Archive for the ‘Friends’ Category

REAL social networking

This afternoon was the inaugural meeting of the Buffalo Babes Book Club.  Fourteen women, most of us strangers to each other, met to make introductions, choose our first read, and to establish the ground rules of the club.  As I drove home, I felt connected to a group of women, most of whom I did not know prior to meeting, but who are all interconnected through at least one friend in the group. 

The word “community” is screaming at me right now as the best way to describe what happened this afternoon.  We don’t live in the same towns yet we have all now expanded our network of other like-minded women.  Hey, we have to have at least one thing in common, right?  Books!  We don’t all like the same genre of literature yet we all are open and willing to read what the group’s majority wishes to read.  Most of us said that one of the big reasons we chose to join this group is to get to know other women.  We also all decided that one of the important outcomes from this book club is to have fun.

So here we were, 14 women, some connected to each other but most not.  We came together as strangers and/or acquaintances and left as members of a group.  We are going to be going into each other’s homes for meetings-a scary thing if you’re like me and aren’t a neat freak, ( oh, there’s another thing: most also said they live in a “lived-in” home.  Yeah for me!).

By the time our meting had ended, my spirits had lifted from the day and I felt engaged again.  I was a part of something.  Sometimes I forget that working from home can lead to more isolative tendencies than I care to admit.  It is good to get out.  It is good to socialize, (and not just via social networking tools provided for us on our computer).  It is good to have human contact; a slap on the knee from the person sitting next to you can make one feel so befriended.

No matter how computer savvy we have become and no matter how “connected” we are, there is still nothing like personal one-to-one conversation, making eye contact,  a slap on the knee, or the seemingly ever-elusive hug.  Ummmmmmmmmmm.  Nice!

Is it possible to be TOO tired?

It’s 2:26 pm and I still sit at my kitchen counter with hair stuck out on end and in my favorite PJ’s, Birkenstock’s, and sweatshirt.  I can’t do anything else but sit and stare at this computer screen.

I managed to get out of bed this morning at the normal hour for the sole purpose of getting Mikey off to school and Chris off to his first business trip for Capella.  They were gone no more than 2 minutes when I ran back to the bedroom and crawled into my beautiful bed with my beautiful and warm pooches.  I don’t think I really went back to sleep, but at least I was prone and relaxed.

For 10 days now, my life has been a whirlwind of events, planned and unplanned, which has caused me to lose a great deal of my precious and much loved sleep.  The weekend before last was the Advanced Hockey Tryouts and I worked 49 hours in 3 days with that program.  Monday of last week, Tonya came down to finish final preparations for her wedding which took place on Saturday, so there was a great deal of excitement and work here at the Bonnell home that caused me to reduce my sleep intake.  On Thursday, the cooking began and it didn’t cease until Saturday.  Well, when you feed nearly 150 people and you don’t have a clue what you’re doing, it doesn’t take long for chaos to arrive.

The wedding went off without a hitch so all I need to do now is sleep and regroup.  I have done NO writing which just pisses me right off, but I have mentally planned out my office space once Adara leaves the nest next Monday, so I am all jazzy-pazazzy about that.  I suppose I can hold off just one more week before getting what I want and need.  I can write, make my little collages to help with the creative process, (thanks a ton, Sarah!), and maybe even attempt to start the scrapbook I wanted to make to remember Adara’s engagement/wedding.  I’ve signed up for a Photoshop class to start working again with my digital pictures, (oh how I love George!), and who knows what else I will create in that little room of mine.

So, maybe for now I’ll allow myself a nap.  I generally beat myself up and feel wimpy when I need to rest during the day, but today it really can’t be helped-I am shot.  Goodnight.

Less than Six Degress of Separation

While sitting at a local coffee shop today, I listened and watched as two strangers began a conversation, (albeit mostly one-sided by “nurse-lady” as “retired teacher-lady” tried to work on her crossword puzzle), and although I didn’t mean to eavesdrop, it’s hard not to hear bits and pieces when you’re 4′ away.  I heard the word, “Monticello” and then “my daughter’s first grade teacher”, so I commented that Monticello was where I had grown up and attended school.  This comment of mine wasn’t enough to deem worthy of a response, so I continued on with blogging.  About 10 minutes later, I hear nurse-lady say, “Cavanaugh” followed closely by, “Amundson”, and I just couldn’t hold back. 

“Excuse me,” I said again, “I don’t mean to be listening, but are you by chance talking about Connie Amundson?”

Connie was nurse-lady’s third grade teacher and she was asking retired teacher-lady if she knew Mrs. Amundson.  Retired teacher-lady had worked at Cavanaugh Elementary School, but replied that she didn’t know Connie.  I jumped into their conversation, wanted or not, and told them how my daughters went to Connie’s home nearly every day after school and how Connie had made them eat garlic sandwiches because it was good for them.  I shared with the two ladies, who had now become more interested in what I had to say, that I used to make jelly for Connie and although she couldn’t eat it because of her diabetes, she would hold it up to the sunlight streaming through her window, purse her lips, look at it like a mother looks at her newborn child, (and I am NOT exaggerating when I say that!), and declare, “Exquisite!  Absolutely exquisite!”

I told them of Connie’s mandate to our shared neighbor, Mel, to cut some of the branches off from the tree in his front yard because while sitting in front of her kitchen window she didn’t have a clear line of sight to my front door.  Connie would claim that because we were gone working during the day and thus weren’t around that she needed to keep a watch on our home.  Mel dutifully cut down part of his tree and Connie was pleased.  For us, it just meant that she always knew when we were home which in turn meant that we had better pick up the phone when she called.  There was zero avoidance tolerated!  Connie watched our home so closely that one spring day shecalled Chris at work in downtown Minneapolis to tell him that there were ment at our door trying to deliver a mattress.  Chris tried to calmly assure her that this was not happening, but Connie would not hear of it for she was watching it happen with her own two eyes.  Connie demanded that he come home from work in the middle of the day, and respectfully he did.  Needless to say, the mattress was being delivered to our neighbors home, not ours.

The last couple of years of Connie’s life were very hard and I shared with nurse-lady how she basically ate herself to death but in doing so she loved every minute.  As we were now fondly purging all of the Connie-stories we could remember, nurse-lady fondly remembered how Mrs. Amundson would walk down the row of girls in the 3rd grade classroom and say to one of them that they were next in line to receive her Avon perfume bottle once she had used up all of the perfume.  Nurse-lady didn’t recall if she ever got one of Mrs. Amundson’t perfume bottles, but that didn’t matter.  What mattered was the paper fish that nurse-lady still has from the 3rd grade along with the memory of how Mrs. Amundson praised her fish saying it was, “the most beautiful fish she had ever seen!”  Nurse-lady’s voice sounded exactly like the passionate voice of the Connie I remember.  Even her lips and gestures were strikingly accurate of Connie’s after all of these years.

And, nurse-lady has a pink planner that is the color of Pepto, and every time, she says, she looks at its color, she is reminded of  her of her favorite teacher: Mrs. Amundson.

Nurse-lady graduated from Robbinsdale in 1978.  I graduated from Monticello in 1983.  Adara graduated in 2004, and Kory in 2005.  33 years.  4 women. 3 strangers at a coffee shop connected by 1 mentor and friend who touched us all.