When we moved to Illinois some 35 years ago I was pretty lonely for a while until we were adopted into other families. Although we missed our family in Hawaii, our lives became rich with friends who invited us to become part of theirs.
One couple was our neighbors, Peggy and Jim whose family is full of Irish friendliness, wit, warmth and always... laughter. Jim's family in particular was brimming with boyhood stories that boggled our imagination. I believe he had 7 brothers. Use your imagination. Peggy and I even delivered our youngest babies 8 days apart.
Then they left for California. I tried to smile through their move but my heart broke.
Then Caroline and Bill moved in with their children. They are both professors at the university but their extended families live in Arizona and Boston. We adopted each other. Our Thanksgivings and Christmases were celebrated in each other's homes. We took turns for Thanksgiving. We alternated who would cook the turkey, stuffing and gravy and who would do the rest. This worked out wonderfully because if you hosted, you just took care of the turkey, stuffing and gravy and didn't have to worry about the rest of the fixings. Caroline and Bill often invited visiting profs from other countries to the dinners. We enjoyed the exchange of ideas and learning. This family tradition continued for nearly two decades.
I now love celebrating our holidays with my brother's family here in Hawaii, and I know I'm being perverse by longing for those friends who kept our holidays warm and bustling for those 34 years we were away, but I can't seem to help it. I miss all the holiday parties at the neighbors and with our friends. I miss the snow. Wait. Did I say that? Did I really say that? Well I do. Not the cold, just the glistening snow on our evergreens. I miss the fall farmers markets full of apples and fall fruits. I miss the fiery colors of leaves scattering their last hurrah to the wind.
I miss my daughter, son in law and granddaughter in Illinois.
Then again, I don't miss frigid January or February in the Midwest. I'm reminded of that when we go for our evening walks in shorts and t-shirts. I'm going to end this post just because I don't know where I'm going with it. I guess I'm just reflecting on our past and our future as we near the end of the year.