Count The Moments Precious

At Opa Opa Greek Restaurant, Sarasota Florida
Me (left), Mom, Cally (far right), and Mary at Opa Opa Greek Restaurant, Sarasota Florida.

Life isn’t a matter of milestones, but of moments. Rose Kennedy

I just returned from a beautiful week in Siesta Key, Florida at the Crescent Royale with my mom and two sisters, Mary and Cally. It was a warm, sunny week with temperatures in the high 70’s and low 80’s. After months of cold and snowy weather in the Northeast, it was a welcome relief to be in the sun. My three aunts and uncles were there also (one being my mother’s brother Steve) plus my aunt’s sister and her husband as well.

On the beach! From left, Me, Mary, Aunt KC, Cally, Joanie
On the beach! From left, Me, Mary, Aunt KC, Cally, Joanie

It was a week of magical moments. There was the moment I first walked on the beach after an almost three year hiatus. I can’t tell you what it was like to put my toes on that powdery, fine white sand. I was one happy gal.

Then, day two and I am scanning my Facebook timeline.  I see that an old friend of ours from church (and our hometown of Ambridge, PA.) John D., was playing the bouzouki at a Greek restaurant just ten minutes away.

Mom and John Demas
Mom and John with his bouzouki. Photo by Mary Jamis

We ended up crashing the wine tasting party at Opa Opa Greek restaurant just to see John. There were red carnations all over the floor, delicious food was being served and John was the consummate host and welcoming committee. The whole experience felt surreal; like we weren’t really there and it was a glorious dream that we didn’t want to wake up from. My mom was thrilled with the whole experience, listening to the music, meeting the customers of the restaurant and reminiscing with John about his family.

Another moment was at the Oyster Bar  on Siesta Key. My aunt’s sister Joanie told us they had oysters for half price from 3-6pm, so we headed over the next day for happy hour. There were TWELVE of us! My Uncle Jim said he’d have bet his Cadillac that my mom wouldn’t eat oysters. I said I should have made that bet because my mom ate a whole dozen.

Mom at the Siesta Key Oyster Bar
Mom at the Siesta Key Oyster Bar

That was a fantastic moment.

There were many other moments- times on the beach and at each other’s condos, where we drank mojitos and talked about the old days. My mother reminisced about trips to Greece and relatives long gone. It occurred to me, and not just once or twice, that these will be the moments I will long remember. These tiny bits of time, with my mom, sisters and aunts and uncles, will be re-played over and over in my mind, the delicious parts savored and lovingly shared in the years to come.

Sunset on the Beach
Sunset on the Beach

On the day we left the beach, we drove to Clearwater to see another old friend from our hometown. It had been almost thirty years since my mom laid eyes on Alicia.

Mom and Alisha. Photo by Mary Jamis
Mom and Alicia. Photo by Mary Jamis

Another beautiful moment to count along with the rest! I’ve probably got one more post in me about other aspects of this trip. But for now, I am content to just remember how truly blessed I feel after spending this glorious week with my family.

My Mom and her brother Steve. Photo by Cally Jamis Vennare
My Mom and her brother Steve. Photo by Cally Jamis Vennare
Are we beach beauties or what? Cally, Me, Mom. Photo by Mary Jamis
Are we beach beauties or what? Cally, Me, Mom. Photo by Mary Jamis
All of us!
All of us!

Join me on my graceful journey.

18 Replies to “Count The Moments Precious”

  1. Love, love, love this post Joanne. So many beautiful memories…to recall and share. Great pic of mom eating her oysters! 🙂 I hadn’t seen that one! xo Calliope

  2. All beauties, my dear…all beauties! How wonderful you had such a warm, delightful week with loved ones and friends. I am so happy for you. You have a spirit of Life and it comes through in your posts.

    Spring is on its way in your neck of the woods, so keep a sunny smile in your heart.

    Love to you,
    Marianne xo

    1. Hi Marianne! We did have a wonderful week! And I came home to a defrosted Pennsylvania, with the buds of spring beginning to peek through.
      Thank you for your lovely comments!
      xo Joannne

  3. Hi Joanne, when I read your blog this morning, I couldn’t help but recall a quote I read recently….”The best gifts in life are the memories we make with the people we love

  4. ….sure looks like alot of love on all those smiling faces! What a beautiful “gift” to your mom to share a vacation with her daughters & family! I enjoyed reading such a “happy post” this morning! Beautiful pictures!

  5. What a warm and wonderful reunion you all had. I loved the smiles, the laughs as some of you posed together on the beach, and the overall sense of joy while being together. Your mother and her “girls” all together. What a delight.

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