They wisely set off for the holidays in the Southwest so they didn't have to endure the site of their serene and elegant apartment under siege of children's flotsam and jetsam. I only had to feel a little bad about the state of affairs while we were there, and then -- voila! -- we packed up all our stuff and left it (I hope) as we had found it.
Meantime, the kids enjoyed the joys of rural NJ as seen in this photo at Jockey Hollow Park in Morristown NJ and also the excitement of Manhattan in the frenzy before Christmas -- as shown in the photos here.
Though I'm so excited to go, I am having my usual pangs of sentimentality and sadness as we get ready to go . . . I'll miss taking Quinn to his guitar lessons and having a Blue Moon ale with Paula while he has his lesson, I'll miss walking Lily up the hill to school, I'll miss my deck on an early summer afternoon, I'll miss seeing Lily and my nieces playing so happily together, especially on our summer vacations to the Outer Banks, I'll miss lunch at the Vienna Inn and dinners at Paula's, especially when she makes the kids sing for their supper -- i.e. read a poem (see the photos). I'll miss Trader Joe's and Anthropologie. I'll miss Mother/Daughter book group and the wonderful women, grown and those who started the group as girls and are now young women, who've made it so special . . . I'll so miss Paula -- my compatriot in the land of the other . . . I'll miss Mary's fun phonecalls . . . I'll miss Melissa's wonderful point of view . . . I'll miss communing with Cara as only sisters can . . . well, I could go on and on, now that I'm touching on the real stuff, but suffice it to say, I know from much experience that nothing sharpens appreciation like imminent departure. But in this particular case, the plan is to come back . . . so unlike Germany, Panama, San Diego, Monterey, Ann Arbor, Racine . . . these cherished aspects of life and friendships, will be regained in three years time. SIGH . . .