An Epic Thanksgiving Gathering

I get some ‘cute baby’ time with Cash!

An Epic Thanksgiving Gathering

I’ve always been enamored by big family gatherings. And what’s the holiday that’s most known for big family gatherings? Thanksgiving, of course!

This year, the Thanksgiving dinner attendance was a record 26-people with representation from every decade. We had the babies, the kids, the teens, the young adults, the parents, and (the category that I fell into), the “elders.”

My son-in-law’s mother, Lynn, and her sister, Rebecca (aka “Lolly”) skillfully planned this extended family 4-day outing. They even created a multi-page brochure describing our luxury retreat accommodations, activities, and hiking options!

Rebecca (Lolly) and David (Pops) hosted the traditional feast on Thanksgiving Day at their gorgeous Mesa home. On Friday, the crowd went on to Moab, UT for the weekend for more hiking, feasting, and family bonding.

When I was a kid, I always envisioned being the matriarch of big holiday dinners. As it turns out, it is SO much less stressful to be a guest, rather than the host!

The years that I did host it was usually for 8 people for an afternoon, not 26 people for 4 days! I was so busy worrying about cooking and helping everyone find whatever they needed, that I barely had time to just enjoy myself.

In this case, the whole adventure was extremely well-planned and executed! The fact that it seemed seamless and smooth tells me just how much work was being done by a lot of unsung heroes. The planners worked hard at preparing all the meals and making sure everyone was happy and comfortable.

There was a lot of laughter, games, eating, playing, and family bonding as if everyone all jumped out of a Norman Rockwell scene.

Since I’ve retired, I’ve become much more aware of the importance of social connection. Between the Covid years and the family moves and changes, family gatherings are something I especially treasure.

Thanksgiving Gratitude

I know it was a lot of work to create such a successful weekend and I’m so appreciative to all of those who worked so hard. Though I’m sure there are a lot of people I’m not mentioning, here are some of the people and things I’m grateful for:

  • Scotty, for making the trip from Virginia to join us and be my hiking buddy.
  • Lolly and Lynn, for planning such an extraordinary holiday.
  • Lolly and Pops for opening up their home to all of us and providing so much food, warmth, and love.
  • Whitney, for all the food planning and preparing many of the meals throughout the weekend.
  • Megan and Chris, for inviting Scotty and me, and sharing rooms with us.
  • The gorgeous scenery we all enjoyed while hiking.
  • The way so many people pitched in with food preparation, clean-up, and helping each other.
  • The thoughtful conversations and the chance to get to know each other on a deeper level.
    • The fun of being around babies and little children.
    • Being with my grandchildren and seeing them interact with their cousins and extended family.
    • Reneya’s creative Turkey Cupcakes.
    • The glow-stick dance party!
    • Steve’s expertly prepared cafe lattes each morning.
    • Scotty’s driving throughout the weekend.
    • Everyone in attendance for their friendliness and thoughtfulness.

This will definitely be a Thanksgiving to remember!

Birthday Gratitude for Glenn

“Some of it’s magic and some of it’s tragic, but I’ve had a good life all the way.”

It’s time to show some Birthday Gratitude for a great leader and friend, Glenn Pinkerton!

8/8 is a Gr8 Birthd8!

8 Reasons I’m gr8ful for Glenn:

  1. He’s always extremely generous – he treats people to lunches, hosts big parties, maintains the Grey Wolves dues and countless other things with no expectations of repayment from others.
  2. He’s an active listener and conversationalist. Whenever we’re hiking, we have long conversations and I feel safe in saying anything. He listens without judgment.
  3. He’s an excellent host, leading one of the area’s most successful Meetup Groups, the Grey Wolves, and hosting many events.
  4. He likes to sing! I especially enjoy the hikes where we’re invited to sing along!
  5. He likes to dance! I remember when we learned the Shim-Sham together at the Avalon. And, of course, it’s always fun to swing dance with Glenn!
  6. He’s a supportive friend. Whether it’s a Carpe Diem event to raise money for ALS or a Microadventure, Glenn is always supportive and helpful.
  7. He knows where all the best wildflower hikes are and offers to be my chauffeur and guide (knowing my tendency to get lost easily!)
  8. No matter what I might look like, he’s always quick with a smile and a flattering compliment.
Microadventure #35 Walk at Pella Crossing with Glenn

Recently, another Grey Wolves leader, Larry, died unexpectedly. There were many photos and messages about how much he will be missed.

It’s so much better to be able to express birthday gratitude for Glenn while he is alive and healthy! So on his 70th birthday, I’m also very Gr8ful for Glenn’s health and happiness! Looking forward to many hikes and adventures ahead.

Birthday Gratitude Poem (generated by ChatGPT!)

In the realm of friendship’s grace, a gem named Glenn I find, A spirit kind and generous, a rare and precious find. With open heart and outstretched hand, he shares without restrain, A symphony of selflessness, a melody of care unfeigned.

A host of gatherings grand, he orchestrates with glee, From lively soirées to gentle hikes, a bond of unity. In the Grey Wolves’ embrace, we gather, hearts entwined, Guided by his leadership, a fellowship so kind.

Upon the trails of life we tread, in conversations deep, Glenn’s attentive ear, a haven where my secrets safely keep. Without judgment’s shadow cast, my thoughts take flight and soar, In the refuge of his empathy, I find myself once more.

A singer’s heart, a dancer’s soul, a joyous spirit free, He invites us to join the song, to dance with jubilee. In melodies and twirling steps, our laughter finds its home, With Glenn as guide, the dance of life becomes a vibrant tome.

Supporting causes near and far, his heart knows no divide, From Carpe Diem to Microadventures, he stands forever by our side. A steadfast friend in times of need, a pillar strong and true, With Glenn beside, the path ahead seems clearer to pursue.

Through meadows dressed in wildflowers, he leads with knowing smile, My guide and chauffeur on nature’s trails, mile after verdant mile. With patient care, he navigates, ensuring I never stray, In his company, even the lost find solace on the way.

A master of compliments, his words a gentle art, No matter how I may appear, he always sees my heart. With smiles that warm the soul, and praises rich and sweet, Glenn’s kindness wraps around me like a cozy, love-filled retreat.

So here’s to Glenn, a beacon bright, a friend beyond compare, In gratitude we raise our voice, a tribute rich and rare. With generosity and listening ear, with dances and with song, In every facet of his being, his friendship shines so strong.

The Noel Diary – Worst Romantic Comedy Ever

The Noel Diary is the worst example of a romantic comedy that I’ve ever experienced. Movies can affect our minds and our way of thinking. (I learned that from the Coursera class about Movies and Memory.)

The Romantic Movie Formula

It’s particularly annoying how sex and love are portrayed in romantic movies.

I get it. Movies are fictional stories meant to entertain. I, myself, love happy endings and resolved conflicts. But many romances follow this very unrealistic formula that goes something like this:

Two gorgeous people meet each other and immediately make passionate love and declare their love for one another. They have some obstacle, which they’re able to overcome. They live happily ever after.

The Noel Diary, listed as a “romantic comedy,” followed the predictable formula. There were so many things about this movie that were unrealistic, cliche, and ridiculous. Frankly, I found it offensive that it was classified as “romantic” and it absolutely wasn’t funny enough to be a “comedy.” I plan to leave a scathing 1-star review.

The main characters, of course, are gorgeous. They “fall in love”even though they just met. And here’s the real kicker, (spoiler alert) they have sex, even though the woman is engaged!

Online dating is NOT that easy at any age

One of the tiny subplots in this movie is that the 70+ neighbor woman goes on her first online date with “Ian.” They return the next morning, clearly a romantic couple. By the end of the movie (which spans a timeframe of a few days) she and Ian are acting as though they’re married! So even with these minor characters, they are gorgeous older people who supposedly spend the night together and are an immediate happy couple.

That does NOT happen with senior online dating, people! (I am at least glad they did show older people who were dating, even if they completely misrepresented how hard it is to find love that quickly.)

Being single is not something to be pitied

Also, another minor point, but at the beginning of the movie, the housekeeper and the neighbor are so sympathetic because the main character, Jake, is single and alone. The guy is super-handsome, rich, and famous. He doesn’t need sympathy for being single! Let’s stop the mindset that being single is something to be pitied!

There’s a whole lot more about this movie that I find disturbing, but I will save that for my 1-star review.

Carpe Diem Day Superhero: Carpe Dee O’M

Carpe Diem Day Superhero: Dee O’Malley

Carpe Diem Day Superhero

Carpe Diem Day is coming up this week and in that spirit, I’d like to honor Carpe “Dee O’M” (aka Dee O’Malley) as this year’s honored recipient of the much acclaimed Carpe Diem Day Superhero Award!

The last time I picked a Carpe Diem Award Winner it was Carpe “Lee M.”! Lee donated her late husband’s book collection to a Rehab and Nursing Center.

The original Carpe Diem Day was inspired by Craig Dunham, who lost his life to ALS in 2010. His initials, CD, along with his “live life fully” attitude are what prompted me to pick “Carpe Diem” as my mantra.

What do each of these three Carpe Diem inspirations have in common besides living life fully?


Yes, each of these three Carpe Diem Superheroes have earned admiration from me, not just because of living life fully, but because they do so (or did so), despite challenge, grief, and hardships.

Dee, at age 88, was told she only had a couple of months left to live and was put on hospice care. That was almost 2 years ago! I wrote a blog post about her then titled:

The Ultimate Adventure Awaits

Dee is not afraid of dying. In fact, she is very much looking forward to, what she calls, the “ultimate adventure.” Dee is also very dynamic, witty, happy, and full of good humor. She looks and acts much younger than her 90 years!

Despite physical ailments, she never complains! She has had falls and broken bones and so many problems that I’m sure doctors are scratching their heads trying to figure out what the super-power is that keeps her alive.

Dee’s Superpowers: Optimism, humor, fearlessness

Could it be that Dee’s longevity is due to her optimism, humor, and lack of fear? According to studies, the less we fear aging and death, the longer we will live healthy, happy lives.

Certainly, that’s not a universal truth as we all know. Many happy, optimistic people, such as Craig, still die young.

And we all die, no matter how optimistic we are. It will be hard for me to accept Dee’s death, even though I know it’s inevitable. Just because she’s accepted it (and even is looking forward to it!) doesn’t mean those of us who love her are in any rush for her to die. Every minute that she’s on this earth is a better minute for those of us who love her.

My Guardian Angel

Dee, my mother’s best friend, has always referred to herself as my “guardian angel.” She has been close enough to our family that I think of her as a beloved Aunt. I’ve always admired her spunky confidence and fearless attitude. She’s been my guardian angel in life and will continue to be so after she dies.

Now, in this final chapter of her life, she’s still guiding me with her humor and grace. Though I doubt I will be able to show the same good humor when my time comes, I’ll remember that she’ll be wherever I’m going and show me how to live the afterlife to the fullest!

(Of course, given her uncanny super-power, she may out-live me and I’ll just have to hang out with all those other dead people until she joins us.)

3 Blogs and Resources for Single Retirees

Happily single with my granddaughter

Singles are celebrating, too!

Happy Singles Awareness Day! Single retirees: Are we ready to celebrate? Keep reading for resources for single retirees.

Yes, this is the season of Galentine’s Day (Feb.13), Palentine’s Day (also Feb.13), Valentines Day (Feb.14) and Single’s Awareness Day (Feb.15). (And if that’s not enough for you, don’t forget about Carpe Diem Day(Feb.26.)

I spent many of my post-divorce years looking for love. I even wrote a whole book about it, The Laptop Dancer Diaries! In fact, I’ve been blogging since 2005 on my personal blog about relationships and the ups and downs of the single life.

Now, retired and in my early 60’s, I realize I really like being single! Sure, there are great things about being in a relationship, too, so I’m not saying one way is better than the other.

Usually when you search for resources for “singles” you get a bunch of dating sites. This is somewhat irritating to me because it does feel like society views that all singles want to find a partner. However, here are 3 websites with blogs and resources for singles that don’t have to do with finding a partner:

Sites with Resources for Single Retirees

  1. Bella DePaulo – Dr. DePaulo is a writer, speaker, and professor who specializes in the practice and study of the single life. I’ve read some of her work and she is making a difference in changing stereotypical viewpoints about singles.
  2. Living Single in Retirement – This Website has a lot of articles and resources, specifically for older women who may be looking for travel companions or single friends in a similar time of life.
  3. Solo Traveler – This site has some good resources for solo travelers of any age. Since traveling is one of thing many retirees love to do, this site is another great resource for single retirees.

Celebrate love by sending cards

Celebrate love with DIY Cards. This screenshot was taken at the AARP free class: Make Your Own Valentine’s Day Cards and Envelopes, Hawaii 1/31/23

It’s February! That means it’s Carpe Diem Seizin’ – or for you language purists, Carpe Diem Season (I love a good pun!) There are so many February holidays that celebrate love.

We all know about Valentine’s Day, but peek into one of those sites that list all the many, many holidays you never heard of and you’ll find that February also has little-known special days that celebrate love.

Of course, you can celebrate love by sending a card on any of these thousands of holidays, but I’d like to highlight a few of my favorites:

Carpe Diem Day (Feb.26)

Celebrate Love during Carpe Diem Seizin'
Celebrate Love during Carpe Diem Seizin’

That’s right people, Carpe Diem Day is coming up on February 26th, but of course every day is a good day to celebrate! (Note that this Website, was created in honor of CarpeDiemDay!)

I love that Walmart has an option to create your own custom cards with photos! This was such an easy and affordable option! For those of us that have difficulties getting our traditional holiday cards out on time, this is an opportunity to write back to those who sent us holiday cards! I love including photos with memories of the times I spent with the person I’m sending the cards to.

Random Acts of Kindness Day (Feb.17)

February 17th is Random Acts of Kindness Day.

Celebrate love with kindness

Not only does kindness spread happiness to all those around us, but it improves our health and longevity!

Letter to an Elder Day (Feb.26)

I love that Letter to an Elder Day is on February 26th! That’s the same day as Carpe Diem Day! This is a NEW special day. But what’s even more cool is that I’ve volunteered for the organization that created this day: Love for our Elders.

As I blogged about before,

Every Day is a Good Day to Celebrate Love

Whether with a card, eCard, text, phone call, smile, song, picture, hug, kiss, or whatever else you can think of, seize this day and show your love.

2023 Tuesdays with BB & Yvy #1: Robinson Preserve

Yvy (pronounced “Evie”) and BB at Robinson Preserve

Last year I blogged at least once a week about my Microadventures. This year I’ve been going with “Healthy Aging” as my loosey-goosey theme. I’ve also thought about blogging each week about someone I admire. I can do a twofer with this post by blogging about Becky and how she contributes to my brain health!

Healthy Aging

One thing that’s super-important for healthy aging and brain health is having good friends. Having new experiences is also great for the brain, so new experiences with good friends is like a double-dose of brain food!

During my snowbird months while I’m in Bradenton, FL, I’ve wanted to get into a routine. My best and very wise friend in the area is Becky Burns. We are both busy with our various projects, but I asked Becky if we could have a weekly get-together while I was in Florida. I love weekly rituals and rather than comparing calendars every week, it’s so much easier to just have a regular day/time blocked off so I can look forward to “BB Time!”

We agreed that Tuesday mornings worked well for both of us and Becky suggested that each week we could do different “microadventures” such as walks, paddle-boarding, cafes, beach, etc. Perfect!

A New Experience: Robinson Preserve and Sage Biscuit Cafe

I asked Becky to pick our first outing. The next morning I got an email titled, “2023 Tuesdays with BB & Yvie #1: Robinson Preserve.” I love the title of the email, both because it caters to my systematic titling of activities and uses my self-suggested nickname! (Though, I like spelling it Yvy, even more to really confuse people!)

Our scenic walk through Robinson Preserve was followed by a healthy brunch at Sage Biscuit Cafe. CarpeDeeLicious!

Robinson Preserve is a 600+-acre coastal preserve located in northwestern Bradenton.
Plenty of scenic hiking for Jack, Becky, and I to enjoy.
Delicious healthy brunch at Sage Biscuit Cafe in Bradenton

Someone I admire: Rebecca Burns!

Becky is a wonderful blog-post topic for a variety of reasons:

  1. She’s always interesting, fun, creative, witty, and willing to try new things.
  2. She doesn’t mind being the topic of blog posts!
  3. She’s one of the few people who reads my blog and often sends me a supportive comment, even when I know I’m being lazy about the writing.

In the Spring of 2020, we were Covid Lockdown partners at her home and she was my co-host on Season 2 of my Carpe Diem Connections Podcast.

In fact, I’ve blogged about Becky quite a bit, as an example of beauty and birthday-celebrator, as a supreme listener and animal-lover, as a guest on my podcast talking about self-acceptance, and on countless other posts as a fellow-adventurer.

BB & Yvy!

I’m so grateful to know this wise and wonderful friend and I bet my brain is 10x healthier than it used to be, thanks to our friendship!

Holiday Lunch with Patsy

Visiting Patsy for a holiday lunch in her St. Augustine Home

A Holiday Lunch with Patsy

A couple of years ago, when I reconnected with my long-time poker friend, Chris Blakeslee, who would have guessed I’d fall in love… with his mother! Actually, I love his whole family, but I’ve been especially drawn to his mother, Patsy.

Patsy has such a spunky energy about her. An officer’s wife, she knows how to entertain and exudes southern hospitality. She always makes me feel so welcome and I really look forward to seeing her whenever I’m passing through St. Augustine.

I want to be careful not to impose, though. When I was driving from Chapel Hill to Bradenton at the end of the year, I asked her if I could stop by and maybe bring us some ready-made lunch. She said she had some soup and that if I liked that, how about I stop by at 12:30?

What a surprise I got when I arrived (30 minutes late) and stepped into the most beautifully decorated house ever! I just love Christmas decor! When I was a kid, I used to dream about decorating my house the way Patsy has (but soon learned how much work it is to have a lot of decorations!)

Photos from our holiday lunch visit

I love this beautiful sun room with the tree full of special ornaments
Santa was sleeping in “my” bed! (I got to sleep in this cozy room last time I visited.)
Formal dining room with holiday decor
Even the bathroom had sweet holiday touches

Patsy’s home always looks like something out of a Better Home & Gardens Magazine, but how special for me to get to see it during the holiday season.

And that’s not all! Patsy had made a gorgeous broccoli-vegetable soup, served on Christmas-themed dishware! We had sparkling Prosecco and I felt as though I was at the most elegant of Christmas luncheons! (And embarrassingly under-dressed!)

Broccoli vegetable soup looks as pretty as the rest of the decor

Patsy, of course, looked as elegant and stylish as ever. Doesn’t she look like she should be in a magazine, herself? I’m in awe of her grace and beauty.

Patsy, always so stylish!

As always, we had a lovely visit. I got to meet Patsy’s sisters and other family over the Thanksgiving weekend, so now I almost feel like part of the family myself!

Sharing Eva’s Hummingbird Card

Such a fun end-of-year visit with my charming friend and her little dog, Abbey. Patsy shows me that it’s possible to be forever young. I already can’t wait for our next get-together!

What’s the Best Gift You Ever Received?

For my 60th Birthday my family and friends gave me National Carpe Diem Day!
A special sign was made and the “Carpe Diem” Fish had the names of the people who had contributed

Freakonomics – No Stupid Questions Podcast

I rarely take the time to respond to podcasts, but it’s January 1, and I’m always motivated to take action in the New Year. Also, I have a great answer to these questions!

What’s the best gift you ever received? Who gave it to you? Why was it so great? If you have an answer to that question, make a voice memo. Use your phone. Just talk nice and directly into the phone, in a quiet place. Tell us your name, and send it to, and we may play it on a future show.

The best gift I ever received is “National Carpe Diem Day”! My friends and family, led by my daughter-in-law, Stella Min, were able to purchase and register National Carpe Diem Day on February 26th, my birthday, in the National Day Archives. The gift came complete with a Registry write-up that still makes me tear up. I was been inspired by my friend, Craig Dunham, who, despite an ALS diagnosis, lived fully until his death in December, 2010. Since then, I’ve spread the message of “Carpe Diem” in his memory.

Since receiving this gift, I’ve created a Website,, and use my blog and social media to try and promote the same kind of Carpe Diem attitude that I learned from Craig.

Note 1: I learned about this No Stupid Questions podcast episode from Stella’s Stellar Recap newsletter!

Note 2: Stella is the most Stellar gift-giver EVER! I have to resist from telling you what she gave me for Christmas… ok, ok, I’ll tell you. I’m getting a photo collage every morning in my inbox of times we spent together.. On Dec.25th, there were 63 days until my 63 birthday, so it’s a 63-to-63 gift!

Microadventure #102: Centreville, VA with Scotty

Me and Scotty on a walking trail in his Centreville neighborhood

For the past 5 years or so, my adult children all lived in Colorado and monthly get-togethers for birthdays or holidays were the norm. However, in the past year, both my sons moved to other parts of the country.. Matt (and Stella) to Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and Scotty to Centreville, Virginia (near Washington DC.)

Centreville is a 4.5 hour drive from Chapel Hill, so while I’m visiting Matt & Stella’s, I wanted to also make a trip up to see Scotty’s new place. I decided to do this over the Veterans Day long weekend before the days were too cold.

Veterans Day Free Food Hunt

Scotty, a Guardian in the newest military branch, the Space Force, has Veterans Day privileges to the many establishments offering free food and other goodies to Veterans. Scotty views this as what I’ll describe as a Veterans version of a Trick-or-Treat event.

Scotty, with his collection of “treats” from Veterans Day

I guess he typically does this with friends from work and assures me he’s not alone in this tradition. Personally, since Scotty is an engineer and has never been deployed, his job doesn’t seem particularly deserving of all the “Thank you for your service” respect that he gets from the general public.

I also don’t like him taking advantage of the generosity of businesses to collect a bunch of free food.. However, I’m sure this frugal gaming nature of collecting “free stuff” probably originated from my parenting habits. After my divorce, when I was always worried about money, I did gamify everything from grocery shopping to vacationing, looking for ways to be as cheap as possible, and Scotty very happily played along. I’ve reminded him since he’s been a well-employed adult that it’s no longer necessary to be ultra-frugal. He reminds me of his generosity in sharing his free stuff with me, to which I roll my eyes.

In any case, I resisted my instincts to criticize this tradition.. after all, he’s having fun, its harmless, he’s not breaking any laws and apparently he’s not alone in celebrating Veterans Day this way. And, yes, I get to share in the collected loot. To his credit, Scotty paid my full-price meal when we went to dinner at BJ’s Brewhouse.

Scotty gets free Veterans Day Meal at BJs Brewery in Centreville, VA


I also give credit for Scotty indulging me in my own traditions that he may have been internally rolling his eyes about – walking at least 10K steps every day.

On Veteran’s Day it was very rainy, yet in between fast food stops, I wanted to walk. Amazingly, there was the perfect trail, the George Snyder Trail, which we stumbled upon, right behind one of our stops!

Walking in the rain on the George Snyder Trail in Fairfax, VA

We both had umbrellas, and even though at times the rain was coming down fast, it wasn’t too cold. The blanket of leaves that covered the ground, along with the still colorful trees and the rain made this walk unique and memorable.

There also was a long, scenic trail right in Scotty’s neighborhood that he took me on when I first arrived, knowing how much I enjoyed walking in new places.

The Cub Run East Trail in Scotty’s Centreville, VA Neighborhood

Scotty’s house and neighborhood

I actually loved walking in Scotty’s neighborhood, too. One family had gotten a head start on the Christmas season and had enough Christmas decorations to rival Chevy Chase in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.

Heavily decorated house for Christmas

Even I (a lover of seasonal decorations) thought that this was “too much” and preferred the more simplistic decor of the houses that still had their Halloween decorations out.

My vote for best house decor in Scotty’s neighborhood

I was impressed that Scotty would be able to afford a house in a Washington DC suburb in this pretty Colonial neighborhood. He got a good loan (another perk for Veterans) and rents out rooms in order to help with the mortgage. In fact, while I was there, I helped him get his newly finished basement room set up for Airbnb rental.

Scotty’s house in Centreville, VA
I love this front door that has a “speak-easy” style window. That’s a great feature for Halloween!
This outdoor patio with skylights is one of my favorite areas of Scotty’s house

Hanging out

I really love my relationship with Scotty. Typically, I’m hosting him at my house where we have our traditions of playing games, watching movies, or eating favorite meals. It was fun to have the roles reversed.. still doing the same things, but this time with Scotty as the host, and me as the visitor.

He cooked the meals (or “provided” them on Veterans Day), picked the movie Coraline for us to watch (finding movies we both want to watch can present a challenge!) and helped me play Magic: The Gathering a game from his youth that he’d challenged me to learn.

Scotty teaching me how to play Magic: the Gathering.

Scotty’s the “baby” of the family, but he is 28 years old, and it was fun to see him in the adult role of home-owner and host. Though I’d seen him in this role for the few years he’d lived in Colorado Springs, it was more common for him to come to my house than for me to go to his when he lived in Colorado.

I’d initially been sad about my kids continuing to move further from my big empty nest, but this month I’ve seen that their moves have given me a new opportunity. Now I get to experience visits to their “nests” and see their lives through a different lens.

All three of my kids lead very successful, independent lives – something every parent dreams of. I’m so proud of each of them. I feel very grateful that in the past month, I’ve gotten to spend quality time with each of them. Even though it’s been a little difficult for me to “let go” and fully embrace the empty nest stage of life, I see now that I can still enjoy special times with my kids, including this memorable Veterans Day Weekend at Scotty’s in Centreville!