Saturday, January 8, 2011

A Visit That Made My Heart Sing!

Last Night we had a wonderful visit with our friends, Tom & Marlene. It had been about 10 years since we sat in the same room and shared so many laughs. Tom & Marlene are in California to escape the cold of St. Louis. I believe they are golfing their way up the coast from San Diego - then heading to Palm Desert for more golfing and visiting. I think their trip should be called the Tom & Marlene Reunion tour! They are visiting so many friends along the way - Tom's logistical prowess is really being put to use!

I met Tom & Marlene when I was waiting tables in Annapolis, MD. They had been visiting the United States Naval Academy - their daughter Megan had been accepted to the Academy and they were getting the lay of the land. We struck up a conversation as I took their order. I think that day we spent maybe two hours exchanging stories and laughing quite a bit. It was instant chemistry and the start of a decades long friendship.

Once Megan was through the roughest part of her plebe (freshman) year, Tom & Marlene visited Annapolis about once a month. They always came by to share time with me - if I wasn't working they would visit me at home. Back then, 'home' was my apartment with my dear friend Karen. We lived on Prince George Street, in the heart of historic Annapolis and just two blocks from the main gate of the Academy.

Through the 4 years that Megan was at the Academy, we came to know each other's families. I visited St. Louis and went to see Kelly, Tom & Marlene's younger daughter, at her college. My parents shared Sunday dinner with T&M before they would catch the late flight out of BWI for home.

When I was pregnant with Maddie, Tom & Marlene were so solid in their support and friendship - I honestly don't know what I would have done without their constant love and attention. Marlene considers Maddie "her baby" . Last night, you would have heard the squeals of delight from both of them half way down the block. Tom seemed thrilled to see Maddie so 'grown up' and I think she's now the same height as him, if not a shade taller! And, Josie took immediately to her Uncle Tom - playing piano for him and sharing her silly bandz. This is a huge deal in our house, as our Josie is the most reserved child with those she doesn't know well.

Tom & Marlene are now the grandparents of 5 beautiful souls: Megan and her husband, Chuck have Patrick, Brendan and little Colleen. Kelly and her husband, Steve, have two daughters - Peyton, who is the same age as Josie, and Taylor. I can't tell you how much I adore my extended Midwest family! I can guarantee that the girls and I will be visiting St. Louis soon. Aunt Marlene would like Maddie to see some Mid West colleges and Josie MUST share some Princess Time with Peyton, Taylor and 'Sunny'!!

Josie's meltdown at about 8:15PM marked the end of our visit. Poor child didn't have a nap and was up at 5:30AM. She really was upset and told me directly, "Nobody is paying attention to me!" Ooops! There goes that Mother of Year Award again :-(

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