25 August 2007

With Gratitude and Warm Happy Birthday Greetings!

First of all, thank you to everyone for all the notes, good wishes, e-mails of encouragement and kindness. It's meant so much to me. I can't thank you enough and it's been nice to meet some unexpected, but most welcome, "new friends" courtesy of these unpredictable late summer days. I find myself going back and reading your words, and I smile, laugh, and shake my head at how I could never have imagined the places and circumstances this summer has taken me, but still and all, the underlying and strongest emotion is that of gratitude. (Photo: Katie, Billie & Susie getting ready to board the ferry at Cedar Island, May 2007.)

I have been touched beyond measure and merit by the e-mails, guest book entries and "comments" that have arrived via computer - and I just can't seem to feel too sad when I consider the overall genuine goodness of friends, and my amazing, resilient and ever-supportive family. I have smiled a great deal as I've read and reread letters, notes and laughed and smiled through many phone conversations. And of course, Kathleen's running dialogue and "play-by-play", not to mention her suggestion of hilarious, but never to be published, "book titles", have kept me giggling until I've seriously had tears running down my face. Thank you friends, for helping me find more reasons to celebrate and see the humor and, well, humor has been infused into so much of what I've read. To my special friend, Jim in Amarillo, your note truly touched my heart and I know it came from yours. (Photo: Kathleen and her good friend, Chris Meloni.)

I'm happy to say that bruises and cuts from the car wreck are nearly all healed. Now all I have to do is get a check from the other driver's insurance company and settle on my next car. I hate making decisions like that! I have no clue what I want - well, I do know what I want - a navy blue jaguar convertible! But that's going to be way out of my budget so, short of that, I want something that gets good gas mileage and has every safety feature possible. I have to say that little PT Cruiser performed well given the hard knock it took. Even though it was totaled, no glass was broken in the collision and though the airbags were responsible for most of my injuries, I also have no doubt that they, along with my seatbelt, saved my life. (Photo: Catch of the Day! Oriental, NC.)

I'm getting ready to head out right now to commune with water and sails, but I will be back late tomorrow night. However, tomorrow is a very special day. My sweet, sardonic and brilliant daughter will celebrate 24 amazing years! I feel like I'm the one who's really celebrating because I've had 24 fantastic years enjoying the pleasure of watching her grow up and I am just so proud of her, as I am of Justin, who will soon celebrate 21 years! They keep getting older, but I personally refuse to age, regardless of what year the calendar suggests I acknowledge.

Katie and John are spending a wonderful and much deserved four day weekend in Rockport, Mass. She's called and text-messaged me with updates, funny anecdotes and I'm completely jealous. She visited Gloucester, Mass., yesterday, and took a photo of the fisherman statue (see her blog!) and I'm green with envy, but so happy for her. She went swimming in the ocean today and tomorrow, she and John will go on a "Whale-Watching" tour. I hope they see lots of them. She promised me a lot of photos. You can visit her blog at: Sweet Tea in NYC and if you do, please leave her a "Happy Birthday" note! I'm sure she would appreciate it and I wish I could give her a "happy birthday" hug in person, but maybe this fall, I can deliver a belated one. (Glen - we have to see about meeting up in October - one year - and I want a tour of the House that Random Built!). (Photo: Katie & John.)

Anyway, that's all for now. I'm ready to leave and I've been told we will be crabbing AND I might get to see some dolphins tomorrow. Of course, I have my camera and will post photos of Flicker if I see him. Thanks again for warm wishes, and I send them right back to everyone who's been kind enough to write. The moon looks beautiful outside, and I'm ready to be back on the water and grab some summer rays. What an incredible two weeks it has been - not what I would have planned, but as several friends have said over and over, "everything happens for a reason.". I have to believe it is so.

And to Vanessa - I got your card in the mail today - it nearly made me cry. Your voice DOES ring in my head all the time. You are psychic! I have to say that you are more than entitled to say, "I told you so!". I wish you hadn't been "right all along", and I know you wish it, too. I'm glad I still have you in my corner. (Photo: Vanessa, Kathleen & Susie "doing lunch".)