5 Friday Faves – Stuff I Like to Do – Had to Think About It

Happy Friday!

A friend asked me yesterday about what I like to do around Richmond….this small city big on events, restaurants, and natural beauty. I had trouble coming up with things. Not because I never get out…but just don’t think in terms of stuff I like to do. It made me realize that my life these days is more reactive/responsive than intentional and proactive. Really got me thinking…

Here are 5 favorite things I like to do…not bound to location…

1) Team/Family Activities – As much of my life is spent in solitary endeavors, creating, serving, and playing as a team energizes me. I love to learn from others and the momentum and synergy of a group work inspire me to push through. This isn’t just doing sometime collectively as a group of people…not really invested in each other. This is working together as a team! It’s serving a great purpose…together, not just alongside other people.  Love that process. Also in play, game nights are special fun for the chatter and laughter around the table as much as for the adventure of the gaming itself.

2) Being Able to Support and/or Encourage Our Adult Children – There’s a strange tension in this. We are glad for our children to launch as adults and they are glad to be on their own and pursuing their own careers and interests. Still, after so many years of being under the same roof and intimately in each others’ lives, I’m glad for touch-points. Praying for them always (my privilege and special responsibility). Babysitting for a grandchild. Listening to their hopes and dreams. Offering counsel on a struggle (when asked…and sometimes not even). Supporting financially within healthy and honoring bounds. You hear a lot about Nathan in here. I long to be able to support him in his musical career…but didn’t really know how. Just this week, he made that easier by affiliating with Patreon. Now we’re a part of his small but growing community of patrons.

3) Travel and the People We Travel To and With – I’m not an experience or destination collector, so travel to tick off a bucket list isn’t a motivation. However, it’s possible that’s because we have had the great fortune of travel as a normal part of our lives over the years. We have lived in Egypt, Tunisia, and Morocco. Dave and I spent our 25th wedding anniversary in Paris, France. As a family, we’ve shared incredible destinations…from the Red Sea to the Sahara Desert, from trips in Europe and to Africa. My international travel has been curbed a bit, but there is still tremendous joy in trips to Laurel, Delaware and Hoschton, Georgia (to see family) and to such places as Midland, Texas and Nashville, Tennessee to see friends. Etc., etc., etc. It’s less the destination…as what the travel brings in times together.

4) Food Events – It’s my birthday today, and there will definitely be food events. Food itself is a delight, of course. The sweet side-benefit of food events is that person sitting across from me. Or the children and adults gathered close around the long family table. Or the folks cozied on couches around the room. Or even (gasp) the long-legged obstacle course of men filling the floor space in front of a televised football game. What food does to draw out conversation or bond people together is a marvelous thing. I have favorite restaurants, like you…but it’s the event itself that blesses the heart (less the work of it, more the people of it).

5) Divine Appointments – Okay…these are not within our control, really…so they can’t be scheduled into one’s happy life. Or, maybe they can. We can definitely grease the tracks to experience them. How? I know my whole day can be altered – both in awareness and experience – if studying Scripture and praying is part of my early morning routine. “Bible before breakfast” was a routine, growing up, of a friend of mine. Not in any kind of legalistic or ritualistic sense… as much as spiritual habit that can change a person’s thinking, choices, and engagement with God and others. That early morning time with God sets the tone for my day. His activity in my life and that of others around me becomes more obvious. God is a good and active agent in His creation and among his people. All we have to do is tune our minds to see Him…and He is there. Even when my early morning quiet time is on the lean side…or neglected altogether, it’s still possible to reset our sights on Him through the day and experience wonders. I just hate to miss Him from early on…because I’ve chosen other lesser activities…like even sitting down and writing…

There are my five favorites… They didn’t include writing…which is sort of a given (as in this blog). They didn’t include photography – also a given (in my desire to document everything). They didn’t include movie and popcorn nights which I actually LOVE as well….that will definitely happen on my birthday. Thanks, Friend, for stirring my thinking yesterday. Being more proactive in pursuing these five is now on my list! Do you have a list of favorite things you fill your life with? Please comment below. If you live in Richmond, maybe you could also share your favorites about this city. It’s possible I need to get out more.

Happy a safe and restful weekend!

6 thoughts on “5 Friday Faves – Stuff I Like to Do – Had to Think About It”

  1. First, Happy Birthday to one of the most thoughtful and thought-provoking people in my life. You are one in a million and I feel blessed to have you “in my sites” EVERY DAY… Your smile and warmth of spirit are truly inspiring! Next, YES, you do need to get out more. It is time to enjoy the amazing fun opportunities in this (my home town). There is much history and culture and fun to be had and it is so close and easy. Take my hand and we’ll just get you out there!!!
    Things I like to do…
    1) – MUSIC (all kinds) and with absolutely NO musical talent, I am a full fledged “appreciator”. The Richmond Symphony is awesome and they now bring many diverse types of music to life. One of the best lately was when they did “Looney Tunes” themes while our favorite cartoons played in the background. IT WAS JUST PLAIN FUN!!! We have numerous concert venues for BIG STARS in all genres of music. Additionally, there are numerous musical opportunities every weekend that highlight and promote the many talented local musicians we are fortunate enough to have living among us. YOU KNOW a few!!!
    2) – ART – we have some amazing museums very near us. Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) brings not only their own amazing collections to us (free to the public) but also some extraordinary special exhibits and collections that are brought to our doorstep from all around the world. Two that I have enjoyed the most were the Chihuly collection of glass check out http://www.chihuly.com/ and the Tiffany history and collection Louis Comfort Tiffany http://www.tiffany.com/WorldOfTiffany/TiffanyStory/Design/LouisComfortTiffany.aspx Also, The Virginia Historical Society Museum is a place I recently visited and was delighted to see has a boat load of interesting items and stories.
    3) Gardening and Flowers – right in our “hood” is one of my most favorite places on the planet, Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens. I have shared that with many special people for years and have a barrel filled with many happy memories there. Be sure to join them in the spring and summer for the Butterfly exhibit it is AMAZING and by all means, be sure to take your camera!!! It is constantly different as it is always beautiful and changing with new blooms. Don’t miss the Tea House for a little lunch or tea during your visit.
    4) History – In Richmond, VA there is history in almost every direction you look. From the statues that line Monument Ave to the historic architecture and history at the VA State Capital building to the historical significance at St. John’s Church where Patrick Henry made his speech. Then, within a few hours you have Williamsburg, Jamestown, Washington, DC, and homes of numerous US Presidents. Most recently I went to Mount Vernon. I had not been in many years and it has really been updated and upgraded to a much more interesting and fun experience. I am sure the same is probably true at Monticello in Charlottesville. I hope to have a chance to go there again soon. I haven’t been since I was a little girl.
    5) – Wine – OH MY, we sure have grown in the wine business in Virginia. It was a minor interest for a while but I look forward to winery visits and testing new collections and learning about the grapes and vineyards and processes at each one we have visited. There are now so many near us and each one offers a unique and variety of new learning opportunities. There are also many new breweries but I am not much of a beer enthusiast. However, it is still interesting to visit them and learn about the process and history of each brew master.
    So.. there you have my 5. I hope my list will inspire you a little as you inspire others. LOVE, HUGS and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!
    NOW let’s go PARTY!!!

    1. Thanks, Annie. Great suggestions. Appreciate you helping me broaden my horizons! You are such a good friend, BTW. Always make me smile.

        1. I can say the same about you and more. You have an effervescence that infuses all who know you with joy. Glad we’re friends and neighbors.

  2. Enjoyed the list. Similarly to you, I also have a hard time answering when people ask me my favorite place specific activities, as most of mine are also not location dependent. I wonder if we tend that way from living in so many different places? Happy birthday momma!

    1. Thanks, Daughter. You may have it right. It was a good exercise for me to think about what stuff I like to do (i.e. what brings joy). I would love to see your list, Dear One.

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