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In Haiku and Photos

Talking with new friends
Fresh in from California
When did they grow up?

Grilling with his dad
Just like countless times before
But it’s been too long

Quilts laid out for kids
Food is the only thing that
can make them slow down

Now lighting sparklers
Twisting and twirling around
Grabbing – OW! Burned hand

Night is winding down
Friends drive off; burn is treated
Happy, happy day

Tomorrow at this time, most of our stuff will probably be packed on the moving truck.  I wonder if the whole moving thing will hit me then.  Or will it be when we’re getting on the plane?  Or will it be in a few weeks, when we don’t “come home” from Seattle?

I have been a packing fiend the past few days.  I didn’t realize quite how much stuff we had scattered through Mom and Dad’s house, but it’s all done now, except for a few key entertainment things: the Wii, a bin of DVD’s, the lego bin, my computer.  Easy enough to finish up this afternoon and evening.  (And in the case of my computer, probably late tonight.)

This may be my last post before we hit Seattle, so here’s a proper Bench Monday send-off:

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The tape gun and I are very close friends now!  We have a lot in common.  You need to keep us fed to keep us working, and neither of us works as well out in the humid garage as here in the nice air conditioning.  It bites when it’s in a bad mood, though.  I don’t tend to bare my teeth that often.  (I hope.)

As I was lying in bed last night, a list of people began forming in my mind.  These are the people without whom this move might not have happened.  I think I’ve thanked them all profusely in private, but they also deserve a public hip-hip-hooray:

Mom and Dad: Duh.  Hello, they offered up their home long before the thought would have occurred to us.  They rearranged the house, gave up grandparental spoiling rights for a few months, and allowed us the greatest gift of all: choice.  Because of them, we had the choice of following our dreams when Jason was laid of.

The G Family: Who have put Jason up rent-free since he got to Seattle in early March.  They gave up their privacy and their guest room (a special Thanks to all their other visitors during this time, who were displaced to couches and play rooms), and they provided transportation to and from the airport, great advice, and amazing friendship.  Also to their boys for being our boys’ built-in, ready-and-waiting friends in a new place.

Jason’s Mom and Dad: Their basement/garage has been our storage area since December, when we started getting the house ready for market.  Like my parents, they have also been extremely supportive of our decision to move so far away.

My Swister: She told me it was okay if I couldn’t afford to come up for her law school graduation in May, which was incredibly selfless and made me more determined than ever to be there.

The R Family, here in the ATL: Heather keeps me sane (and sometimes simply identifies with and validates my insanity), their pool kept us entertained, and the whole family are the best friends we could ask for.

The O Family in OKC, and the E Family in Wyoming: They provided housing on our drive across country, and they both gave me awesome birthday celebrations, too.  Not to mention, they’re simply great people & friends!  (Best of luck to the O Family with your own move this weekend!)

The June Mommies: They keep me sane, too, and are an amazing gift.

Our Awesome Realtor, Cheryl: She worked hard and was so helpful in selling our home.  She had an emotional interest in doing the best she could for us, and it showed.

Dave Ramsey and his Total Money Makeover: We’d been following his plan for nearly two years when this thing began, and without that plan, we would have been in much more dire straits.

Everyone Else: Who has prayed for us, visualized us in Seattle, bit their tongue if they thought we were nuts, and loved us.

…and last but definitely not least, Jason, Nicolas and Kalen: Jason made the biggest leap possible outside his comfort zone in moving three thousand miles away, not knowing how long it would last, and never having lived apart from family before.  The stress has been unbelievable, I know.  The boys have handled this thing with amazing grace for nine- and six-year-old kids.

To all of you (and to anyone else I’ve forgotten in my current scatterbrained state):

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No, not the movie.  The MeMe.

Heather tagged me for it, so why not?

The Rules
1) Link to your tagger and list all these rules in your blog.
2) Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
3) Tag 7 people at the end of your post by including links to their blogs
4) Let them know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog
My Seven Facts
1) I have never seen the movie Seven, and I probably never will.  I trust my dear husband’s knowledge of my ability to handle psychological thrillers, and he recommended I pass on that one.
2) I had double knee surgery at the age of 22 for misaligned patellae.  (aka Crooked kneecaps that had rubbed away most of the cartilage in there.)
3) I love roller coasters.
4) My favorite alcoholic drink is Bailey’s Irish Cream, neat.  I can’t understand why you’d want it over ice…it’s sooo scrumptious at room temp.  And when you order it neat at a bar, they give you a shot.  WTF??  I want a glass of it, baby!
5) My eyes were blue for years, changing their shade depending on what I wore.  I woke up one morning when I was fourteen or fifteen years old, and they were grey.  They have been ever since.
6) Most of the Publix holiday commercials bring me to tears, no matter how many times I’ve seen them.  Especially the Valentine’s Day one…the one with the cake?  Moms of boys, you understand, right?
7) I don’t get motion sick.  I am eternally grateful for this, and the subsequent ability to read in the car.
My Tagees

Um, I don’t know that I have seven people to tag.  Let’s try Sheri, Karah, j. (especially since she hasn’t blogged in like forEVER), Diana (because she left me a comment today – thanks!), and…darnit, Heather already tagged Lauria!  Sorry, my blogginess is not yet to the level that I feel comfortable tagging anyone else.  There are plenty of blogs I read daily, but I don’t “know” their authors that well yet.  We’ll just go with four and call it a day, eh?

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During our last year of college, we gathered each Sunday night with some really good friends to watch X-Files and play cards.  There were six of us – three couples.  We’d all met in the choir in college.  (All three couples are still happily married, twelve years later, with seven kids among us.  The mind boggles.)

One couple committed the forgivable sin of moving halfway across the country after graduation.  (And are still greatly missed.)  The four of us left behind in Atlanta continued to meet on Sunday nights, although the X-Files portion of the evenings faded away.  Our main reason for gathering?  Laughter and cards.

Mostly we played Spades and Oh Hell (aka, ‘I Hope You Get F*$#ed’).  For Spades, we partnered by gender: girls vs. boys.  We had some beer and some Fuzzy Navels and some Screwdrivers.  But mostly we played cards and laughed until we couldn’t speak.  There was a lot of sarcasm, and a lot of bird-flipping.  And lots of cussing.  Heather and I tend to swear quite a bit when we play cards.  We were half frightened that our first-born children would come out of their respective wombs cussing and bidding.

So, we had kids, within a few months of each other.  Poor Heather had nine months of nausea, and our weekly Spades nights became monthly or so.  Nicky was born so prematurely.  And we were all so tired.  And the forty-five minute drive we used to take to see each other each Sunday suddenly became much more daunting.  We got together a couple of times a year to play cards.  Three years later, we each had second sons.  Again, tired, but now even more so…and the “meaning to” get-togethers rarely materialized as time flew by at the speed of light.  When we did get together, we spoke in reverent tones of the “someday” when our four boys could all play together and keep each other entertained, and we could enjoy some unadulterated adult time.  We all missed just being friends.

The kids are now old enough for this, and they beg to see each other often.  Unfortunately, we still see each other rarely.  Different school systems, different activities…and we’re still a thirty-minute drive apart.  Heather and I had a Mommy Date (aka, sitting in the chairs in the magazine section at Barnes & Noble chatting for as long as we want, coffees in hand, then heading out to lunch before getting home to meet the school buses) on Friday.  We manage Mommy Dates three or four times during the school year.  And we had a thought at this particular one – why don’t we get together for dinner Sunday night?  The kids would be thrilled, and we might just get some cards and adult conversation in.

So we did.  They came over late this afternoon, and the boys went out back in the beautiful, crisp fall weather to play.  We played Oh Hell, with frequent breaks for child disagreement mediation, and Jason kicked our collective rears.  We popped the frozen pizzas in the oven, the boys came inside, and we curbed our language.  We went through a lot of Coca-Cola.  Heather and I kicked the guys’ rears in Spades.

Man I miss that.

My new friend, Tina, and I voted together today.

I met Tina when we were parking our cars, about 1/4 mile from the early voting site.  She was getting her portable chair out of the trunk, too, and we walked to the line together.  We talked, we stood or sat together and read, she read while I crocheted.  Three hours later, we left, knowing little more about each other than that she has a 22-year-old daughter and a mother who is a 16-month breast cancer survivor (Go, Tina’s mom!!) and I have 8- and 5-year-old sons and a mother who is a 25-year Hodgkin’s survivor (Go, Mom!).  Neither of our mommies likes us to worry about them, but we do anyway.  She works in a lab, and I am a stay-at-home mom.  We both like to smile and joke.  I stopped short of hugging her good-bye when we parted company at our cars (I know not everyone is a hugger like I am), but I sort of wish I hadn’t.  I thought about getting a photo of the two of us together, but my camera was without its memory card.  We avoided talking politics, beyond some generalities, and I wonder if today was a momentous one for her, as it was for me.

So, Tina, whose last name I don’t know, who drives the SUV, thank you for sharing your morning with me.  I’ll be thinking of you on Tuesday.

My boys

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