Thursday, February 28, 2013

By the Lake

Tonight Brian went to scout a game so I invited my Mom over for dinner. Obviously neither of us were going to cook anything (that'd just be silly), so my Mom graciously picked us up some sandwiches on her way home from work.

After the kids went to bed, we enjoyed our matching turkey and swiss cheese subs and broccoli cheddar soup. We chatted a bit, and in a round about way that would be pointless to recount, my Mom ended up telling me something I never knew before. She told me that her favorite blogs that I write are ones in which I talk about fun things. I'm pretty sure this was a nice way for her to say that she likes the ones that don't talk about cancer. Fair enough. Unfortunately for her, however, I know there aren't many of those.

I started a blog on the train home tonight that I'll finish sometime soon. It's going to be a humongous downer for my Mom though because it's, well, a lot about cancer. So I'll save that one for another day and for the next 15 minutes, I'll thank my Mom for a tasty dinner by writing about something way more fun than "Young with Cancer." I'll write about Mother's Day.

When Teddy was just a few months old, I decided that me and my Mom needed some time together. We had gotten so little of it since Teddy was born and I was feeling distant -- not really distant, but more distant than we had ever been before. I proposed the idea of going away for a night together for Mother's Day and so that's just what we did. We drove up to Meredith, New Hampshire, home of Keepsake Quilting, a gigantic quilting store.

Now let me be clear, my mother and I are not quilters. A while back, we pretended that we were and somehow we stitched together a few very basic quilts (maybe, just maybe, my Mom hired someone to sew the back onto her quilt -- but don't tell anyone). Even our pretending didn't last long, however, because that hobby requires a lot of time and patience. Unfortunately, neither time nor patience is in abundance for my Mom or I. So we just buy fabric instead. And there's no better place to buy fabric than Keepsake Quilting. Keepsake is to quilters what the Container Store is to organizers. I'm sure you get the point.

My Mom must have procured enough fabric for a hundred quilts, and I'm not even exaggerating. It's fun having that much fabric because the colors are gorgeous and lots of fabric means lots of trips to the Container Store to buy different boxes in which to store all of it. Then it means lots of labels because obviously the boxes need to be labeled by color. I'll never forget when my Mom labeled a drawer of fabric "Mystery Colors."  Mystery Colors? I had a good laugh about that one. What in the world was she talking about? We'll probably never know.

For the past four years, my Mom and I have driven up to New Hampshire after work on the Friday of Mother's Day weekend. I look forward to that trip more than I could ever explain. I take the train from North Station to Winchester and she picks me up at the train station near her hospital. She's usually purchased some yummy treat and we snack a bit on the way up while trying to preserve our appetites for our dinner.

Once we get to New Hampshire, we checkin at our hotel, which for the last three years has been Church Landing. Church Landing is part of the Inn at Mill Falls and it's one of the coziest, most comfortable places I've ever stayed. There's always a fire snapping in the fireplace and the wooden beams everywhere whisper Lake Winnipesaukee sweeter than anything else could.

We take our time to wander down to dinner because, well, this is one of the only times in the year that we can take our time to wander anywhere. Over dinner, we talk about nothing and about everything and it's perfect.

After dinner, we head to our room, wonderfully full, and we watch some stupid TV or putz around on our laptops. Then we sleep in one of the most comfortable beds ever made. We wake up sometime after eight the next morning and with two young kids, that pretty much feels like noon. It's incredible.

I think it was our second trip up to Church Landing that we got ambitious on Saturday morning and decided to visit the spa at the hotel. We got facials and massages -- the second time in my life I got either. The massage could have been nice, I think, had the massage lady not lathered each of us up with some horrid oil that smelled like potpourri and felt terribly greasy. We had already checked out of our room so I couldn't go back and shower despite that I felt like I had just been dropped in a dunk tank of extra virgin olive oil. We always shop for a while before we head home and that Saturday afternoon, I avoided my reflection in any mirror we passed because I didn't want to see that I looked like I hadn't bathed in months.

The year after, and the year after that, we nixed the spa and did something far, far more relaxing. We sat here:

The last two years as we sat in these chairs by the lake, it would have been impossible to make the temperature, the air, or the sun feel any more perfect. I believe in Heaven, and I believe that part of it looks and feels just like this.

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