I am a prolific writer of love letters. I write nine per year, one to each of my grandchildren on the occasion of his/her birthday. In the letter I reminisce about family fun we shared, humorous things they said, milestones they reached, and so forth. I include half a dozen photos from the year – printed out like in the old days, not hovering in an internet cloud somewhere. When the kids turn 18 they will receive a notebook full of these illustrated letters. “Misty water-colored memories” might light the corners of Barbra Streisand’s mind, but my brain is a sieve and so I write it all down.
With my February birthday approaching, it seems appropriate to write such a letter to myself. Here goes…
What a year it has been! Grandbaby number nine made his arrival in April. Since the other kids are ages three to eleven it’s fun to have a baby in our midst. Now each of my three kids has three kids and they are in a word, BUSY.
But guess what? So am I! In my own post-menopausal, sixty-five year-old way, I gave birth in 2017 too – to a new career. Thus, I launched a website and an Etsy shop and with these new offspring of mine, I am BUSY, busy building a following on social media, busy writing for my blog, busy making quilts to photograph and print on giftware for my Etsy shop, and busy trying to find a literary agent for a couple of books I wrote.
None of this has been easy. The ins and outs of social media are insane. Learning to use new technology for my blog is difficult. Different new technology for my Newsletter is likewise daunting. Using Etsy? Not for the faint of heart. And yet, somehow, I am doing it and I am building my self-esteem in the process. It’s about time, old gal!
As large as these lessons have been, a bigger, better, more important lesson has come to me this year. My beloved neighbor, Margot, taught it to me. When I babysit non-school-age grandkids all day on Mondays and when I have the family over for dinner on Thursdays, I thought these were “gifts” I gave my kids. She explained that while these activities could be perceived as free babysitting and free dinner, what’s really going on is that my children are giving me the gift of their time.
As my kids and grandkids become busier and busier, and sometimes are unable to make it on Mondays and Thursdays, I chuckle at her wisdom and CHERISH the time I get to have with my family.
Well, cutie pie, here are some GREAT photos from the year.
- 2/15/17 – The kids gave me a surprise 65th birthday party. Here I am with many of my dear friends.
- 4/17/17 – Baby Jude is born!
- 5/25/17 – Travels in 2017 included this trip to Savannah and to the home of Juliette Gordon Low, the founder of the Girl Scouts. Though not pictured here, my friend, Cindy, was my travel partner.
- 7/5/17 – We took a summer field trip with all the kids to Kings Island amusement park. We used to take three field trips each summer but this year we could only fit one in, but it was a great one!
- 10/11/17 – We made an exception for baby Jude, but this was an adult-only field trip to the Butler County, Ohio “Doughnut Trail.” After you get your “passport” stamped at all ten donut shops, you win a t-shirt. The real prize for me was spending all day with my three kids and with little Jude.
- 10/19/17 – On a fall foliage trip to the New England states with my lifelong best-buddy, Roberta.
I’ll close with Simon & Garfunkel, allowing them to put their seal of approval on my love-letter-writing. Here are the words from their song, “Bookends Theme”: “Long ago it must be…I have a photograph…preserve your memories, they’re all that’s left you.”
Much love, Lor