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Bittersweet...our shared humanity

Updated: Oct 24

Ornamental climbing vine native to Eastern Asia; brought to US in 1860's and running rampant ever since...

Hello readers! It is Wednesday....another week has "flown" by. A bittersweet thought, indeed. This photo above might resonate with you, if you are lucky enough to have a little of this growing in your backyard. The vibrant red and orange against the dullish gray vines is certainly a fitting juxtaposition should you be thinking of what it means to feel bittersweet. After all, the definition of bittersweet is to consider a situation, moment, memory that contains a mixture of sadness and happiness. And, that is our focus for today. But first, a bittersweet memory to share:

For years, while living in the home where we raised our kids, during the month of October, our neighbor would leave a few vines of bittersweet on our front porch. The first time she brought some to me, she said "I know you can do something with this..." And, every October after that I would open my front door to find these colorful vines of Bittersweet, not having known when she put them there. It always touched me as a kind and thoughtful gesture. And, it was always unexpected; it would just be there one morning. It is a fond memory for me and I hold it dear. Most of the time, I infused these vines into our bookcases, draping them in and out of books and knick knacks. Other times, I had enough to craft a wreath for a door or wall in our home. The bittersweet of this memory hits me when I remember how long ago this was and how young our kids were. Life goes by so fast!

The events of this past two weeks feels a little bit like bittersweet too. We have just returned from a trip abroad which included: Edinburgh Scotland, York England and London England. And right after we landed we turned our attention to the baby shower celebration for our daughter and her husband (baby due this December). And, today marks a busy week with scheduled time with each of our grandchildren. The fullness of all that we have experienced has been so welcomed and such a blessing in so many ways. I wish the happiness would just continue...

For the trip abroad, bittersweet is so a pro po when considering how poignant each overnight stay, meal, train ride, scenic countryside, cobblestone walkway, historical site and that feeling of exhilaration, anticipation and excitement of being immersed in the environment...and not to forget enjoying the company of just the two of us. A long awaited vacation that transports to another place, entirely with nothing but time to relish in the surrounding city and all the trappings (for sure) offers up new experiences and memories to carry forever. The perfect storm for feeling even today, it's just memories going forward to hold forevermore. Thank goodness for photos that allow for a little reminiscing!!!

Certainly, this past weekend was a most treasured afternoon surrounded by friends and family to celebrate the pending new life due before Christmas. Celebrating such a happy occasion in a beautifully decorated venue, which happens to be an historical home, just doesn't get any better. The riches of the rich (at one time) made one feel like being transported to another world and a certain lifestyle that no longer exists. A few pointed out that they felt like they were in a scene from Downton Abbey. I could relate! It was an afternoon that you just didn't want it to end. And yet there is a truth inside that tells you that "something treasured is coming to an end". Guests depart, gifts are gathered up for the car ride; and the flower decorations are removed and offered up to a few special people to enjoy. There is a pang of sadness but you don't let on. It was a glorious time surrounded by so many wonderful people and you love them all; for their presence and the gift of seeing their faces. Bittersweet is a hard pill to swallow in a sense as well as that emotional tug, but you just set that aside so as to savor every minute! Thank goodness others thought of taking photos of the momentous occasion. I was just too busy talking and soaking up every minute of joy and gratefulness.

That is all for today...

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