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One of the things I look most forward to when visiting my parents is sitting out on the back porch, drinking coffee, chatting about anything and everything that comes to mind.  Mom and Dad bought this house when I was still in high-school and have lived here ever since, over 40 years now.  Through the years they have added to the house and cultivated the yard to create a wonderful, peaceful retreat.  I don’t get home often enough, but on this mini-vacation, as I sit here with my parents, I feel overwhelming gratitude for our time spent together.  We watch the sun rise, listen to the sound of the waterfall in the coi pond, watch the multitude of birds fly to and from the feeders, talk about the mundane as well as the profound, and in general just enjoy each other’s company.  These times are too few anymore, and precious when we get them.  This morning as the sun is rising in the sky, and I’m nursing my second cup of coffee, I am eternally grateful for this early morning ritual with Mom and Dad on their back porch.

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