Tearful Reunions Taking Place In Cornwall

Patrice & Lisa Arrive By Train

We’ve been showing off Cornwall to friends Patrice and Lisa over the last few days and I wanted to share our reunion with you. I think the sweetness in this hello has to be seen.

Patrice was saying “E,” a nickname some of my friends like to call me, only when she says it, it sounds more like “Eeeeeeee!”

I think everyone should have this experience at least once in their life where someone shouts their name with delight and opens their arms for a big embrace. We do it with our children especially when they’re young and I wonder how much better we’d all feel if greetings in general were more joyful and enthusiastic.

Lisa took this picture of me giving Patrice a big happy hug and the one below as well!

Happy Tears To See Each Other

Patrice and I have known each other for ten years and found a compatibility in our communication right from the first when I showed up in her physical therapy office needing help with a painful hip injury.

We chatted our way through my physical therapy appointments always running out of time with more to say so I suggested we get together for dinner after completing my course of therapy and we’ve been friends ever since. It’s difficult for some of us to find close friends later in life especially the kind you can trust with your secrets and it’s comforting to me to know Patrice is that kind of friend.

We’ve seen each other through some extreme times of sweetness and sorrow watching and supporting each other through major life changes that seemed to happen all at once in our 40s. We’ve laughed and cried our way through romantic disasters, shifts in employment, and the death of both of her parents in the last ten years. It has not always been easy.

Our 50s have a different look about them as we’ve worked to create lives that are more of what we want and while we still struggle occasionally with our individual areas of stress and compromise, I think we’ve both learned the joy in holding tightly to moments with people we love and value.

Patrice is here with her partner Lisa for a few days and John and I are having a blast showing them all the places we love. Their clear delight in everything (except apple cider) makes each day an exciting race to see more and I’m taking pictures of them like a mad paparazzi documenting moments we’ll want to remember.

The pictures above were taken at the train station Saturday evening and capture our happy reunion. We were both teary even though we had said goodbye in Atlanta only last month. I feel sure my tears were more about welcoming a dear friend to my life here in Cornwall than about anything else and it thrills me to see her enthusiasm and appreciation for the places I’ve come love and think of as home.

When Friends Come To Visit

John & Elizabeth - Bedruthan Steps - August 2010

When friends come to visit you have an opportunity to see things a bit differently than you normally might. John and I have had our picture taken here before, but only on a self-timer. When my friends David and Steven arrived last Friday from Atlanta by way of London, we had a chance to see ourselves through someone else’s eyes.

I love the picture above that Steven took of us at Bedruthan Steps. You may remember that this is the spot John took me to right after I stepped off the plane in Cornwall when we first met face to face on Valentine’s Day in 2008. Below is the picture that preceded the one above where John is looking a bit sweet and bashful.

There were a series of others like this where the spontaneity could not have been captured using the self-timer on my camera and I’m glad Steven was there to snag them. We managed to squeeze a lot of the Cornish experience into their visit beginning with a lunch of pasties made by me. David took the three pasty pictures below.

Steven & David

You can’t see it very well, but Steven and David are holding up score cards giving my pasties a 10 and a 9. They were playing around, but they did eat every bite so I think they really liked them. I also made two blackberry/apple crumbles and three blackberry cobblers along with a key lime pie. Blackberries are everywhere right now and I’ve picked over fifteen pounds so far. Most of the berries are in the freezer, but I couldn’t resist making a few sweets to share with our guests.

Photo Credit - David Morris

After lunch we were off to Lanhydrock which is our closest National Trust property and perfect for a rainy day.

Photo Credit - David Morris

If you look closely into the reflection on the silver serving dish cover, you can see me with my new camera and Steven off to the right.

After a look around for some rainy day headgear (the one David is holding won’t do at all) we take a look outside to see if the rain has slowed enough to have a walk around the grounds.

We move outside to see what we can find in the gardens around Lanhydrock.

I managed to capture this leaf and the church below with my new camera with no worries about the rain as it’s waterproof, a valuable quality when living in a country where we don’t let a little rain keep us inside. (Panasonic DMC-TS2)

David is using his new Canon G11 which is the other camera I wanted. ( I know … I’m greedy when it comes to camera gear.)

Only one more shot and we’re off to our next location.

If you come back tomorrow, I’ll show you more of our journey around Cornwall.

No Friend Of Mine – Facebook And Me

Couple in Conversation by Johannes Von Stumm

I have come to see the benefits of Facebook over the last few years especially since moving to the UK. It’s an excellent way for me to keep in touch with friends I miss from the US and also to follow some of the happenings in our village here in Cornwall. I tend to be pretty careful when someone “friends me” given previous issues with a woman who stalked us in the past.

Although I don’t post our every move, occasionally I do have something on there that would be more information than I want someone who is not a friend knowing about me. I have checked all the privacy boxes to ensure that friends only and not friends of friends can follow and I study fairly carefully even a request from someone who attended the same high school to be sure we even need to be friends.

I usually note their politics and religious views partially out of curiosity and a mild concern that they might find me a bit shocking if we differ substantially and also because I find it interesting to see the major changes thirty years later. Seeing someone I remembered as a wild child in the 70′s now pop up with a friend request looking more like their mom or dad and identifying as a conservative Christian can throw me for a minute.

This is not meant as a negative comment or judgement, but more as a recognition of who they say they are and what they believe. I tend to be fairly liberal politically and my thoughts regarding faith are not absent, just personal, and I don’t share too much in that area. I feel like my Facebook friends are an interesting slice of my world and a pretty diverse group of folks.

There is room for almost everybody on my friends list if I know you or perhaps knew you thirty years ago. I respect the varied viewpoints of others and really only have a few guidelines when it comes to someone I wish to share information with on Facebook. Big points for me go to those who practice kindness and consideration when expressing a differing opinion.

Bluntly said, I am sick to death of nasty, snarky, comments, only intended to create conflict that do nothing to promote positive change. When my daughter Miranda was growing up I used to say to her, ” You can tell me just about anything, how you say it will have a huge impact on what I hear and on whatever outcome you hope to achieve.”

Recently, I received a Facebook Friend request from someone I went to high school with. I took a look to see if I remembered them noting that yes I did in fact go to school with them, then I noticed Christian and conservative, no problems with that, but then I got to this bit of nonsense …

“DEAR LORD, THIS YEAR YOU TOOK MY FAVORITE ACTOR, PATRICK SWAYZIE [sic]. YOU TOOK MY FAVORITE ACTRESS, FARAH [sic] FAWCETT. YOU TOOK MY FAVORITE SINGER, MICHAEL JACKSON. I JUST WANTED TO LET YOU KNOW, MY FAVORITE PRESIDENT IS BARACK OBAMA. AMEN”

Now you can say a lot in opposition to President Obama’s policies or any number of things he is suggesting or supports and I will engage in a conversation with you and work to do it in a respectful way even if we disagree, but when I read this kind of garbage we no longer have anything to talk about because you have shown me who you are and I am not interested in your “friendship.”  It’s not Christian, it’s not kind and I am not interested.

Sadly, after looking over the hate filled Facebook page with the Obama Prayer, there appear to be at least 1,153,595 people who share her feelings and as such are better able to be her friend.

A Grateful Heart

We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.

~Thornton Wilder

On this day of American Thanksgiving I want to take a minute to say a few words. In a few hours I will sit down with some of my family and friends to share a meal. Sadly they won’t all be here, but rest assured I will be thinking of them as my step-mother Cullene offers a Thanksgiving blessing that while it varies slightly from year to year has a familiarity that is as constant as seeing her at the door to welcome me whenever I come home.

I try to live in a state of awareness and gratitude for the everyday gifts of love and friendship that I am fortunate to be able to claim as mine. These are infinitely more dear to me than anything in shiny paper and string and just as important as awareness is for me, so too is acknowledgement.

Most of the time I think I do a pretty good job of letting people know how grateful I am for the connections we share, but just in case….

I’m grateful for every minute I get to spend with my now grown up girl

… and for the love and respect of this man I adore.

I’m grateful for Cullene who mothers me like a child of her own.

I’m grateful for my sister Margaret who lives almost as far from our home state as I do …

… and my sister Jennie who prefers to stay a bit closer to her southern roots.

I’m grateful for a chance to say hello to family I had not seen for years and goodbye to a place that has a special history.

I am so fortunate to have the friends I do and I wish I had time to post a photograph of each and every one of you, but the turkey is almost ready and people will be coming through the door in a minute so I need to say ….

I’m so very grateful for those of you who take time to stop by GOTJ and especially those who leave a comment or two because that’s how the circle grows … increasing my good fortune and my group of friends.