10/25/2013 10:43 am ET Updated Jan 23, 2014

Time Well Spent


Time together is time well spent, 
And time with our children is heaven sent.

- Author unknown, found on a vintage sampler

In the above painting, which is more endearing: the fairy or her habitat? No question in my mind, I pick the fairy. Of course, it would be fun to discover the magic of her home, but she, herself, is what would ultimately charm me. I found life imitating art while visiting my daughter in Vermont. 

We had been planning my October trip for months. Five days with my Bridget in a land of eclectic shops and bistros at the base of foothills woven with color. We had every day brimming with activities. I couldn't wait to get there and begin our adventure. The first two days went according to plan. And then, on day three, it happened. Without warning, my back went out. Moment by moment, the pain worsened as we scrambled to get an appointment with a doctor on a Friday afternoon. We were lucky to find a chiropractor who squeezed me in. I did feel better after her adjustments, but was advised to take it easy for the rest of my stay. Both Bridget and I were disappointed that we had to cancel most of our plans (although, in retrospect, we really just felt bad for each other). So, that afternoon, instead of taking her rescue dog on a hike to the reservoir, we went to a movie. 

Saturday, we managed to browse a few shops before my back insisted we return home and ice it. That evening, we had no choice but to stay in and watch a movie and sip some wine. But do you know what? We had a blast. We came to the realization the whole point of my trip was for us to be together. Sure, Vermont is a beautiful place to explore, but it doesn't hold a candle to the pleasure of my daughter's company. That night, as I lay in bed, my heart echoed the words of Kitty Carlisle Hart, "Each morning I wake up and say, 'Dear Lord, I don't want anything better; just send me more of the same.'"


Always my muse, Bridget modeled for the above illustration at age 10.


Bridget and Nelson - a moment captured on my trip.

All text and images © Sue Shanahan. All rights reserved.