Wednesday, June 23, 2010

HCC Reunion

I just returned home from the HCC Reunion in Asheville. What an incredible week it was.

HCC is Half Century Club that Mary started online about 14 years ago when we were that age or not far from it. We have met each year in a different state and have always had such a great time. We also meet in small regional groups throughout the year. HCC has been such a gift to me and everyone who has been involved I am sure. It’s a wonder to have this contact with women my age throughout the USA. Women who have been there/done that in just about any situation. We have concentrated on our likenesses and rejoiced in our differences these many years. I can’t begin to tell you how much I’ve learned from these women and how much they have added to my life. I get teary eyed just thinking about them and all we have been through in the last 14 years. We’ve lost several members to death and we’ve been there for each other as some have faced diagnosis and illnesses. Most of all we are all adventurers who intend to make the best of each day. The main ingredient is not the tears but rather all the laughter and support, caring and sharing, love and the ability to put ourselves in another’s shoes. This group of women is so important to my life still. I always have a woman to talk to about anything from the saddest to the tremendous happenings in my life. Somebody stop me. I can’t say enough about these wonderful women.

Peggy and Paula came to the mountain house before the gathering. We had five days of wonderful. I showed them around my area here and we did a lot of enjoying of the mountain house. We sat on the deck watching the scenery change as the sun danced across the mountains. We visited a few local small towns and ate at some good country food places. What a joy to have them here and make memories in this place that I love so much.

Therese, Sherrie, and Terri came to the house on Wednesday and we started out our day at Joey’s Pancake House. Then we spent the day in Maggie Valley and Waynesville. What a great day of shopping, walking, talking, and wrecking. Well, one t-ninesy fender bender when I went to pull out of a parking spot. The women were all astounded about how nice everyone was and how slow the police were to get there and get us back on our way. There wasn’t a scratch on my car but there was a small dent in the van we hit.

We went to Asheville to the hotel that Terri had picked out for us in downtown Asheville. She did a great job in getting a good location at a great price. We stayed at Four Points by Sheraton.

Jessie came in later that night and Sharon drove in on Thursday. Sharon was my roommate for this trip and we were a good duo because we were both familiar with Asheville.

It was great seeing these seven women. We were really sorry that more couldn’t come but there were some benefits to a small group. We didn’t have to make reservations to be able to go out to eat for instance but we missed all that weren’t there. Comparing it to the 44 women who were in Seattle, for instance, gave us a feeling of closeness to each other. In Seattle it was hard to spend time with everyone.

We went to the Biltmore Estate one day and our “big” dinner this year ended up to be lunch buffet at the Grove Park Inn which Sherrie planned. We were all blown away by the wonderful food choices and atmosphere for $20 each. Another neat eating place that Sherrie suggested was the Fiddlin Pig. Delicious BBQ and live music and dancing by a square dance/stomping team and also the guests at the restaurant. I look forward to taking Bill to the Fiddlin Pig when he’s back here in a week.

Terri planned a Lazoom Comedy Tour that was funny and very informative. We really enjoyed it and a couple of us won prizes. The tour went to a lot of places that I want to return to including the River Drive arts district where all the studios are open.

We had so many fun times and laughs and made lots of memories of this group gathering. I love that we were in the area that I love so much and where I get so much inspiration.

Everyone put in an effort to make this a wonderful gathering for us all and it was an amazing time.

I picked Lexi up this morning at the kennel and came on home. I sure miss everyone. Peggy and Paula left me several containers of the delicious chicken soup they made the last night at the house here and I thawed a bowl for tonight. Yum.

I went into Peggy’s room when I got back and there was a card with her red hat photo on it. Cracked me up. This woman makes me laugh even when she’s not here. LOL

Sunday, June 6, 2010


What an incredible evening. I received an invitation to A’s graduation after she contacted me via internet. She said she had been searching for me. I was A and her sister’s guardian ad litem for five years and that was over ten years ago.

I am so often reminded what little it takes to make an impression on a child we come in contact with. Loving A and her sister were a given. They were so precious and we fought long and hard to get them where they needed to be in life. They were in about five foster homes in the five years I was their guardian. It seems that everything that could happen to these precious girls did and we just had to stick with the legal system until we could be heard.

It finally happened when A was seven. She was two years old when they became a ward of the state and I was appointed their guardian.

A and her sister are teenagers now and have grown into beautiful, self-assured young women. Their adoptive parents are beyond my dreams. I knew the love and total devotion they received in their home and I knew I’d never have to worry about them again.

I could see those same little faces in the grown up young women that I saw some 15 years ago. That was so amazing. A will be going to college in the fall. She has a 4 point something GPA.

One never really knows what will imprint on a child's memory. A asked us to promise to have them over to make a gingerbread house for Christmas. They remember that from all those years ago. They told Bill how they remembered the card games he taught them and told him about the tricks to prove they remembered.

What a blessing these girls were in our lives and my heart runs over with the thought of having contact with them now. It was wonderful seeing their adoptive mom and dad after all these years, too. What a great job they have done. Ashley's dad made a toast to A and there wasn't a dry eye in the crowd. I'm still trying to settle down from this emotional day.