Friday, March 17, 2006

Family Rafting Trips

Happy St. Patrick's Day! The March storms keep coming in and can you believe it, the ski resorts are even growing weary of the snow. I took a walk yesterday around town, breathing the cold air and enjoying the springtime bloom around Sacramento during a break from the storms... daffodils and tulips were all fighting to stay upright after being pummeled by the incessant rain. I went to the store, dropped off the mail, did biz at the bank and just took it slow. Rain sprinkled gently as I picked up the pace; I didn't want to get caught under the blackening sky! Talk to some locals as we huddled in deep conversation about neighborhood politics and what our kids were doing. Enjoyable and refreshing, the walk cleared my head and took me to other places where the river runs free and wild. Believe me, it's necessary to have these moments to yourself. A time to think and dream. No wonder a good walk is so important during our hectic lives.

My friends and I are getting together for several vacation planning sessions. Some of us will be doing the college tours and visiting different campuses in California, Oregon, Washington, Massachusetts, New York and other states throughout the country. I write this with a sense of melancholy. Our kids are all grown-up. They are soon leaving the proverbial nest... the comfort zone of parental love and protection. Where did the time go? Was our lives so hectic that we lost precious time with them? Did we miss out on important moments that we can't get back? I so want to shake time away and go back just for a few more moments with them as children. I miss those early family rafting trips when the kids were younger!

Our family will be joining several others for a summer rafting trip. The teens are griping about traveling with their folks, but I can see that they are looking forward to a "last time" with the oldsters. You see, they, too, are secretly scared of embarking on the real world. Nothing can really prepare them for what they will be encountering. We can only do our best and squeeze a few more precious moments with our children. I know this river trip with them will be imprinted in our hearts forever.

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