Call that friend, today

The general foul mood of our countrymen continues this week, along with the ongoing shortage of unicorns and rainbows.

This kind of week reminds me  to keep reminding myself – as it did last week – that love bats last. It also laughs last.

So I call a friend, or two or three. It always does the trick.

I think we all should call a friend whose parents have been sick and see how everyone is. Or, call the one who has survived cancer because she reminds you she has faced death and your problems are not so bad.

Call the one who suffers from depression, because she is having a good day, or because she isn’t. Call the one who figuratively wants to wrap her fingers around the necks of her lazy children. All involved will thank you.

Or, call the one who lost her husband a few years ago, because she still misses him.

My friends and I have all these contingency plans in place because, life happens.

So we call each other, we travel, we meet for dinner, drinks and laughter.

When things get rough, we can throw together an impromptu weekend getaway with a text message, as we have this week.

We are just that good.

This weekend, a bunch of us are getting together for a weekend swim because the suckage of life has been great, according to us, and this is how we survive it.

We also survive it like this … (shout out to the Boston Fire Department!)

… and this. (shout out to Medicine Park….remember us?)

And this. (Shout out to a tipsy Christmas Lights trolley extravaganza)

The next weekend, I will probably repeat the same with another group of friends. One good thing about friendship is it’s totally polyamorous. You can have as many as you want or can handle, and it’s legal and encouraged. Win/win.

I also have a totally different type of rarified friends whom I know through the Erma Bombeck Writer’s Workshop that only meets every two years in Dayton, Ohio. Our friendship is definitely long distance most of the time, but when we get together to write it is like no time has passed. We are just a bunch of hilariously and beautifully-matched friends who happen to meet every two years and will probably be lifelong friends.

Because of these wonderful women in my life I have experienced things I would not have otherwise. Many I cannot publish because of some statute of limitations mumbo-jumbo, but several priceless ones I can.

We’ve had a pre-hysterectomy going away party for a uterus.

I have been witness to the holding of horse reigns by one of us during a girls trip to the Stockyards while a thirsty and trusting  cowboy went into the White Elephant Saloon for a beer. You can’t make this stuff up.

I have hiked the Lost Lake in the Wichita Mountains, something I would never have done without a friend to say, “Hey, let’s do this.”

The ninth hole at midnight

We have hunted for ghosts here at home in Iowa Park, Texas and as far as Jefferson, Texas. We’ve  sung “You Don’t Have To Call  Me Darlin’ (Darlin’) at full volume on karaoke night five hours from home. We’ve taken selfies laying our backs on the ninth hole of the Cliffs Golf Course at midnight; and I have personally watched a woman laugh so hard she threw up in the bushes – it was a proud moment in my life.

Judy and Gina at Erma Bombeck Writer’s Workshop – they know about the bush incident.

This is all recently, and I am getting old, y’all. The older I get, the clearer it becomes that these women remind me the world does not, technically, suck and it’s because of them. In fact, the love is palpable.

I’m betting on that.

So get on the phone and call a friend, get together and laugh. Your world will look better instantly.

My happy hope for the future … my daughter and her beautiful tribe. Keep it going.

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Giving thanks in a year that will be remembered as one to forget

We are nearing the end of the month of thankfulness, as if there is a season designated specifically for that.

Still, social media is full of people giving their daily lists of all the things they are thankful for, and I read them all.

It is not at all disingenuous, to take the time every day to remind ourselves what we’re thankful for at a time when I and many others I know feel like 2016 will be remembered as one to forget.

I don’t participate in social media’s daily thankfulness because 1) I’m very undependable in that area; and 2) sometimes it’s just nobody’s business what I’m thankful for and would just clue you into my neurosis that you always suspected but have now confirmed.

Why 2016 has sucked for me is probably no different in essence than why it sucked for many people, which is what connects us all. But seriously, 2016 –  Bye, Felicia.

Two years ago, for Christmas, my son bought for me a five year diary that has just a few lines a day to write in. The same days each year are stacked atop the later ones for comparison, I suppose. I made, and kept,  a commitment to write in it daily.

As I said earlier, the past year has not been a fun one for me. Where I used to just write in that journal the mundane bull to remind myself that some things don’t change, I began to remind myself of what I was thankful for.

Sometimes it is easy-breezy. That’s when I know it is a good day. Other days, it appears I have scrawled something desperately hopeful on the page to continue in my glass-is-better-than-half-full mentality, even if it was statistically unlikely the glass was even moist. It has become a daily practice.

What is written within those pages are, for the most part, nobody’s business. But what re-appears daily, is something I don’t mind sharing and something I think I have in common with many of you and Thanksgiving is a good time to mention it.

Group of people hugging outdoors; sunset

I am thankful every day for family and friends – and by family, I mean my beautiful and natural dysfunctional one, as well as my in-laws who accept this outlaw, and those I have chosen and been chosen by as sisters. There are many of those.

Every one of you have made days bearable, and made me laugh until the tears could do nothing but run down my leg.

I can only hope I have returned the favor and unconditional love in some way to someone else.

You have helped me survive and reminded me that no matter what, life is meant to be lived – and with immense joy.

And without a doubt, I am thankful for everyone who reads what I write and indulges this thing I love.

I hope on this day of thanks we all recognize those people and things that make our life wonderful and richer.

Blessings to each of you.

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I’m 50, and I hope no puppies are kicked


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