tennis is Exercise. Monday afternoon we had snacks on the deck at Katie’s (with her family). Katie brought out her camera and took a bunch of photos of me and Marc. I’m hoping to use one of them for our holiday card, so today I’m sharing the outtakes (of which there are many)

we’d do much better if we could – at the same time! – 1) open our eyes and 2) look at the camera 😉

Tuesday we played tennis. first just us. and then with Katie. Wednesday we played again with Karen. round robin 2:1. I doubled my exercise ring on Tuesday and came 9 calories short of doing it again on Wednesday. (parts of me are still sore today).

Wednesday, we also squeezed in a visit with my mom (have I told y’all she moved? yep, last month … she’s still close, but now closer to my sister, and not in a senior community).

and then yesterday she flew to Boston. She and two close friends have an AirBnB in Vermont for the weekend and Sara flies home on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, life here is back to this.

It’s certainly not bad. and today I swapped out the racquets, bought tennis shoes, and signed up for lessons. Strike while the iron is hot, right?!

Here’s to the weekend. Let’s make it the best we can!

p.s. When Sara and I drove home from tennis Wednesday evening, we saw flags lining the sidewalk in front of the two schools we passed. I’d been down that same street (twice!) earlier in the day and those flags hadn’t been there. and then we realized they were to remember today. It’s been 19 years; and it seems like both another lifetime and just a few years ago. Our church shared a prayer today (written by Jill Duffield for The Presbyterian Outlook) that spoke to remembering, gratitude, comfort, and grace. Here’s my abbreviated (and somewhat ecumenical) version:

God of grace and God of glory, on this anniversary of the terrorist attacks of 9/11, grant us the wisdom to remember the lessons from that tragic day. Drive away from us any vengeful urges, any hate-filled sentiment, any whisper from within or without that goads us to return evil for evil.

As we look back and recall where we were, who was with us and how we felt that fateful day, may those vivid memories compel us to acts of kindness, words of love and demonstrations of community.

As the world still heaves with violence and war seems to never end, assure us that ultimately crying and mourning will be no more. In the midst of suffering, our own and that of the world, speak again, Creator God, your performative Word of life and its goodness.

We pray for those whose lives were forever changed on September 11, 2001. Grant comfort to those who grieve. Strengthen those who struggle with questions that remain unanswered. Assure those who worry that they should have said or done something differently that you gather up all the fragments of our lives, bless and use them in ways that nourish.

As we consider that fall day years ago, grant us the ability to cling to the examples of goodness that emerged out of the horror: strangers banding together to thwart more carnage, people lining up to donate blood, congregations opening their doors to offer respite for anyone and everyone, people offering comfort and care to those they knew and those they’d never met. May these acts of mercy emulated in our lives be the ripple that reverberates through history, revealing your sure power to bring redemption, reconciliation and resurrection out of the depths of death and despair.

When we mark anniversaries of sorrow, corporately or alone, may they be occasions to discern what truly matters, let go of what really doesn’t and recognize your grace, Almighty God, that pervades it all.

We pray together, in peace. Amen.

15 Comments

  • Alexa

    That is a very lovely prayer – and thank-you. I am so delighted you’ve had such a wonderful time with your Sarah, and that it has given you a boost and impetus to do something you enjoy :). And such a lot of lovely photos of you and Marc!

  • Carole

    You packed great things into your visit and I love seeing you together and smiling! I hope Sarah brought warm clothes for Vermont because it’s COLD in New England right now!

  • Sarah

    I can see the joy radiating off you in the photos in this post and know just how happy you were to have Sara home for several days! (I also imagine you slept very well from all the tennis and running!) I’m looking forward to catching up with you on Zoom tomorrow and hearing more about the visit.

  • Patty

    Every one of those pictures! Every one! So glad you had a wonderful wonderful visit! And yay to the tennis! Just finished watching the women’s final-so good!

  • Carolyn

    Tennis–what a great fall adventure! So glad you had such a rich visit with Sara. And I loved ALL of those potential holiday pictures. I think I’d have to send out a grid, if I were you–they’re especially fun as a group. I don’t like making decisions, obviously–so–there you go! 🙂

  • Jane

    Your heart must be very full after a week with your daughter. I am so happy you were able to spend time together. I am sort of breathless trying to imagine all that running and tennis playing. Whew. You must be in great shape. Long walks and yoga are more my speed. The knitting looks as exuberant as you and your family. Life is good.

  • karen

    so many blessings!!! I am happy that you had your far away daughter for a whole week. I loved the photos of you and your hubby, all cute. maybe do a collage of the outtakes on the other side of the holiday card? it would definitely give Christmas cheer 🙂

    Like you I focus on what I have and try my best to ignore the outside depressing world to the best of my ability.

  • kym

    I’m so glad you had a chance for such a long and lovely visit with Sara! What a wonderful week for all of you. (And I hope you’re doing okay this week. I’m always so blue after a visit like that is over . . . I’ll be thinking of you especially this week.) XO

  • Bonny

    How wonderful to have such a wonderful visit with Sara! It looks like an active one with running and tennis, but I’m glad you could enjoy sumptuous snacks and a grown-up dinner. (And I think the outtakes are great also!)