Sunday, August 24, 2008

What Do You Want for Your 20th Birthday?

Family life changed dramatically when Ed and I decided to live and travel full-time in our RV. Our youngest college-aged daughter Suzie no longer had a home to come to during summer break. So when I asked her what she wanted for her 20th Birthday? “I want my Momma and Matt,” she answered. So Ed and I scrambled to make the wish come half true. Matt, her boyfriend, had to work his own magic.

Ed transferred points accumulated from our credit card to Southwest Airlines, and then I waited and waited a bit impatiently on my part, for the points to hit my Southwest account. The points showed credit available for a reward ticket late on Tuesday night. I booked my flight on Wednesday. And, I landed in St. Louis, Missouri on Friday night at 10:30 PM. Suzie and Matt were there to meet me. The date was August 1st. We’d have time together through August 19th.

August 2, 2008 - Suzie’s last day of work at her summer job at Pegasus Farms…

Saturdays had always been my day with Suzie from the time she was little. Typically, from 2 – 4 PM, she’d take group riding lessons and I’d sit outside the arena watching her. On this Saturday, my eyes filled with tears. I watched Suzie teach a rider, giving encouragement to take a jump, correcting a lead, and offering professional instruction. After the lesson, she showed me the tack room, introduced me to her favorite horse, took Sparky off the bulletin board as a keepsake, and wrapped-up business in her office. I felt genuine pride as I witnessed this occasion - her last day of summer employment at Pegasus Farm in St. Louis.

We celebrated the occasion of Suzie’s last work day and my visit. Matt treated us to dinner at Zia’s on The Hill – St. Louis’ famous Italian neighborhood known for its nationally acclaimed restaurants. The very next day, Suzie & I drove from St. Louis, Missouri to Greensburg, Pennsylvania to visit family following I-70 east all but 7 miles.

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