Thursday, April 8, 2010

Under the Umbrella

It was my privilege to introduce two dear friends to each other last summer. On the left is Joyce, one of my college freshmen roommates from Bowling Green (whom I met in 1979). On the right is Linda, a close friend I've met since living in Orrville.

As I put the finishing touches on our upstairs office reorganization, I can’t help but look outside longingly. The sun shines beautifully, even though I know it’s much cooler outside now than it was last week at this time. I want to go outside and sit to soak up some sun and forget the long Ohio winter. I look over the back yard, lovingly cut in perfect lines by my husband (who hopes to soon relinquish the handles of the lawnmower to our son returning home from college for the summer!).

My eyes move to the trees where little buds are happy to be sharing space. Jeffrey Bob (the tree, for any new readers) finally has some company! Then I see the patio umbrella. The sad umbrella is the lone, unhappy creature in the backyard, it seems. Instead of being wound up, stretched out and opened to reflect the sun, the umbrella is unused, unopened, unfulfilled.

As sad as it is for a moment, it’s only a moment. Because it is at that time that I can’t help but smile as I remember fun times when the umbrella was used last summer. I remember family nights and grilling out and dinner on the patio and dessert nights and great conversations. I remember talking with our son about the new life that was before him. I remember his excitement and sense of adventure. I remember the hesitation and concern I felt. I remember the pride I felt, too. And I remember the excitement for him as I thought about my own college days.

And then I remembered visiting with my own college friends under that very same umbrella last summer. Some of the college friends I met 30 years ago were here last summer to share laughs and memories and new friends with us as we grilled pizzas and made new memories. Priceless memories.

I look forward to sharing new memories with family and friends this year in our backyard and under that patio umbrella. Hopefully we’ll enjoy the same friends and family and hopefully we’ll add some new ones. There’s always room for more! Are you free to join us?

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