Quick! What’s the first James Taylor song that pops into your head?

Last week Faith and I were in San Diego enjoying a few precious days together away from our jobs and away from gray Seattle skies. At least those were our goals when we planned this trip months ago. It’s true: our days together were wonderful, and we were able to distance ourselves from our employment, but San Diego skies were overcast and rainy while Seattle enjoyed record high temps and bright blue skies. Who knew?

Faith and I have traveled together before. When she finished graduate school, we went to Italy where we hiked through a lemon grove in Monterrosso al Mar, rode bicycles around the rim of a medieval wall in Luca, and reveled in a gorgeous sunset from the top of an ancient tower in Florence, among many other things. This California trip celebrated another of Faith’s achievements – becoming a fully licensed mental health therapist. While battling the craziness that is the California freeway system, we were able to invest in some retail therapy, visit In-N-Out twice, and spend a day at the San Diego Zoo. (We saw a baby giraffe that was only four hours old! Wondrous!) California isn’t as exotic as Italy, but we had a terrific time and my traveling partner was superb as usual.

I make an effort to not take the blessings that surround me for granted – the roof over my head, the food in my refrigerator, the love of my family. There are too many to comprehend, and I am continually overwhelmed by the mercy and grace of God. But this mother/daughter escape has impressed on me the need to recognize the blessing that Dennis and I have of a close friendship with our children. We still talk and act like a mom and dad, but somehow Daniel and Faith are able to look beyond our roles as parents and enjoy our friendship, too. I stand back and marvel at the outstanding adults our children have become, in spite of the foibles of their parents (mostly mine). Being their parents has been a privilege; being their friends has been icing on the cake.

You now have my permission to stop humming “You’ve Got a Friend.” That is, if you can.


“The glory of friendship is not the outstretched hand, not the kindly smile, nor the joy of companionship; it is the spiritual inspiration that comes to one when you discover that someone else believes in you and is willing to trust you with a friendship.”    ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

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