+[a weekend with T]+

4:15 Friday, Taralyn arrived

Doug had rented us a uber-hip, zippy, fun car for the weekend as a surprise, setting the tone for 48 hours of about the town adventure.

From the airport we went to our house and checked Taralyn into her "apartment" downstairs. Doug made us dinner and we all stood around the kitchen (then sat around the table) getting caught up. This was the only time Doug and the girls were going to be with her so I tried to stay out of the conversation as much as possible, letting everyone else get their questions, memories and ideas in. 

After dinner we headed downstairs, just she and I, to sit fireside and begin the face-to-face catching up that our weekly phone dates just cant bring to completion.   Doug made his tried and true dark chocolate chip-pecan-toasted coconut cookies and brought them down.  But other than that, we were uninterrupted until after midnight when we realized that, in order to be able to get up for our weekend adventures, we better hit the hay.

Saturday morning at 8:30 we cleared the forest line and wound our way to the Broadmoor for breakfast. Over two hours of courses and coffee refills and sunlight through the dining room panes found us doing nothing more than more talking, sharing, engaging, dreaming. Darrel, Taralyns husband, sent a message asking (as a surprise)  if we would like to spend the night at the Broadmoor (he had no idea we were already there) but she decided that she would rather stay in "the apartment", which surprised me, I must admit.   I laughed as she explained how much she enjoyed being down there in our guest space and the experience of it all.

We walked around the Broadmoor grounds after breakfast enjoying the crisp air and sunshine, swans and quiet togetherness.  It had been 2 years since we had walked like that. The last time was my 40th birthday tea when she took me to The Dallas Arboretum.  I spend time with her every summer in Dallas but rare is the opportunity to walk together alone.  Its one of my favorite things to do with her.  Morning turned to noon and we once again climbed into our zippy car and headed to Boulder. Tea at The Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse (chai for her, vanilla walnut rooibus for me)  then walking, people watching and window shopping on Pearl St took up the balance of our daylight hours. Contemplating Indian food or Italian  for dinner, we made our way to Denver deciding to go the Italian route.

More hours passed and more catching up.  Doug asked if we ever ran out of things to talk about.  She commented that if we do, the silence is so comfortable that even that is a blessing.

It was 10:00 when we made it home.  Exhausted we hugged goodnight and she descended to her "apartment" once more.  Knowing she was leaving as the new day broke, I was sad to bid the day farewell.

Sunday morning we headed out once more.  Breakfast at Snooze (OMG French toast for her - Brioche stuffed with mascarpone and vanilla creme, salted caramel, agave soaked strawberries and toasted coconut and Coffee and Donuts pancakes for me - buttermilk "donut" pancake glazed with maple icing and topped with crushed pecans.  Oh and the sidekick of espresso cream to drench it all in).  Afterward, which was early afternoon, we  took a 90 minute hike on the trails behind our house then packed the car with her suitcases and headed toward the airport. 

After a drive through Garden of the Gods and a quick goodbye at the airport departure station,  I drove away wondering where the time had gone.

4:55 Sunday, Taralyn departed

There is never enough time in this life season to enjoy each other the way we would like.  But 48 hours with her is so much better than 48 without her!!

She is now back in the folds of her life and I sit at the teahouse watching the girls battle math.  

Our relationship is like comfort food. Our time spent together fulfills a deep desire for connectedness. We both know the Lord gifted us with each other all those years ago. Its not only that we feel more comfortable with each other, but that we each know how to make the other feel encouraged, heard and understood. We accept each other, flaws and all, and reinforce each others identity in Christ and also as a person who matters in our own life.

What began as meeting to pray for our children has become leafy, then blossoming.  It has grown (and been pruned) into something truly living and lovely. My children say that my relationship with Taralyn provides "shade". I asked them what they mean by that just now. Their reply -  "we enjoy its bounty and learn from being near it."    I love that.