karina so candidly presented her "best 5 nights" last month...& then tagged me!
(hanging my head in shame for so long a lapse...)
lo & behold, buried under a very large pile (extra large super-size pile!) i have come across my chicken scratch notes that remind me to do this wonderful meme. the rules are simple: list the 5 best nights that you can recall and then tag four other people and see if the meme can continue.
now, before i reveal my best nights, i am going to break the simple rule here...i am not tagging anyone, but if you want to play along, please let me know in the comments so that i may drop by & read about your special nights. the last meme i tagged others to do left me feeling a bit blue...i don't like to leave anyone out, so please bear with me & have some fun!
i recently covered this night...so you can go here for the details.
is actually 4 nights...they are the 4 first nights D. & i spent with each of our newborn, dear, sweet little babies (currently known as teenagers!)...only one was actually born during the night (thank God!), but that first night with each is very deeply etched in my mind. let's start with the 8 pound 6 ounce Baby Girl...she was born in the hospital where D. & i worked at the time, making her entrance just in time for breakfast after some 36 hours of labor. so as you may guess, my first night after her birth was shear exhaustion coupled with complete & total baby-infatuation! one very vivid moment during that night was holding her after she had eaten & was blissfully asleep...i held her wee baby hand in mine & wondered what it would touch, what it would hold, would she have a wedding band on that third finger, how many tears would it dry, how many goodbyes would it wave, how many hugs would it hold...
K-Bug came on the scene at quarter til midnight (she is still a night owl). her first night with us was one of utter relief, for she was 4 weeks early & i was ill, but both of us were ok. in my new momma high, i had actually forgotten that i had been sick for over a week & about 2 am. Ms. Bug needed her first bath. i, a maternal child nurse at the time, asked if i could do the bath & my nursery nurse buddy said sure. well, too much time on my feet is all i can say about that! i have a vague memory of standing by her crib one moment & waking in my room the next with all sorts of IV's & such and D. standing over me...they had called the poor guy (he had not slept in days) back to the hospital. i did just fine & K-Bug did get a bath - by someone else!
Big Bro was born at the crack of dawn after a record 20 minute labor...good guy that he is, he let me rest very well before coming on scene! his first night was in our big comfy bed at home surrounded by lots of loving from his sisters & D. & i. i remember it being a night of wonderful amazement... i was awake for most of it, just watching the little guy. but he only woke one time to eat!
Little Man was also a morning baby. his first night was a little more quiet than his brother's because his siblings left earlier in the evening for some overnight grandparent spoiling. i also recall being awake nearly all night, not because of Little Man, but because the house was *too* quiet, with all the other little people gone. Little Man & D. & i had a very precious first night, knowing that in the coming days, chaos would again reign supreme!
Christmas eve, 2000. this was the last Christmas we spent with my momma & daddy. i did not know that fact on the eve, but on some level i must have felt it because my memories have been so very well kept, much more vivid other Christmases. it was a typical Christmas for us, since moving to the south. my parents always came down to us for Christmas, while we would head north for other holidays. this was our first holiday at the beach & daddy was very excited to be there for winter. the weather was unexpectedly cold for our area that year. for Christmas eve Mass we bundled and made the journey to the nearby church.
it was one of those perfectly still, crystal-clear winter nights with the deepest velvet sky & beautiful starlight. the Mass was by candlelight & what i remember most about it was the sense of hush & awe. it really felt like everyone was holding their breath in anticipation of something so beautiful. after Mass we had so much fun on the drive home. the boys were looking for signs of Santa in the sky. we sang off-key Christmas carols. there were lots of ooohs & aaaahs for Christmas lights. after we were home & the children tucked in bed, we sat by the tree for a bit, talking about everyday things. all too soon we were tired & the night ended. i can still feel their hugs they gave when they said goodnight.
a dream fulfilled, by chance! a few years ago the 6 of us were able to spend a month in italy. in the middle of that trip D. & i celebrated our 18th anniversary at cinque terre...or so we thought. K-Bug & i attended an afternoon cooking class. when the feast was ready, the rest of the crew joined us for an evening of feasting. the dinner was excellent & a fun time was had by all. a very, very happy anniversary! but that is not the night i name as #4.
the next morning we headed out on the train to venice. everyone was dragging the feet. we are beach people & the cinque terre was our new fascination. we had actually debated skipping venice to stay longer. that train ride seemed like prison time to some in the crowd...but all was forgotten when we caught our first glimpse of the grand canal from the train station. cinque what?
it was love at first sight. very much so. (D. never has to wonder where i want to go on vacation any longer!) we wandered aimlessly & loved the city with wild abandon...all six of us! & on this journey our second night in venice is the night i call #4 on the "best of" list.
one of the children suggested that maybe dad & i would like a "date night" in that very romantic city (smart kid!!) & so after a round of pizza for them, they were settled in our lodging quarters & D & i were on our way through the meandering streets. in all our walks we seemed to frequently pass this quaint little place filled with candlelight & smiling diners. for no apparent reason the place seemed to plague both our thoughts...making it a logical choice to try for a table.
as we walked in the door, the quiet corner table by the window just opened up & it became ours. the waiters were spectacular. i swear a team of them was assigned to meet our every need. they seemed to know absolutely everything we could possibly want. the food was outstanding. the company was first rate! we talked & talked & talked...much like our first date! (see night #1)
hours later we noticed that no one else was left in the ristorante...but the waitstaff did not seem to mind our presence. they continued to send little treats our way...desserts of delight too many to remember... & finally a bit of grappa for our nightcap. we had a round of toasts with all the waiters & as we walked out into the night, we felt as though we had just left old friends.
and the post-dinner walk...it was just like you would imagine it would be...everything was so very quiet, the canals so beautiful. we barely spoke a word...it felt like we were floating in a dream.
Night #5...or 3 nights merged into 1~~~
edwin & the girls...have you ever planned a girls' get-a-way? had so much fun that you are sure your sides will split? have you ever had serendipity in the driver's seat of your adventure? J., DM., K-Bug & i have! oh we surely have!
last summer the four of us made provisions for the men & children in our lives & converged at the famous southern city by the sea...myrtle beach...for a few days of R&R with tickets to an awesome concert to keep us sane. the four of us put the "fan" in "fanatic" when it comes to edwin mccain & his music. so for 3 days & nights we were free of all those normal obligations...free to sleep til noon (never quite made it!), laze on the beach (check), eat whatever we wanted(check, check), not make a bed or wash a dish or do a load of laundry (oh yeah!). aaaaaah.
our first night there was actually the concert night. we thought it just might be the highlight too. how very naive of us! of course, we had that giddy taste of freedom thing going on & being a little bit crazy, upon check-in to our hotel room, i grabbed a phone book & proceeded to procure a limo for the evening. none of us had ever lived so extravagantly ;) having a driver meant more than just style...now we no longer had to worry about a designated driver either. (aside...K-Bug only had her permit at the time & could not be the DD)
before we knew it & after a cocktail...the limo pulled up. bob was our man! what a driver! so very kind & understanding to 3 adult women & 1 woman-child on the loose! he answered all our insane questions. he did not bat an eyelash at our antics. he agreed to return for us at the end of the evening in spite of the "brown car incident". very good.
the concert was unbelievable. new songs. some new band members & our old favorites. edwin was truly on fire. drum sticks were flying. the bassist was crazy. larry was playing to **us** right in front of **us**...because, you know, the four of us are just so very cool. all too soon the night ended & we were again back with bob in the limo. we thought our night of madness & fun was over. we thought it was time to settle into the R&R part of our trip.
sleep...beach time...eating out...ok. recovering from a late night. ok. so good. over dinner at a fun fondue restaurant, with our very good waiter, also named bob - lots of bob's in myrtle beach, right? we started to come out of the stupor. it all started with bingo. yes, bingo. somehow the 4 of us got the crazy idea to go play bingo after dinner. easy thing...the options abound in myrtle beach. so, armed with directions to a bingo place we were on the road. for a very long time. at some point in the drive, one of us asked just how far we were going. someone else noted that we were getting nearer & nearer charleston by the minute. indeed. that very same city where edwin was playing that very night. and the next! hmmmmm.
with barely another word spoken, the u-turn was done, we were back at the hotel & packed, we checked out, my friend in charleston assured us that he just had a cancellation at his B&B a few moments ago...& yes, the rooms were ours. in less than an hour.
driving through that summer night i do not recall passing the mythical bingo palace. but i do recall driving into my favorite city in the US! we checked in with my gracious friend, a little later than seemed kind, but his smile & hospitality told us that it didn't matter. one wise woman noticed that even though it was late, by concert-going standards, the night was still a bit young, so with a wave goodbye, we were off to the new venue, thinking that if we bought the next night's tickets at that moment, we just might hear some of the awesome music in the background. the sweet bouncer man at the door could hardly contain us. he knew we were crazy women, exiled from the real world & with deep generosity he wondered why we didn't want to get in at that very moment. huh? um, yes!!! so for a cover charge, sans ticket price, we were in. again. 2 nights in a row. are we groupies yet??
i kept reminding myself...you are 40. your daughter is with you. you must contain your insanity. no luck!
next morning...breakfast at a leisurely pace (right, DM???)...a day in my favorite city with the girls...tickets in hand for another night...yep, we were golden.
now if any of you are even remotely interested in seeing edwin live, this is the place to do it: the windjammer, isle of palms, sc (just outside of charleston)...the quintessential beach bar. add to it his best-ever set list, time with your soul sistahs, & the beach on a warm, starry summer night...aaaahhhh.
you might be thinking that this is about all the fun a girl could take in such a short space of time. well, you're wrong! that night, when the 4 of us rolled in at the B&B, my dear, sweet friend had just one more little surprise waiting...he had baked me a cake~~a lots-of-deep-dark-chocolate-&-liquor cake~~ the very best kind of cake!! i just love 3am surprise birthday parties, don't you??
this was not boyworld, my friends! but it is definitely night #5!!!
now turn yourself loose on the keyboard, & gimme 5!!