• Katherine Dudley Hoehn

Choosing Favorites

Updated: Oct 5


On the St. Johns River - two bald eagles in the treetops

I’m a fence sitter. I don't like going too far on either side and I can see green grass on both sides. And when there are many choices, I have the worst time choosing one thing I like, or want, most.

Leah

I don’t like restaurants with big menus because I find too many things that sound good. I prefer to buy clothing in small shops with fewer choices. Never ask me to pick from a variety pack or name my favorite Christmas gift. I love both my sons, and my five grandchildren, equally, but in different ways. I have loved every dog I ever had, and none more than any other, although Leah is at center stage right now. I can name flavors of gelato that I never want to try again, but I do not have a favorite.


We are so fortunate to live in a country where we have choices that sometimes seem limitless.


Recently, I spent a week of quality time with my sister and brother in two very different settings. I cannot choose my favorite place, because both provided opportunities for sibling bonding, relaxation, and focusing on togetherness.

The first part of the week was spent at Walt Disney World and in the Magic Kingdom. Although I grew up in Florida and visited Disney many times, I had not been back for nearly 30 years. I was overwhelmed by the size of it. My sister is a Disney frequent flyer and knows the park well. She knew the things to do, when to do them, and how to

Fireworks from the castle

make the most of our time. Frequently, she reminded me to speed it up as I dawdled with my mouth agape, taking in the magic and the people!

Great pretzel!

She wanted me to have fun. To ensure that, she got me a birthday badge and that meant every cast member we saw wished me a "Happy Birthday!" I forgot my responsibilities and the rest of the world for a few days and just relaxed and was a big kid. When we rode Space Mountain, I was not relaxed but you better believe I let loose. I screamed right along with the best of them. And prayed I wouldn’t be ejected from my seat. When we emerged from Small World, I annoyed her by singing the song again and again. And when we had the best seats in the castle for dinner during the fireworks display, I was immobilized. It was magical.

Sunrise on the St. Johns River

The next day we went to rural Clay County, along the west side of the St. Johns River, to stay with my brother and some of his family in an Airbnb.


The house had a wonderful view of the river, with a constant breeze. The mullet danced in the morning and early evening when the light was best. There were bald eagles and osprey, wild turkeys, and many other birds.

St. Johns River

The long dock with no rails seemed to extend forever into the river and at the end was a glider from which I saw both the moon and sun rise. It was peaceful, restful, and a great time to be with family.

Turkeys along the St. Johns River

Which did I enjoy most? I really couldn’t say. While I can imagine going to that river place on a regular basis, I may not return to Disney for a long, long time. But the memories were equally good and I wouldn’t give up either. In one week, to have both uninterrupted time with my sister at Disney and time to watch the sun, moon, stars, waves, eagles, osprey, turkeys, and mullet while telling stories with both my siblings and a niece (and reminding them I love them), is quite simply both magical and irreplaceable. Magic happens when you are with family; where you are is not the important part.

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