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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Biker Chick to Hiker Chick

A great friend of mine asked me to go hiking in the Wichita Mountains last weekend.

Historically, I hike in much the same way that most people eat blowfish.

I don’t.

But I said I would go anyway.

The first question you ask when you are about to go on your first hiking trip at 50 years old is “what to wear?” Actually, that was the second question for me, with the first being, “Have I lost my mind?

Since my first question was already answered, I spent an inordinate amount of time looking for the right outfit, and luckily found a pair of jump boots my husband bought me when he got a motorcycle. The boots, he said, would protect my delicate ankles.

boots

Check out those protected ankles.

Luckily, my motorcycle mama phase lasted less than three months,  mostly because my addiction to breathing supersedes a need to feel the wind in my hair.

The boots have been in the top of my closet around six years, and I only kept them to  remind me how grateful I am I never thought I would look good in a leather jacket and chaps or I would have those, too.

Still, I laced up my army green jump boots, threw on some jeans and a sweat shirt, pulled my hair back and took off for the Wichita Mountains and the first hike in what I feared was my short life. I had successfully morphed from Biker Chick to Hiker Chick.

Me

Yeah, I don’t believe it either.

Not to say that I am a girly-girl, but I don’t run or exercise much, and I haven’t been in a physical education-type atmosphere in somewhere around 30 years. However, I dance both on land and in my car which turned out to be enough cardio to get me through the three-mile hike.

Early in the hike, we passed a lady who appeared to be approaching her 80’s, with unprotected ankles, wearing running shorts and traversing rocks like a 15-year-old hopped up on Red Bull.

That’s when I realized I should have put some big girl panties on with those boots.

In addition to not being a hiker, I am also not a fan of heights. It probably should have occured to be that I would have to deal with heights in the mountains, but it didn’t. I was too busy protecting my ankles.

After one particular steep ledge where I was writing a heartfelt farewell note to my loved ones in my head, I had a visit with Jesus. And Jesus told me to put on my big girl panties.

I’m so glad I did or I would have missed waterfalls, crystal clear water, four different colors of moss and bison tracks. It was beautiful.

I’m glad I saved those boots, because I’m going back.

Lake

My new church home.

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