Good morning, and welcome to Storytelling Sunday, a monthly round-up hosted by Sian of From High in the Sky. For 2013, Sian has suggested we tell stories of our precious keep-sakes, and for May she asked for something outdoorsy. Since May always floods me with thoughts of my parents (they were both born in May), I thought I would share the story of my Lladro polar bear and the cruise to Alaska we took with my parents. You can read other storytellers's tales for May by clicking on this link.
One summer, shortly after Paul and I were married, we couldn't decide where to go on vacation. At the last minute, we decided to go on a cruise to Alaska. My parents were planning to take a similar cruise that summer, but we decidedly did not want to go at the same time. Yet, through some mix-up which I never quite understood, we ended up booked on the same cruise!
Which turned out to be one of the best things that ever happened. For the first time since I had moved away at the age of 17, I spent relaxed, quality time with my parents. It was the first time that we ever spent time together after I became an adult. And we found that we really enjoyed each other's company. We did not eat dinner together and did not book the same shore excursions, but we found many other excuses to be together. We met for cocktails almost every night, and several mornings we played bridge with my dad. We went shopping with my mom in Sitka and arranged to go to the midnight buffet together one night. But the best day was the day we cruised through Glacier Bay. Paul and I arrived in the viewing lounge early and grabbed a table by the window. My parents arrived later, and we kept the table for the entire day. We had lunch there and many, many, many cocktails. We chatted and played cards and enjoyed the awesome scenery. Later that day, my mom and I visited the ship's gift shop and we each bought a Lladro polar bear to remind us of the wonderful time we spent together on that cruise.
Both my have since passed away. They are gone, but definitely not forgotten. And, whenever I look at my Lladro polar bear, I remember how our relationship changed for the better, and for good, after we spent time together on that cruise.