Staying festive thanks to fabulous friends

IMG_9945I am in Knoxville, nursing a head cold today. Sitting on a couch in my sister’s home with a pup to the left of me and a pup to the right of me. My sister’s home is a great place to recuperate. She has lots of beer waiting for me when my sense of taste returns.  Well, actually, she is nursing me back to health with beer and pretzels. She is amazing.

I wanted to post what I meant to post on Sunday before I was felled with said head cold. On a side note, my apologies to everyone I infected at Kerry’s Christmas party Saturday night. That tickle in my throat, yeah, it turned out to be something. Um, sorry about that. So I logged on to my computer this afternoon to finish up the post I started on Saturday for Sunday and lo and behold, after checking my email inbox, not everyone is filled with the Christmas spirit.

We all have people in our lives, be they colleagues, neighbors or acquaintances, that are just miserable human beings who insist on inflicting their misery on to others. Perhaps they have been hurt badly in the past and feel the need to create misery. As my Southern friends say, bless their hearts.  Maybe they have never known real misery and feel a need to create drama. If that is the case, I wish they would realize how blessed they are. I do my best to give them no mind and none of my time. The only things I do try to give them are my pity and perhaps a couple of prayers.

Oh wait, no, there is another thing I give them. I give them thanks for reminding me of all the wonderful colleagues, neighbors, acquaintances and dear friends I DO have in my life. Sadly, many of them have moved away from D.C. and are now scattered around the world. So while trimming my tree, I came across a few ornaments that brought a smile to my face and had me thinking of a couple of those dear friends who now live in Massachusetts.

IMG_9982My favorite ornament I have for them is a sea shell with a rose on it (pictured above).  I found it when I attended Kristin and David’s wedding in Maine.  The beautiful scene of Kristin and Dave exchanging vows in her family’s backyard overlooking the Atlantic Ocean is a wonderful image I have kept with me. I met Kristin at USA TODAY where she was a photo editor. Side note, when you attend a photo editor’s wedding, well, there are a lot of photographers in attendance. I can still remember the sound of myriad shutters releasing and serenading the bride as she walked down the aisle. It’s like the paparazzi were there.

IMG_9975A few years later I visited them in their new hometown of Boston and picked up a few more ornaments.  And every time I pull them out of the box, memories of visiting them come flooding back. Going to Salem with Kristin. Having a wonderful dinner with both of them in the North End and then comparing who had the best Cannoli, Modern Pastry or Mike’s Pastry? They introduced me not only to the Isabella Gardner Museum but to their new friends for food and home brew at a nearby orchard. Ah, memories.

It was so wonderful reliving my visit with them. And it is amazing how much more vivid my memories of the time become when holding the ornaments in my hand.  You know what else would be amazing? Booking another a flight to Boston so I can pick up a few more ornaments and make a few more memories.

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