The past showed up

Today was a day of story telling. It was fun, interesting, enlightening, and gave me lots of things to think about.

I had lunch today with a new and old friend. It was cool to make an acquaintance with someone I went to high school with. We moved in very different circles, so we were not really friends, but there were some commonalities. Now in the fullness of life we connected on many levels.

Her name is Loree and I look forward to knowing her better. She has had a very interesting life, and her passions have part of that history thing I love, and a love for books. We shared the things that consume us, for me writing and for her Titanic.

One thing we share is we both have widowed mothers. We had lots of similarities in our maternal relationships and we are both from families of all girls. We were talking about the lifestyles of elderly folks and while we were talking our very fun waitress, Amanda, shared that she had observed many loving couples of that certain age who, to her surprise, were not married and had no intention of marrying. Many of them would lose benefits should they remarry. Loree and I both shared that our mothers felt the same.

Here is a pic of Amanda who works at Chili’s on Oracle in Oro Valley. Shout out to Amanda! She does a great job.

So my walk down memory lane was also one that made me realize I have forgotten a lot of people. Kind of strange experience. Loree has kept track of so many of our classmates and it was so interesting to hear what had gone on while I moved on.

So, to catching up and carrying on. Let’s see what happens.

Cheers!

-N

 

My Friend

I’ve spent the last few months wondering where a new friend right here in good old Tucson would come from. My long time bff moved away, a sad and revealing time, and my mind found that the loss of my close buddy left an empty spot.

So…I’ve started looking around in all the places prospective friends might linger and discovered most of the peeps I’m close to don’t live near me.

Is it me?

But then, out of the blue, someone I went to school with made contact with me on Facebook. What’s interesting is I didn’t remember this person from high school. High school was no picnic for me. I went to one high school for the first two years, then the last two years at another. Made it hard to connect with people who had gone to school together all of their lives. I was an outsider. No fond homecoming or reunion moments for me.

Back to the friend. What has been special is that she has sought me out and we have had fun connecting. I won’t say re-connecting since no connection was ever made. Yet it is there, and she is a very interesting person. We have lunch planned for Thursday. Yay!

I will keep you posted.

Cheers!

-N

What makes a friend?

What makes one human appealing as a friend? Are there certain characteristics and behaviors that attract others and draw them into a circle of friends?

Because my father was military we moved a lot when I was young. Consequently my friendships were very transient.  I believe this made it difficult for me to form lasting friendships.  My sisters and I are close, but they now have their own families to concern them. I had no real idea of what a lasting friendship looked like.

Until I met Kristen. For some reason she wanted to be my friend.

We met at work in 1985 and are still friends to this day, although she now lives in  St. Louis. We connected immediately, even though she was ten years younger than I. She would call me and want to hang out, would invite me to join her for a weekend at Rocky Point, Mexico. She thought of me when she was going somewhere and would often get me a small gift. She would drop in with a rose bush or small tree for my yard. She spent weekends with Chuck and I and the kids, she liked being with us.

She taught me how to be a friend. When she married I actually was a bridesmaid, not the wedding singer I usually was (although I did sing a song too), which felt very special. We spent lots of years enjoying our families together.

Her move made me realize I didn’t have a network of friends.

The people I know don’t seek me out. I would love to have a couple of girlfriends to do things with yet, I hesitate. Maybe I’ve become the kind of human that others say “Hi” to but I offer nothing to motivate them to be buddies. Perhaps I need more self reflection to know what is about me that keeps acquaintances from getting closer. I see pics on social media of people getting together, making the effort to connect, enjoying human interaction, and it gives me pause.

I know writing and sewing are solitary activities, but I love talking and laughing at happy hour or at my house with the music playing and a bonfire fire going and sharing a bottle of wine with friends.

Is it me?

Cheers!

-N

A flurry of good

I’ve posted recently about Chuck’s lay off and his job search. This has been the soundtrack running in the background of the last few weeks. He had an interview with his first choice, then got a call back from them for a second interview and was given the non-official thumbs up. 20160416_201738_resized

We had a celebration dinner with Chuck’s buddy Bob and his wife Kim at the Silver Saddle Steakhouse. It was old, had great ambiance, wonderful food and was packed.  20160416_203418_resized

We talked and laughed together while enjoying the fact that Chuck had worked hard at his job hunting and almost by accident found a position he was perfectly suited for.  He and Bob were both glad Chuck found something here in Tucson so they could continue to golf, target shoot and talk hunting.

Last Friday Chuck was called and officially offered the job. They contacted him this morning about coming in to do his new hire paperwork! God was smiling on us!

The second bit of good was receiving the proof of my paperback last Monday. I spent this last week taking my time as I poured over the story looking for formatting, typo and grammar issues. I found a few things but overall it was in great shape. It was a surprise how different it looked in book form and the things that stood out on the page.  As I was reading through it, the story captured me. I got involved in it again, the way I did when I was writing it.

Today I plan to work on those corrections and get the final draft ready for the reading public. When it is ready I will post the link here and on my Facebook author page.

Another good thing was my hubby becoming a fan of Don Massenzio’s books. He read Blood Orange and has started on the Frank Rozzani Detective novels. It’s great he loves reading as much as I do. It’s also cool he found books he likes written by a blogger friend.

Shout out to Don!

Cheers!

-N

 

So ya’ll, let’s talk

Well it appears life went on while I had my head wrapped up in stuff. Stuff, that’s all I can say to describe it.

Chuck’s interview went okay, he felt positive and now we wait and see.  I hope they call him. He is still putting the applications out there. He and I cleared my office library of most of my books. I only kept my research materials and the fiction hardback book shrine. Chuck’s Clive Cussler and Louis L’Amour, and my Janet Evanovich and P.D. James for example. They comfort me.

The big bookshelves are moving out and I will make a sewing corner in here. It really will be my woman cave!! I will have writing, music, books and sewing. The wine cabinet is around the corner. He may never see me again.

I ordered the proof copy of my book and look forward to seeing it and making sure it is the best it can be. Looks like it will be available for sale by the first of May. When that happens dreams come true. I will post a link at that time.

We had dinner Friday with Rick and Jayne Kelly, our long time neighbors, at Bubb’s Grubb (yes it is a real place and so Catalina.) We’ve watched each others kids grown up. It was so relaxed and fun, and Jayne and I decided it needed to happen more. The weather was starting to change, cooling off and sprinkles, which makes Jayne and I very happy. She and I are both cold weather fans. Before you say anything about us not knowing what cold weather is Jayne is from Minnesota and I lived in northern Japan and North Dakota. It is just our nature, and we commiserate when it gets hot here.

Saturday was a day spent running errands, cleaning around the property and enjoying the cool temps. Millie rode around with us for most of the day and when we stopped into Rawhide Feed store in Catalina for finch seed, she sat very well next to me while Chuck shopped. Some people came in the door and I heard “there’s a live animal.” The said they were on a scavenger hunt and one thing they had to do was pet a live animal. As they petted her they took pics for proof. I asked if they would email me the pics for the blog but I haven’t heard anything from them. If I get the pics I will post them.

Saturday night was spent watching my hillbilly buddies on “Mountain Monsters”. I freakin’ love those guys. They make me laugh out loud at their antics. I would love to crash through the woods following Wild Bill and Huckleberry.

Sunday started out very relaxed with coffee on the back porch, then we went to worship at Casas Church. The music was amazing and while the pastor was talking it started to rain, and I’m talking a roof pounding deluge. It was so cool. The rest of the day it rained off and on and when our friends Bob and Kim Violette came over for dinner, we sat eating, listening to jazz and the rain. Perfect.

Filled the bird feeders, had coffee and did some yard work. Now I’m at the computer.

So ya’ll. Tell me what you did this weekend. Now, here we are dear readers. I changed my page theme this morning. What do you think?

Cheers!

-N

David Bowie

I remember the first time I saw a picture of David Bowie and it confused me. Who was he? What was he? Even in my teenage confusion I was also immensely curious about this human.

Now he’s gone.

I had a gay friend who loved Bowie. George knew every song lyric and I think he might have wanted to be Bowie. After George’s death Bowie was always linked in my mind to my friend. That’s okay, I think Bowie would have been glad to know it.

I can’t say he was one of my favorites but I did react to his music when I heard it. I was a ZZ Top, Led Zepplin, Fleetwood Mac, etc music listener in my youth. Rock and Roll with guitars, bass and drums-loud. His style was so fluid and compelling. Fame!

My daughter watched The Labyrinth all the time. It was one of her all time favorites and when she found out I knew who Bowie was when I was her age she was blown away.

Yes your mom’s old but she is also cool!!

Also he had two different colored eyes-that’s majestic!!

Rock on- Let’s Dance.

-N

 

Morning

I’m sitting on my back deck drinking my French roast coffee with stevia and cream surrounded by birds chatting, the occasional mosquito and barking dog, wondering what to write.

I live in the desert but you wouldn’t necessarily know that by the look of my yard. At least the tame part of it. My house sits on an acre near the Santa Catalina mountains. We are a little higher in elevation than Tucson and because of our proximity to the mountains we always have a bit of a breeze. It keeps us a few degrees cooler than the city.

Half of the acre where the house sits is surrounded by grass, trees, honeysuckle vines and roses. It doesn’t look like the Sonoran desert and I am glad of that. Most people say the desert is beautiful. I say it is brown, dry and full of things that stick you, bite you and suck the fluid from your body. I’ve lived here for too many years.

To me the desert is the best during monsoon season. When it is wet and plants that hide until the rains come make it look welcoming. When it is hot and dry even the mountains seem to shrink from the sun and look drab, but when the rains come they seem to swell and appear lush and dark. I’ve pointed this out to others and they can see what I mean. It’s almost like they are waiting to suck up the moisture.

Happy, that’s how they seem.

It is like humans. When we are lacking the support, love and fellowship of others we flounder. Our minds are so wrapped up in what we are lacking it is hard to feel good about ourselves. We know something is missing. I see children who need to feel cherished and their hearts are thirsty for acceptance and love. Sometimes they start seeking this outside of the home, many times making this worse and their souls start to dry out.

Just like my plants, people look happy when they are nourished. My plants give back by providing cool shade or soothing color. My herbs, fruits and vegetables provide me with the nourishment I require. I take care of them and they take care of me. Isn’t this what we need to do for each other as humans? It is the continuity and connection of all life God has placed on this little planet in the middle of an massive galaxy and an unimaginably immense universe.

I am but a speck on this earth, but the birds I feed and the plants I water depend on me. Much the same as the humans in my life need my love and encouragement. The true desert plants and creatures don’t need me to care for them, they wouldn’t miss me if I were gone. They belong here-that is the plan. The ones I placed here for my comfort require my attention and nurturing. If I go away the desert will continue as it always has. My place as a steward of the others requires me to place them in the care of another should I leave. It is my responsibility to them.

It is the same with the people in my life. I make sure they have what they need to continue wherever they are and they give back by flourishing where they are planted. I have two children who have grown into balanced, loving individuals who are pursuing their goals and making good lives for themselves. They give back to me with their success and happiness.

Who do you need to cherish? Who needs to nourish you?

-N

A human mixture

Last night I hosted a Christmas party for some family and friends because my son and his wife were here. They are staying for a short time before we all go to California to spend Christmas at Disneyland and I knew that they would like it.

The fun I find in hosting is when the mix of guests works and how comfortable people become together.  Last night was a perfect reflection of the magic of a group of humans who find similarity while enjoying food, drink and music.

Of course there is the family connection and we had four generations there!

Then the friends. My bff and her family are like family, and my husband’s bestie and his wife are the same.  These two group’s know each other because we have partied together before and the men golf together.

There were also some good friends of ours who are more the age of my son who were also acquainted with other family members from years ago, they went to school together.

The only ones who had no previous connections were our neighbor and his son. But it didn’t take long to fix that-they are cool people and easy to get to know. It seemed that there was a feeling of fun and community which always is pleasant to see happen.

The ones who couldn’t make it were missed, but the easy conversation, plentiful food and drink and a brilliant Christmas tree wove its magic through the crowd. I was charmed and happy to see these people connecting while they traveled the path of the human desire for happy and fulfilling experiences in settings of celebration.

My son and daughter-in-law enjoyed a seasonal welcome to Catalina and I was blessed that so many people would come out and spend a Friday night this close to Christmas with us.

-N

 

When did she grow up?

My husband and I were about to walk into World Market and just as the doors opened I looked at the smiling cashier who greeted us and a moment of recognition flashed across my face. At the same moment it flashed across hers. “Hi,” we both said excitedly.

It was Zoe and she was grown up. When did that happen? We both did the how are you, it’s been a while thing and say hi to your folks and then she started ringing up her next customer.

That was weird.

I had the same experience the night before when my friends came over with their kids. These little humans were still very young in my mind but here they were so grown up, with lives and friends and it was strange to me.

When did that happen?

I asked my husband once when did he first feel “grownup?” He kind of mumbled and I don’t really remember what he said. For me it was that moment when I realized I could take a road trip and I didn’t need anyone to tell me how to get there. When I was young and our family would travel it amazed me that they knew just where they were going. How did they know which road to take and which turn to make? How did they figure out where to go in the airport to find the gates and get on the right plane?

I can do that now.

Is it the decision making process for humans that make them a grownup? Getting up on time and being appropriately dressed for work? Is it paying bills and taking out the garbage? Is it the process of figuring out whether another person is a good person or bad? Is it knowing how to get across town or across the country and arriving where I intended to be?

I have always felt young at heart and I still am surprised sometimes at my chronological age. I remember being twenty and thinking people my age now were really old and had no life left. Once you are past that are you a grownup? Commitment to work, relationships and life are part of it. When does it happen?

I would like to hear when you felt you were a grownup.

-N

Learning how to be a friend

Most of my early life was spent traveling with my family as we moved from one air base to another. I enjoyed the different places we lived. I liked traveling. When dad retired in 1971 I wasn’t ready for it and told him, pleaded with him to wait so we could go more places. He was finished and we stayed in Tucson. I still have that restless gene. I was a Junior in high school. Except for several months I lived with my aunt in Arlington, Texas I was stuck in Tucson. I graduated from high school, married, had my two children and stayed in Tucson. It was not what I wanted but that was how it was.

The problem with my early life as an Air Force brat and this steady relocating was that I really never made long term friends.

If you know you will be leaving there is no need to make attachments. I didn’t know how to make friends. Humans need others for balance and support in life. I didn’t understand that concept. I had my family and my parents friends and their families. In many cases these people moved with us. Yet I cannot say I had any close friends. I was pretty tight with my cousins but they always lived somewhere else.

I didn’t really didn’t know what a friend was.

In my early 30’s I went to work for a group of heart surgeons. One of the women hired to do filing was about 10 years younger than me and having the time of her life living in a new town and making friends. She was fun and interesting and did things I was curious about and wanted to hear about. We struck up a friendship. Rather than talking about kids and illnesses and doctor appointments she was going out dancing and taking weekend trips to Mexico. I had done the bar scene but going with a group of friends to festivals and the beach in Mexico was never in my flight plan.

One day she asked me to go to Rocky Point with her and after a call to my husband to clear it with him I said sure. Just like that.

That began the discovery of what friends were all about. We are still fast friends to this day. We have shared secrets and dreams, and been there for each other through all those life events that mark our time on Earth. All of those sayings about what friends are apply to she and I.

She has been my friend for nearly 30 years. She taught me how to be a friend.

-N