My Steel Magnolias Thursday, Jun 23 2011 


It’s been raining for a few days straight here, and as I sat on the balcony drinking coffee this morning I got to thinking about friends. And the term “fair weather” friends. This morning’s coffee comes courtesy of a Frosty mug. (Not like it’s spiked or anything since people usually think of beer being served in frosty mugs. Totally sober here. For real.) I won this mug at a bunko game back when we actually PLAYED bunko. Looking at Frosty, as I have now named him since he is a snowman and I am  clever, gives me a toasty, warm and fuzzy feeling because he makes me think about My Girls. Now we just get together at a restaurant. And rest. And rant. Usually we talk about what’s going on with who and laugh over cocktails. Bunko has kind of become like the game Marco Polo because there isn’t really any rhyme or reason to when it gets called. Sometimes I call bunko when I can’t really “see” things right and want to reach out to my girls. Don’t look for a picture of the Bunko Girls yet. I doubt I’d get that many women to agree on one picture where everyone’s hair looks nice and nobody thinks they look fat. Check out Frosty below mugging for the camera though. He’s sitting there for me, with the dark clouds behind him and the communication tower of some kind just off in the distance. Don’t correct me if I’m wrong about that big thing either. Because then I’ll look stupid and the rest of this won’t make sense so just go with me here.

Even on rainy days when the sun isn’t so bright, I can send out a signal to some girlfriends and see who’s up for a game. I don’t always hear back from all of them, but that doesn’t mean I should assume they are fair weather friends. They just may not be able to communicate what they’re thinking when the clouds are blocking the signals. Some people may actually be those fair weather friends, I guess, and don’t want to get out in the storm lest their hair frizz. I get that too. I know I don’t always want to walk around with frizzy hair either. Occasionally, most of us do put on our hats and stylish rain boots though and just prepare for a bad hair day. Donning that rubbery soled footwear and choosing to brave the storms to help out a friend can be good for the soul. I’m speaking in metaphors here, but sometimes girlfriends can just appreciate a really great pair of shoes too, and it’s as simple as that!

“I promise that my personal tragedy will not interfere with my ability to do good hair.”

– Steel Magnolias

I could go on and on and onandonandonandon with the Steel Magnolia quotes since it’s one of my total faves, but Annelle says that to Truvy in the beauty shop when she’s trying to explain some of the gossip around town regarding her past. It’s really none of their business. The girl wants a job and wants to prove she can be professional. I love it!  I think I may be looking for a job myself with this writing gig, but I also see it as a shout out to my girls to let them know that I’ll be there for them even if I have other things going on myself.  And all of us will always have good hair! You know, I went to high school in the same town that Steel Magnolias was filmed. From what I’ve heard, that scene from the beauty shop was filmed at the home of a school employee. I went to a school for the “gifted and talented.” Some girls, that SOMEHOW I never managed to talk to at that high school, have become GREAT friends now and encouraged me to share my “gift” and “talent.” They’ve been a gift for ME for sure. Perhaps they saw my knack for writing and forecasted the rainy days to come in the present. We connected through Facebook, and I have gotten to know some of them really well. Lovely ladies – all of them gifted. You don’t have to attend a school like that however to discover your own gifts. We all have them. My writing didn’t start until one week ago. That gift sat in a box I guess, like moving boxes often do, and I just now dusted it off and unpacked it. Maybe I didn’t see it because this particular box wasn’t wrapped up in the sparkly kind of paper I love. There wasn’t even a ribbon. (more…)

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Our Little Miracle Monday, Jun 20 2011 


A month ago I started a new chapter in my life. And though I probably shocked some people, and maybe even myself, by finally opening this book to a fresh new page, I don’t feel the need to go back and re-read or re-live anything. I also don’t feel it necessary to cite all my sources and reasons for anything in order to justify my work to anyone anymore. My life is turning into a great NEW book. I like to read thrillers and inspirational books alike. Not often though do I come across one that is both. Who would’ve thought I’d be LIVING such a story?!?! My eyes have been open to everything around me lately, and “coincidences” often carry a deeper meaning for me now. A big “coincidence” was discovering the little Miracle next door.

I moved my kids into a little apartment hoping that they’d think this place was actually fancy. We lived in a nice big house with great neighbors in a Norman Rockwell-esque neighborhood where kids rode their bikes down to the swimming pool and tennis courts everyday. Dog walkers waved in the morning, and you could judge how late you were for the morning commute by where on the street some of them were. I swear, many of them would walk past a particular mailbox at the same exact time every morning. Gotta love ’em!

The day I signed the lease here, I didn’t tell anyone, much less my kids. My son, ever the observer, looked out the car window on our way back to the house from running errands and stared at an apartment complex which “happened” to be the sister complex to the one we are in now. He said, “WOW. I wonder how much it would cost to live in THERE?!? That’s FANCY!” We’d passed these particular apartments for the last several years and the little guy had said nothing before of the sort. “Boy, just hold your horses,” I thought. “Let’s see if you’re still carrying that tune a month from now.”

The day we arrived, we found a bunny on our walkway. Rabbits symbolize new life, and this one came with a little girl named Miracle next door. C’mon. What are the chances that her ACTUAL name would be Miracle?? She and Master P, as some of us like to call him, hit it off IMMEDIATELY. She, like P, is 5 but with the mind and mouth of a 25 year old. Her birthday is just the day after mine, so I’ll celebrate Miracle when I open my gifts. She’s been a gift indeed and helped me to recognize gifts of my own that have perhaps been with me all along. Maybe they’ve traveled with me from move to move like those boxes we never get around to unpacking. On our 2nd day here, I overheard them on the steps eating popsicles as I sat on the balcony. The conversation went like this:

P: Did you know that you wanted to be my best friend when you met me?
M: Uh-Huh.
P: Why didn’t you just say something then?
M: You crazy, boy!
P: Why??
M: ‘Cause I dittent want to yet.
P: Dittent?? What’s that mean.
M: Dittent. DITTENT! Whatcha mean what’s that mean? I just dittent want to.
{Sigh and Eyeroll}
You wanna go to Prom with me?
P: Sure. When we’re older. You want something to drink?
M: Sure! Thanks!
{and P ran in to ask me if he could bring Miracle a snack and drink.
Over a Strawberry Little Debbie and Cherry Koolaid, their conversation continued.}
M: Mmm! That’s good!
P: Yeah.
{Then came the awkward silence as P searched for something to say. THIS is what he came out with…}
P: So… Um… You know… That’s not really BLOOD in those things.
They just look like it cause the cake and Koolaid are red.
{And he SMILED. And she FROWNED. I figure he has plenty of time to work on his skills with the ladies, right???}

Master P and Miracle have been best buddies ever since. They’ve danced to Lady Gaga on the landing between our apartments, and she’s been pretty good about not taking off to play without P since he’s not allowed to wander as far away as she is. When she does leave our little courtyard area, my little guy patiently (as patiently as a 5 yr old boy can) just sits and waits for his little Miracle. There ya go! I took a leap of faith and discovered a miracle on the landing for all 3 of us. (more…)