Monday, October 19, 2009

Not the Weekend I Had Planned: A Story of Serendipity

This past weekend, I was going to be visiting my sister in Tennessee. We were going to spend Saturday at Great Smoky Mountains National Forest. I would be able to see my three darling nephews that I haven't seen in over a year. For various reasons, I didn't go. It was a hard decision for me and thankfully it turned out okay, with many nice moments in trade. I'm still sorry I didn't see my sis, but she was very gracious not to be mad at me for changing my plans at the last minute. I'll try to focus on the serendipity of the weekend, so I will note that our not going to TN gave my sister's family a chance to stay on their vacation to Florida another day. I think they had a super-fun time. I'm happy for them.

The weather here at home was dismal-cold and rainy-Maryland's worst. So, one of the primary reasons I stayed home from TN was canceled: The Alonzo Stagg Hike. In spite of that, here is what did happen:

  • Breakfast at Eggspectation with pals from out of town. That was a delightful last minute treat for sure.
  • Knitting lesson with my pal Sheely as planned. I'm always sad when I have to miss our time together
  • Seeing Melissa in person, my friend from my online book group and a true member of the blogosphere with an excellent book blog here. She said the coolest thing, since we've known each other for 2 years on the Nook. She said that we aren't really meeting each other for the first time, we're seeing each other for the first time. It's true. By the way, she was absolutely lovely to be seen.
  • Dinner with a whole bunch of pals who were gathering to go to the So You Think You Can Dance concert. My erstwhile plans gave me the chance to give up my ticket in favor of Jann's sister coming out to spend time with her and see the show, so that was worth it. Definitely serendipitous. It was fun to see them together. It was also really nice that they all included me in their plans. That meant a lot. I was never really "in" the group that watched the show, I just really, really like everybody that was, so I sort of invited myself to go along last year and whadaya know, they invited me this year. I especially loved seeing many friends from faraway that I don't see often anymore. The timing was just perfect that Melissa could join in as well. Aren't we cute?
  • After dinner I came home to knit and doze before taxiing Sara and Evan between a friend's house and here. It wasn't a school night so they stayed up late and played. That was fun for them. I'm sure they counted that as serendipitous because otherwise we would have been on the road somewhere around Roanoke, VA.
  • It started out as a lovely, quiet day of sleeping in and lazing around in the warm house while the cold rain poured outside. We drank hot cocoa and stayed in jammies far past what polite society would dictate. Poor Sam did have to go to Cross Country practice, but he toughed it out. At this point in time, the hike, a 50 mile overnight endurance (read that crazy) hike on the C&O canal, was still on, so Sara, Evan and I went to Dick's Sporting Goods for long-johns and nice, thick socks. Evan's scout troop was planning on camping, so we got ready for that, too. Then the talk started that everything might be canceled, so we spent a couple of hours in limbo, checking email and making phone calls until the decision was finally made. Evan is the secretary for his quorum, and he figured out that he made something like 32 calls that day trying to communicate with everyone.
  • So, that left the evening free for the kids and I headed over to Corinne's to play games. I had a good night of games-Cami and I won Blurt, and even though I did not ever get to be the Great Dalmuti, I had the best beginning roll of my LIFE in Farkle. I think I rolled like 2100 or something. It was awesome! I definitely count it as serendipitous that I could be there for all that laughter and fun. The endorphins will last me for weeks!
  • Yet one more moment with Jenni and Cami before they headed back west-Pastries from Bonaparte bread at Savage Mill-I feel so blessed to live just one mile from this oasis of European bakery goodness, and twice blessed that I could share another moment with these good women.
  • Took the kids to see Where the Wild Things Are. Let's see, what to say about this movie? I love the book and the illustrations and in the end, the movie does what the book does-it shows that you can go home again and get a fresh start. It also shows that being a kid is hard sometimes. I liked that about it a lot. It was visually beautiful but sort of sad, which the book never was to me. I guess my hesitation at saying that I just plain loved it comes from not being quite sure about the characterizations of the "Wild Things." They reminded me of what one would think of as the iconic members of a support group in New York City. Either that or the cast of a Woody Allen movie, and at one point when it seemed especially support-groupish I actually got a little sleepy and almost nodded off. I'm just not sure about that one aspect of Spike Jonze's vision. I'm trying not to think too deeply about it and lose the magic. Other than that, my kids loved it and even in their oddity, the Wild Things said some fun things that Evan and I are still quoting to each other. The actor who played Max was beautiful and perfect. And again, it left me with the cozy warm feelings that the book does-that love and family are better than any island of Magical Creatures any day. So, overall it was a success for us.
  • The other reason we didn't go to TN-the Eagle Court of Honor for Sam's good friend Joey. They did their project together and it was important for Sam and all of us to be there to support this good family. It was a lovely evening, full of the sweetness of accomplishment and the strength of family. I'm glad we were there.
  • Because we were home, we got to slow-cook ribs and celebrate my dad's birthday with a scrumptious dinner that also included mashed potatoes, fried apples and for dessert, my mom's homemade cheesecake-the real kind, made by hand and baked in the oven. So good. We haven't had many dinners together as a family lately and this one was fun.
  • And so the weekend ended. It was busy and full of just as many good things as if I had gone to TN. It is great to think that many situations we have to make decisions about are win-win. That's what I always try to tell my kids. This weekend proved it.


  1. Sounds like all turned out well. How on earth did I not know about "bonapparte bread"?? Sheesh, It's like I never lived there. :-) Glad you were able to find some happy times in your weekend

  2. It was so fun to spend all those times with you. Thanks again for giving my sister and I a wonderful few days together. It meant the world to me.

  3. Really, this was the most wonderful "togetherness" weekend :)

  4. It WAS lovely to see you (and everyone else). I'm just sorry I didn't have more time to just sit and talk to you. Next time.

  5. For my own selfish reasons I'm so glad your serendipitous weekend meant I got to see you more!! I agree with Corinne - all the togetherness was fantastic!:)

  6. It was SO great to see you! I realized after I left that I pretty much won every single game, which is so unlike me, and I'm pretty sure Mendy may send me a bomb in the mail. But it was thanks to YOU for our first victory! YAY! I'm so glad it worked out for you to be around.

  7. yay! what a fun filled weekend. lots of little moments to enjoy. :)


Thank you for sharing your insights!