How to befriend someone 50 years later –

About a year ago I got a text message from someone asking if I was Jana Justice that graduated from Helix High in La Mesa California in the 60’s.  Turns out it was the daughter of my high school buddy that I hadn’t seen or talked with in 50 years. Needless to say, I was shocked and delighted to hear from her and over the next year we chatted and texted.

Her in-laws were planning a family reunion for this July 4th just 50 miles from here and could we get together during that time?   We planned to spend 2 ½ days together, see some sights, and “catch up”, and that we did.

I laid awake the night before we were to meet, wondering what I’d say, what would we talk about? What did we have in common after all these years.  I’m picking up a perfect stranger and bringing them into my home for 2+ days, is that okay?  Many questions, but no answers not until we actually stood face to face.

I’ve lost so many loved ones in my life I wasn’t as emotional as she first appeared.  She was so excited to see me and get a hug.  It’s always been unconditional love between us, for lots of reasons.  I helped a very shy, but fine human being, crawl out of her shell her last years of high school, and she and her family were my life-line to sanity and values.  But I wasn’t sure I’d remember enough of the details she seemed to treasure to make this trip a good one for her.

Over the two days we talked about all kinds of events.  I stopped trying to come up with things to talk about and just had a conversation with her.  I asked about her brothers and their well-being.  She talked a lot about her daughter that lives with her and how they make that work.  And I shared some events from my life the last 40 years, but not the really private ones.  I didn’t talk about the things I regret. And I didn’t share my abject failures.

We had a nice time together.  We weren’t goofy teenagers any more, but we were both happy (I think) with where we are now.  There was something else nagging at her, but she never did express it. The trip meant a great deal to her and I was glad we made it happen.  We vowed to continue our conversation as we move along.  I’m looking forward to the next chapter, maybe I’ll know more what question I should have asked.

Any ideas what I should have asked?  Do comment.

Until next time – – –

Vera Wang Quote

Coming from a dysfunctional family has its benefits.  When I look at the piles of historic black and white photos I can make their story anything I want.  Their eyes speak out yet their tales are silent. Yes, the many historic photos are my treasures because I can make them into any type of person I want – and I will.

Since momma died I’ve been searching for me – who am I? What do I want to do? What is my passion? Now that the only person that really truly cared about me has passed away who cares about my joys and sorrows?  I do.  I must.

A fellow writer shared a Vera Wang quote this week that helped give me some focus.  “When you have a passion for something then you tend, not only to be better at it, but you work harder at it too.”  She was born June 27, 1949, the same day but different year than my husband and oldest daughter.  The universe is full of Synchroncity, if we pay attention.

I know who I am, and I know what I want to do (write a historical fiction based on my family) and I know that my passion for helping people can occur in many ways.  What I need to do now is be open to that one new friend that I can help and will in turn help me.  They are out there, in the meantime, I’ll stay true to my vision and goals as I continue to learn to be flexible in the execution of those passions.

Until next time – – –

Goodbye My Friend

It was fun watching the Salt Lake City Soccer Team (RSL) play their game in the snow.  The ball didn’t roll away as fast, the players were ever cautious about slipping and getting hurt, and they won their first game since August of 2016.

After the news was over I looked outside and it was snowing here.  The weather man said it would, but it seemed like fiction – it’s April.  But April showers will bring May flowers.  And you know those are for the living. 

As Tracy finishes up fixing the front flower box I need to decide what flowers will live there and what native plants.  It will have water for the hot dry summer days but otherwise they will have to live on what mother nature provides.  That’s what my mother is doing these final days of her life – living off what she has within her and the morphine that smothers the pain from more suffering.  What a terrible way to end one’s life.  Whether you get treatment or not,  it saps your energy, life and spirits.  There’s no sense sending flowers while she’s still with me because she can’t see or smell them.  So I’ll just have to depend on her knowing that I’m with her in spirit. 

I’d plant her favorite pink rose, but the deer with eat them long before the aphids.  And carnations take too much water.  So pink penstemon will be planted in her remembrance.  Pink was her favorite color – she would have loved that 56 carat pink diamond (since she’s an April child) that was just at Sothebys.  She will pass on this week and I will be thankful for the snow.  The peace and quiet it provides as it covers the scars on the earth – much like death.  May you rest in peace my friend.

As for me, I shall begin life again, sine it too has been on hold since August of 2016, waiting for the phone to ring with a strange voice on the other end telling me my best friend has passed on.  I’ll miss her – but I’ll watch for the pink penstemon to bloom each year and remember.

A Look Back at 2016

It’s past time for my annual review of goals, but I’m going to do it anyway.  I usually try to write this prior to Winter Solstice, but this year it’s been hard to focus. 

My Mother had taken the time to reflect on the past year and commented that she had no idea how I had managed to get through 2016, little alone reach any of my goals.  I thought about that and decided I should look back at the year first, then look at what I might have accomplished.

We started the year living in our 25’ travel trailer.  We had sold our home in Escalante, UT and had purchased a new (to us) home in Enoch, but had allowed the sellers to rent back until February 1st.  We put everything we owned in our commercial building in Escalante and went to Quartzsite, AZ for the month of January.  Tracy was changing his hobby/craft one more time from photography to lapidary arts and needed some equipment.

It didn’t take him long to find an 18” and a 24” rock saw.  The bigger problem was how to get them home.  “No problem”, he says.  “We’ll buy a utility trailer and run them home”.  After driving nearly every street in Quartzsite, we finally found an old beater that would work.  It looked like the devil, but was of sound structure and had bigger tires than most.  The saw dealer arranged for the parks’ forklift use and the saws were loaded in no time.

I took advantage of the opportunity and purchased an old mine car complete with rails for front yard décor.  It just fit in the unused trailer space.  We hooked that poor trailer to the truck and headed for Enoch.  That was after we spent a whole day wiring the lights on the trailer.  The ones there didn’t work and we couldn’t haul it 500 miles through 3 states without lights. 

It was a 3-day “adventure” to “run” the trailer home, park it and return. Sore rumps and wet weather made for a “just drive” trip.  On the return trip, we got to the motel at Henderson and were greeted with a pack of big horn sheep. Not something you expect to see in the heart of the Las Vegas Valley.  But all that lovely, well-kept grass was too much to resist for their afternoon nap in the shade of the city park trees.

We returned to Quartzsite for some beads, picks, signs, and the 6 buckets of rough rock we purchased at the Saturday Auction.  Those and the 4 buckets of found rock were tucked under the trailer and we headed to La Mesa, Ca. to see my mom.

Her health has continued to decline and as trustee for the Family trust I needed to gather paperwork for the tax returns.  We took her to Balboa Park and the natural History Museum.  She had ever been.  It’s a place I spent many hours as a teenager, meditating as the pendulum clock knocked over little wooden pegs that marked every 5 minutes, as it swayed back and forth in long arcs across the shiny floor.

Time to return to Quartzsite and retrieve the trailer and rocks.  The sellers had left our new home the 15th of January and the house was ready for repairs.  We were ready for our next major adventure – or so we thought.

Until next time – – –

Thanksgiving Week 2016

We had quite the rainstorm this AM.  Now it’s turned to snow.  At first it wasn’t sticking, but now it is.  I need to visit the post office today, but I’ll wait until it quits.  Glad we got all the outdoor chores done before this started. I still have to store the patio chairs, but now they’ll have to dry first.

 Good friends came into town yesterday and we spent several hours “catching up”.  It was nice to just sit  and talk.  Spent the rest of the day writing our Thanksgiving cards and getting our family letter out.  They’ll go in the mail today.

Now I can start working on earrings for the Christmas Market in two weeks. I have Christmas Candy Baskets ready, except for putting in the candy.  Rock Candy, of course.  A few will have chocolate peppermint pieces.  In the meantime, I’ll try and get the blessing blanket done for a wonderful lady who is expecting her first in March. Then I’m going to go back to knitting baby outfits – more fun.  I’ve found  some new needles I’m going to order that replace the sets of  5 double pointed (DP) needles with three bent double pointed needles.  DP needles are okay with larger yarn, but I have trouble holding onto No. 1 and 2 needles.  Old hands are not as pliable.  It will be fun to try something new.  I have several patterns I’d like to try that call for small size DP needles.  And I need to settle on a project for the hospital.  I’m thinking a scarf would probably be the best, I won’t have to count stitches, just knit. Then again, I might be better off keeping track of a pattern – busy mind to go with busy hands.  On second thought, maybe I’ll do both.  LOL

November is about over and I have much to be grateful for – a wonderful husband and partner, good kids doing their thing, a wonderful house that is warm and dry, plenty of food and #enough money to live a nice life.  Every year, about this time, I sit down and go over my goals from last year and make new ones for the year to come.  I’ll do that this week.  Stay tuned – – –