Recharging our emotional batteries

Like millions of others, I am anticipating a wonderful homecoming in the second half of December that will allow our family to recharge our emotional batteries. Our beautiful, intelligent and heart-centered daughters will be home for the holidays. From Hawaii and Hollywood, they will travel back to North Carolina to celebrate being together. My wife and I are excited to have them home and to share the same space together for about ten days.

Packing it in
Ra El and I have started our ritual packing of the refrigerator with all of the girls' favorite foods. I have carefully picked out some spectacular wines (closed by Nomacorc) that I know will complement the meals we will cook together. The house has been vacuumed and the floors have been swept to pick up the bits of cat litter that trickle off of Shambala’s tiny feet. The special crackers are stocked on the shelves, There is Truvia natural sweetener for Fanny's coffee and there is Madhava Amber Agave for Sarah's tea. Sweets for our sweeties. Even the refrigerator has had the full clean up and makeover treatment from shelf to shelf. 

Of course there will be wonderful meals cooked as Fanny and I put on the Jeff/Chef hats and create meals from turkey to tzatziki sauce. We know we will be having Thanksgiving in December which is our way of rearranging the holidays. Scallops, swordfish and crab cakes are in the lineup. I want to teach the girls how to make stuffed cabbage to connect them to a taste of life's sweet and sour moments.  I insist upon one roast chicken meal per visit to allow me to show off my saucing skills. We have an A to Z array of vegetables waiting to be folded into salads, soups and stews. We will walk together along our street to get some exercise and fresh air. There will be plenty of movies, visits from old friends and late-night conversations too. And somehow Fanny will manage to go to Boondini's for lunch. 

Face Time
Holidays are times to recharge our emotional batteries and reconnect with loved ones. It is a chance to talk face-to-face without the Skype screen or the telephone in between us. We get to listen to each other in ways that are often hard to do at a distance. Most of all we get to just be together without agendas, deadlines and the ever present to do lists of life. 

All together: Fanny, Ra El, Jeff and Sarah
From Maui 2011
I relish these family moments as they allow us to retell the stories of our shared experiences when the girls were young. From tales of Wrightsville Beach and our summers at Duneridge to stories about Ravenscroft and fast times in Raleigh, these memories are like the glue that bond and connect us when we are living apart. We will hear new stories about Sarah’s student’s at Punahou, new friends she has made and about a recent dolphin swim under a Hawaiian rainbow. Fanny will regale us with funny anecdotes about her work that sometimes makes her teeth hurt, the most recent celebrity sighting and some news on a catering gig where she got to cook and serve. Both Nani and Olive’s tales (tails) will be present too. 

Charged Moments
Someday I hope we will all be living closer together so we can once again be part of each other’s daily lives. For now, I will enjoy the nourishment and energy from plugging into these specially charged family moments and keeping current. 

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