The hustle and bustle of the season slowed down a bit once we got out to Hiram, Ohio to visit with college friends Tom, Rosalie and their son Josh Franek, plus Scot, Jodie and their daughter Carmen Smith who drove from Sylvania, Ohio, for a much anticipated visit with all three families. Our day started with Rosalie's promised "farm-fresh" eggs, Christmas cookies and other baked goods plus hot beverages to top off all the sugar. After catching up a bit, we geared up with boots, hats and gloves to hit the "back 40" for a "snowball" hike through their trails. Honestly, I am NOT a big fan of the white stuff, but just for today, I'll admit it was just beautiful on the trail and on the big pine trees throughout the hike. Snowballs were flying all over the place, but we managed to walk on and check on the beauty of a peaceful winter day. Once back to the barn, we made homemade Christmas ornaments, played ping-pong, and ate chestnuts that Tom roasted on an open fire! Daughter Olivia commented that she felt like she was in an LLBean postcard!
Once we said our goodbye's and "Merry Christmas's", we were back on the road again, this time heading back to the west side of Cleveland to meet another family: Scott, Gina, Haley and Ben Nelson. We met playing co-ed volleyball over 25 years ago and have remained in touch through the years. We try to see each other when we can and today was that day. Our kids are the same age and they "kind of grew up together" until they moved to Sylvania, Ohio, and we moved to Maryland 16 years ago.
I'm thankful for the friendships with all the families, and big hearty laughs, and good food we shared throughout this day!