Our Story

We had a “meeting” set up for 10am. And we met. Hi, nice to meet you. I’m Alberta or Ramona or Jill. But what we really did was to sit in that coffee shop and tell our stories.

Each of us has one or two thousand of these. Tales of our locations or our health or our secret dreams spilled out upon the tabletop as we went around and back and forth. We understand the power. Storytelling is from forever.

We may forget these stories are important in our impatience to hear ourselves talk. One minute, I force myself to shut my mouth and open my ears wider. Even the stories people refuse to tell are telling. Because Everyone’s life has a story or two thousand. And we’ll always be in the mood to listen for familiar truths.

Story teller, moment giver. There’s no shame in your tale. How noble and freeing it is to attempt to deliver one’s truth, whatever that is to you. Amen and keep those stories coming.

(This post originally published Feb. 21,2012. Six months ago, I met with some fabulous women at a local coffee shop. So much has happened since. Tomorrow, we will share our stories in the same coffee shop. )

Camp Shalagh Began

So far we’re having a happenin’ summer. There have been parties and pools and outings. And the real camps have yet to begin. My new jobs as cruise director and camp counselor are cramping my post deliveries. I’m doing pretty well at everything else but.

This past week, my life-long friend and soul-sister Sarah and her son Charlie came to visit us. Camp Shalagh began. Sarah and I met over forty years ago when I fell off her pier near Annapolis, MD, and busted my lip open. We journeyed to her old house to see this place and took our kids.

Rock Stars

Lace cap hydrangea and lady roses

Her son is slightly older than my son so he had to put up with a little shadowing. I’d brought a sacrifice to the alter of friendship and it had been accepted. They played on the playground she did when she was little. We had lunch at the Double T diner. We all got along despite the attempted whining on their part. We just wined later.

We enjoyed lots of hours on my back porch in the beautiful weather chatting and sipping Pinot Grigio. Our kids caught fireflies, talked about Greek mythology, hit golf balls at the house, played rock star in the garage, and threw rocks in the mud of the low tide river. We chilled, grilled, and enjoyed the visit. Because that’s what vacationing and summer is all about. Being not doing.

Huge thanks to Sarah for the forethought of the visit and setting a spell with me and mine. Calendars have also been synchronized for the rest of the summer’s fun including a Williamsburg trip and a beach trip. I’m setting it in place and then enjoying the ride. Next year, I’ll make sure to have my posts stockpiled for you amusement. Enjoy the pictures and your Fourth of July.

Chillin’ at the art gallery


Trust Deposits

This week has been jam packed with stuff doin’. Not always the getting done accomplishing stuff. My dirty floors are testimony to that. This was the being with me, family, and friends kind of doin’ stuff.

If you don’t know or can’t tell, I’m a busy brain girl. Exuberant and thoughtful add up to busy brain. And this weeks mulling over has been thematic. A concept I culled from a once very popular book a friend suggested I read got stuck in my head. And thoughts merged and were pinned on a board themed “Relationship Goodness”.

First day of my week I was honored to accompany my dear and long time friend to a practical examination to achieve a license. I was her stunt model and she passed. Like old times, we were together when the going was tough enough to need someone you trusted.

Time spent with my “no more school” kid is about to go from spent to endured for the week. And he has been “testing, testing, testing, is this parent on?” Minoring in whining and lying, I am trying not to have a major problem spending more time with him. I have been intentionally exuding authority and confidence and trying to distract with humor. Point is, there’s a relationship I’m maintaining here. Annoying but important.

Tonight I had the privilege of attending an impromptu bachelorette dinner for a dear friend created this year. She had all her other friends there and it was the reaffirmation of friendship and support that you get when food and wine and a lovely breeze are flowing and blowing. Travis the waiter gets kudos here.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People was suggested to me by the bride to be. Dumb name for a really kickin’ book. And the author talks about how relationships, professional or personal, rely on an account of trust established between the people in the relationship. Both people make deposits to the surplus and it grows. A surplus deposit and you’ve got an amazing machine, but if neither makes deposits, there’s no trust and no surplus and no relationship.

You know how you make a relationship surplus? You consider the other person. You ask how they are. You show up every time they need you or they have events. You invest in the account and in them. It’s the stuff families are supposed to be made of. It’s what my husband and I automatically do. And it’s very important to having the life and the love and the family and the friendships you want. You ask “How are you today? How are your Mom and Dad? Kid? Wife? Life?” And then you listen.

Best of the Boyfriends

I remember a discussion I had once with someone about sucky mean people and it went something like this. Wouldn’t it be nice if all the sucky bosses and ex-boyfriends would all go live on an island together and make each-other miserable? And all of us nice people could roam around the rest of the world and not be concerned with bumping into them. I think I liked the imagery of that whole island imprisonment thing. And maybe one of them is Dr. Moreau.

Of course, those boyfriends had some good points. I remember thinking, wouldn’t it be nice if you could take all of the best qualities of all the ex-boyfriends and combine them into one person. The over-confidence of one, the thriftiness of another, the adventuress spirit and wanderlust of another. The artistic talent, good nature, awesome sense of humor, or amazing eyes of another. So many good qualities thrown out with the bath waters of the ex-beaus.

But none of them had the kind temperament and the patience that my husband shows with my son. In the end, I shopped for this quality in a man who would father our child. He’s got a lot of those good qualities as well. On our last date, I asked him,” What do you like about me?” He said, “I never know what to expect.” My answer to him was that he makes me laugh and he gets me (and he lets me be me). He’s also my friend because the other criterion of friendship was to be clever, honest, and kind. My ex-boyfriends weren’t ever a friend to whom I could entrust the gentle care of my fragile heart much less that of my child, my heart outside my body. Thanks, Mark.