Sunday, January 24, 2010

Traditions with People We Love

Over the years we have been so fortunate to meet and love many wonderful people, just as you have, I'm sure. Isn't it fun to have things you do together on an annual, monthly, or more frequent basis? I love the traditions we make with friends and family that strengthen our bonds and give us special time together. One of my favorites is going to church together with special friends. We have been members of our church now for over 30 years. During that time we have watched a generation of our kids grow up together and most now have families that are half grown themselves. I love that sense of community we have with these old and dear friends. I love the foundation of truly knowing each other and being there for each other through thick and thin. I love that we can count on seeing them every single week. To me this builds social security. We know where to find our friends and reconnect weekly at the least and sometimes more than once. I love that we are like a big bouquet, each brings something different and unique and enriching to the lives of the others. At the same time our common foundation makes us one.

Our friends we have had at work over the years have also been so good. There is something about working with people, day in and day out that bonds you in a special way. Love it! I think of those friends often even though I don't see them now, they remain a part of my life in other ways. All of the great people we know that come and go through various circumstances have had a good influence, have taught us something, and created good memories. I love that I have been able to connect with many of them on Facebook in the past year. I have been able to reconnect with the first best friend I ever had in my childhood. How remarkable is that? She just turned 60 something this week.

Jim met a very special, life long friend named Bill, when he was in cub scouts. Jim and Bill were neighbors, their parents were friends, Jim and I and Bill and Barbara have been great friends for over 37 years, then our kids all became friends and last summer the fifth generation could be found in our pool playing together in our backyard.

Did you ever try to take a photo of 5 kids in a pool?
I needed a video of this there is no such thing
as a
still shot of 5 kids playing in a pool!

Barb's birthday is in January and our tradition for years has been we get together and have a crab feed. Bill knew that this was Barb's favorite way to celebrate her birthday and always made it happen. A few years ago we were all devastated when Bill was diagnosed with liver cancer and passed away. We had our last crab feed with our friends, Bill and Barbara, Lee and Dave, Stacey and Rob during the holidays just about 8 weeks before he died. Somehow after that, the tradition slipped away. It seemed too hard for all of us to think about that empty chair. But this year Barb was ready, so on the spur of the moment we did it Friday night. It was so wonderful to reinstate our tradition.

A sure sign the crab feed is back~
Plastic lined paper sacks for the
shells beside each person's place.
Not lovely, but so functional!

And for some reason it felt OK, it felt like Bill was right here with us again. I think we will be doing it from now on again. It was great fun and a wonderful new bonding experience. Love you guys!


Saturday afternoon Jim went to Martinez to the rifle range to help our great nephew, Thomas celebrate his 14th birthday. Thomas gets to choose what he wants to do on his birthday and they have had some spectacular adventures over the years. This year turned out to be a totally "guy thing!" I was glad, I don't do guns! They had a great time and Jim's shoulder is not happy this morning!

Happy Birthday, Thomas!

As if that were not enough we got together at my brother Steve and Emily's house last night for a fabulous dinner and for sharing our travel experiences with each other this year with our cousins Bob and Beth, and our brother Gary and his wife Marilyn. We get together a few times a year and watch concerts together on the big screen of our favorite singers and groups, for the Super Bowl, and other times when it is just the 4 couples.

Nobody does Mexican food like Emily!
Delicious, Em!

We love that and it has become a great tradition. Last night we toured Germany, The Cheque Republic, Denmark, Sweden, and Italy. Oh, and don't let me forget Paris!! We also went skin diving near Porto Rico with Gary and Marilyn. (Good thing as that is the only way I would go!) With videos, and stills we shared a lot of fun experiences. We even had a video recording of Steve and Emily's a tour of Drachau. It was very interesting and sad and about as close as I think I could actually get to a concentration camp without losing it! Love you guys, it was a great evening and weekend in general!

And now here it is Sunday morning and time to get ready for church. Some days you just wake up and feel so thankful for all your sweet family and friends. Today is one of those days for me! If you are reading this, you are also my dear friend and just know that I love you too! Thank you for being the spice in our lives! Long live our time-honored traditions! Cheers!


Shaun at Oak Den said...

What a terrific weekend! I love all your "friends and family" eating traditions.

Where were you living when you joined the Church? I was on my mission in the CA Sacramento mission from 1977-1978 and at that time it went from Sacrament up to the Oregon border. I thought maybe I might know "your" missionaries!

Marie said...

Oh Bonnie, how wonderful. I love getting together with family and friends and breaking bread. Good times! Of course over here we have no family really so it doesn't happen, but we do have lots of good friends that we get together with on occasion. I loved all your sentiments and I loved all the pictures. I really enjoy visiting your page, I really do. I hope that you blog forever, coz I would really miss it if you didn't! Love and hugs! xxoo

Caroline Craven said...

I'm so happy Barb feels like it is time to continue with the tradition. Please give her a big loving hug for me the next time you see her. I think about her often, but don't have her email and can't seem to manage getting a card in the mail. Maybe I'll make that one of my goals for this week. I think of her often and wonder how she is doing and I always considered her more of a big sister than just simply a friend, but truly, she was/is the best of both!

mandy* said...

That crab looks so good! Thanks for hosting it at your house!!!