Meet My Friends, They are Just Like You…

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These are my Ya Ya’s:

Commitment
Perseverance
Determined
Creative
Consistent
Faithful

The terms above will be the descriptions I use for the women that I spent a wonderful, funny, joy and tear filled weekend with in North Carolina a couple of weeks ago. I find these words strong and meaningful. As I keep going, they will know who they are.

For some of us, it has been over 30 plus years since we have laid eyes on each other. During our days in a small high school in New Jersey we went in and out of each others circles for four years. Sometimes in a good way, sometimes not, but always constant, as the closeness was there because we were all experiencing the same high school things in different ways.

Spending five long and relaxing days in the mountains was suggested a couple of months ago and we gathered on Facebook, discussed and committed to it.  Funny how as much as we criticize social media, it has brought so many people together in our huge world to share good times and bad, reunions and family events, when we otherwise may not have known about it.

My four years in high school were filled with many ups and downs,typical roller coaster ride we have all been on.  My last two years were fun and I finally felt like I fit in after moving to such a small close-knit community in the 8th grade in 1973.  From the South.  Can I hear a yay Y’ALL??

So, from all over the country-and I mean all over-Georgia, Florida, Carolinas, New Jersey and Arizona we plane, train and ‘automobiled’  it there and landed at the lovely home of Creative’s parents.  The hospitality was amazing, especially since Creative is an unbelievable cook (as is her older brother-an executive chef in the Hamptons…).  And, since Creative has her own line of baked goods like salted caramel brownies, affectionately called ‘crack’ brownies by us, we were set for a weekend of food, wine, and fun.

I have been to the few high school reunions that we have had and Creative was always there.  As was Consistent and Committed. Our bond has been further sealed by our communications on Facebook.  They were not my best friends in high school, but they certainly were fun and always nice. I consider all of the Ya’s my best friends now.

We Are Mid Century Modern

To accept whatever comes, regardless of the consequences, is to be unafraid — John Cagle

We graduated in 1978.  Billy Joel, Peter Frampton, Led Zeppelin, The Who, The Eagles, the new Saturday Night Live, Welcome Back Kotter, were part of our pop culture. We were off to school, to work in Manhattan, to travel, to become adults.  Through the years we re-grouped and sent letters, cards, phone calls, but as time wore on most of us lost touch.  Then came social media.  And we rekindled old and new friendships through this unique new channel.  I am sooo glad we did.

So in North Carolina we decided that it was time for us middle-aged, no, mid-century modern gals to get together, eat, drink, laugh, cry and re-hash those incredibly crazy stupid days of  high school.  We talked about crushes we had that we now laugh at that were totally unrequited and thank god never materialized. We drank entirely too much wine and beer.  We ate an insane amount of sweets and steak.  We even went to see the local production of “Hairspray” where Creative’s daughter had a featured role.   There were so many things we talked about and I can’t describe it all here.  But there is evidence that we have become stronger and particularly resilient over the past 30 years. . .

The Ya Ya’s and Why I have Named them So…

Creative because she was our hostess.  Love, loss, divorce, single parenting, and re-inventing herself and living her true artful creative life baking in the North Carolina mountains. We do truly adore you and your family.  You got us together and made it happen!

Commitment because after living the crazy media life she settled down, had three children, adopted from Eastern Europe, home schooled them and gave up her journalism dreams to be a Christian wife and mother.  Two are in a great college now making them proud and becoming terrific adults. I’m thinking the writing will come.

Perseverance left our school in her junior year to have her first-born son and become a very young wife.  Over the years and two more kids later, single mothering for a bit,  and a cross-country move she has pushed through the death of her parents, her kid’s teenage years, her own horrible bout of colon cancer, the after effects of radiation and raising her grandchildren with humor, wit and good beer.

Determined because she met and married a guy from spring break that her brother said she would never see again, moved to the cold midwest and raised two children.  She endured the sudden death of her husband by a freak accident, the loss of her only son 10 years later from a rare form of cancer, raised her teenage daughter to be a wonderful young college student, assists her mother, and still goes to live rock concerts in Florida and is a secret beach bum she just won’t admit it.

Consistent because she is.  She has not changed one iota, in looks or personality. Tiny and quick-witted, she has raised two sons virtually on her own while maintaining her friendships with many of our townspeople in NJ and coordinating many of our reunions.  She always has the time to stay in touch, and rescue animals, who make all of us laugh on social media.

Faithful.  She only came for the afternoon and dragged her poor husband along, whom she met while they were missionaries.  She also raised a family and is a nurse.  She embodies her faith and lives it.  Unlike many out there.  That’s why I admire her.

We plan to get together now on a yearly basis–and I hope we do.  So much of the weekend was a cathartic experience for all of us.  Different than a college reunion.  Even different from a high school reunion.  Just a group of pretty awesome girls that I am honored to know.

And we are now one circle.

This post is dedicated to them.

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Carseats, Crackheads, Turtles and Blow Up Sheep…..

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Tortellini-Home and Happy…..

I have some really, AWESOME, wacky people in my life. And in the past week they have made me laugh on so many levels. So I have to tell you some funny stuff-and no shit, it’s all TRUE:

I have a photo buddy that lives in downtown Atlanta near the zoo. Today he called me in frustration and said, on his way to meet someone for coffee, “A crackhead tried to sell me a car seat. For $5. Really????”  This is also the guy that I have helped on some photo shoots in some dubious spots in the ATL and I have not been arrested, yet………

One of my most favorite funny girlfriends, who ran screaming from suburbia and lives up in the country in north Georgia and rescues wildlife-in Lilly Pulitzer skirts no less….had a missing 155 lb tortoise over the weekend. Named Tortellini.  Yep-you heard that right. She did make sure that she was freshly made up for the TV interview that followed .

Then I have an old high school bud that has her own baking company and lives in Asheville. She started it when she lived in the Hampton’s on Long Island and it’s called Bake Hampton. She let us know the other day on Facebook that she was off to meet a customer, in a random parking lot, to deliver her caramel brownies. He meets here in this  parking lot  to buy a  supply of brownies for his wife every month. In cash. Seriously. That is an addiction like no other.

My office roomie and I decided that we needed to purchase a blow up doll as a joke for a guy who likes to be (ahem) inappropriate, in our office.  Did you know you can buy a blow up doll on eBay for like $9.95??? And a blow up sheep??  With moveable jaws and stuff??? I kid you not–but the best part of the whole incidence was us laughing like hell as we were searching on the computer.  Oh, I also texted her a pic of my cleavage in sales meeting today.  Is that sexting?

I am working on a vlog (video blog) with my Anti-Martha  neighbor and unreal cook, Dale.  So, the other nite, after a couple of bottles of Chardonnay, we started filming ‘Dishing with Dale’ where she shows us how to make corn chowdah (guess where she is from?) with oysters and how to burn store bought mac and cheese (for the kids) at the same time.  I can’t wait to finish the edit-since I do not know what I am doing-and get it on here. Depends optional.

I make it a point to surround my self with people funnier than me.  Don’t you agree?