Going Away

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I was away for a week. I left the island, and travelled down the state to the town where I grew up. I saw family and friends, and met new friends. I helped set up my artwork in a beautiful gallery space, and attended the opening reception. It was a wonderful time!

I stayed at my sister Brenda’s house, so we were able to get some good conversations in. We also managed a few games of Scrabble, including one night when my sister Cheryl joined us for additional competition. I got out to “the lake” one evening for a visit with my brother, Ted, and he came to the reception at the gallery, too. There, I was able to connect with my brother and sisters, and many nieces and nephews. One of my grandsons came to the opening, along with his lovely fiancee, and my beautiful little great-granddaughter, Delilah.

I met up with my friend, Mary, who I have known since I was six years old. She brought along her son, Jeremiah. I last met Jeremiah when he was about six years old. He’s now all grown-up, handsome, intelligent, and retired after twenty years in the service! Where have all the years gone?

On my way to meet Mary, I ran into my dear friend, Susan, who had just walked through the show. She was, as always, tremendously positive and encouraging. As we crossed the street, I met another Mary. She had just gone to the gallery because she recognized my name. It turns out, we are related! Her mother was Myrtle, who was a sister of my Grandpa Ted! We exchanged phone numbers and made plans to catch up.

Richard, who, like Mary, I first met in the first grade at Bishop Kelley School, came to the opening. So did Darlene and Sue, who I graduated high school with. And Doug, who comes to Beaver Island, and often delivers the hometown newspaper to me there. And my friends Bob and Sue, who I have a summer home on Beaver Island, and who I know through the hardware store.

Joyce, who was once married to the cousin of my ex-husband, was there. She writes a column for the Lapeer paper, and did an article about me, the week of the opening. We’d had several telephone conversations; it was nice to see her in person, to be able to thank her for her kindness. Lois and Kevin perhaps travelled the farthest to attend the opening reception. They are relatives as well as my friends, and they own the Beaver Island Studio and Gallery, that carries my work here. Though I am fortunate to have so many supportive friends and family members, I’m happy to report that there were also people there that I hadn’t met before!

The purpose and the highlight of this trip was the art show, but as any islander knows, any excursion demands that we get as much in as possible. So, going away also means shopping; I bought toothpaste, deodorant, and a new wristwatch, and remembered how much I despise huge department stores. I got a haircut. I had many good meals that Brenda prepared, and a few meals out in restaurants. I spent quality time with family and friends. When going away from home is necessary, I wish it could always go as wonderfully as this trip!

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