“Unforgettable Friends”

A friend and I talked today for the first time in quite a while. As we caught up, we laughed. I felt so much stress dissipate throughout my whole body. Thank you, my friend!

We talked about friends who are unforgettable. She asked me, “What makes a friend unforgettable? You should blog about that!”

What a great idea! Two great ideas!

First great idea? Ask for people to comment on things they’d like to read about. They can be story prompts, they can be questions about things like Unforgettable Friends, or they can even be general things about me – only politically correct questions, nothing creepy or inappropriate.

Second great idea? “Unforgettable Friends.”

The song, “Unforgettable,” came to fame by the most wonderful Nat “King” Cole singing it with his velvety voice. I remember hearing it as a child. Even though I was very young, I knew it was good. I just didn’t know why.

I remember being at our Uncle Joe Jewell’s home once. It must have been my cousin Jilla’s First Communion Party. Uncle Joe was playing some music on the hi-fi. He put on Nat “King” Cole, and told my dad, “This is the best singer that has ever lived.” I don’t remember what Dad said, but I know he was a huge Sinatra fan, as well as Big Band. He liked Elvis as well. I love the exposure we had to varied music while growing up.

As time went on, they encouraged Cole to move from the keyboard to standing while singing. He was expert at the lyrics of whatever he sang. He is one person with perfect pitch. Unbelievable and rare, but you know it when you hear it.

Unfortunately, race played a big part in his life: he couldn’t live in certain neighborhoods, stay at certain hotels, etc. What a black eye for America. We did that a lot, didn’t we?

Back to my friend and what makes you unforgetable?

The dictionary (remember that?) defines it as “not to be forgotten,” or “lasting in memory.” But what makes a person, a soul, a being, an entity UNFORGETTABLE?”

To me, an unforgettable person can be an excellent memory or a bad one. The first person I dated at 30 after being married for 12 years was the best and worst thing that ever happened to me. I learned I was desirable as a woman, but that most of the guys I would meet, being who I was, wouldn’t be more than temporary for me. I had low self-esteem and was naïve. A terrible combination. But I learned quickly. Mark was certainly unforgettable, for the good and bad.

An unforgettable friend is one who you may grow up with. It could be someone who shares the angst of the teenage years. My friend Karen was the first person I wrote with. We would act out plays and talk about boys. We were early teens and searching for answers in life. When you find answers with a special friend, you find they are unforgettable.

Having friends from high school who you have first jobs with are unforgettable. You bond with in Spanish lecture, alphabetized by last name, can become unforgettable. And friends you still talk with after 50 years are the best. All unforgettable.

In my opinion, these things make my people unforgettable:

Sense of humor, loyalty, friendship, understanding, empathy, listeners, huggers, people who back you up no matter what, generosity, and those with similar values. Yes, they may have different political views than you, but you value their presence in your life. You both allow for off limits topics: politics, religion, etc. Both sides respect this. They value their bond too valuable to argue about something with no right side or wrong side. They agree to always be civil, respectful, and each place the same value on their friendship.

Don’t forget! Comment on a topic or question you’d like to see me blog about. We’ll pick some and go with it. It could be fun!

If you are lucky enough to have unforgettable people in your lives, you have a gift. They don’t have to be family. Treasure them. Consider yourself blessed. And let them know they’re important. Just as you must be to them. Have a beautiful Saturday. See you tomorrow!

What’s My Favorite Thing to Cook?

This prompt is courtesy of my friends at WordPress. When I can’t decide on a topic, we’re just going to take their prompt and run with it.

My favorite has changed over the years. When I was a young Mom, I loved having a peanut butter sandwich and apple slices with my littles. We’d picnic in the backyard, or even go with other neighborhood friends to the Zoo. We’d both load up the wagons and food and Kool Aid, and go to walk the Zoo. It was easier back in the 70s and 80s; it was much smaller.

As time went on and I was alone with my kids, I loved cooking Sunday dinner. Roast, whatever we could afford. My kids were all home and Frankie, the elder of the tribe, made it a point to tell the littles (Nick and Becky) it was important to have dinner as a family. He loved those dinners, and so did I. The kids all did. Before my sons worked, we’d start the day on Sunday with Jazz on the local radio station, and a big breakfast. All four of us sat around and read the newspaper afterwards, too. I miss those days. What I don’t miss is the robbing Peter to pay Paul, the nearly overdrawn checking account every day, and the running out of cash and milk on Tuesday when I didn’t get paid until Friday. That was horribly stressful. And the stress of raising kids, praying you get it right. They were good; they made good choices. I was lucky.

I’ve always loved cooking meals for company, holiday meals for our family, and I believe I’m probably just about done cooking solo for holidays. My back just can’t handle all the standing, etc. I will make sure I have a helper from now on. That’s how things get handed down.

My favorite thing to make is dessert. Cake, pie, bites of candies, brownies, etc. It’s no wonder; I’m a person probably addicted to sugar, so of course I’m great at building desserts. I have a few Keto recipes to reduce the bad stuff. Might get some in before Valentine’s Day for the Babe and me. We don’t normally make a big deal out of it; we know we love each other. Some folks live and die by it. Hallmark wins, and Russell Stover, every time.

Tomorrow is supposed to be another 40 + degree day. We actually sat outside for awhile today. The air was fresh, but a little cool with the bit of wind. Each day gets us closer to spring. Cabin fever has driven the Babe a little stir crazy. He just wants out. Out to enjoy and do something. Soon, my dear. Soon.

My study of Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way is going well. It’s picked up in the last couple weeks, when I realized I have learned some variation of some concepts before, and that I’ve been on the Artist’s Way for a few years now. I’m looking to broaden the stroke of the brush, though. I’m thinking of adding narratives of my quilt making and of my learning to draw and paint. Why does it have to be only writing? Why can’t I showcase all my creative endeavors? Anything can happen, right? What do you think, would you be interested in seeing all or just the writing? Let me know.

We’re watching Omaha’s Creighton Bluejays v Villanova Basketball game right now. We’ll see each other again tomorrow, ok? Have a great Sunday.

#700! Woo Hoo

Here we are, boys and girls, at blog post #700! WOW! Thanks for being on this crazy ride with me. We have learned a lot together, and I suspect there will be more in store for us. Cartney will move into her dorm next week, and after she experiences the first two weeks of classes, she’ll work on our illustrations. I’m excited!

How are you doing with your 2200 Squats in August Challenge? I’m hanging in at 71 per day. It’s really making a difference in my strength, too. As we age, the muscles we need to be strong are in the hip area. It’s what helps us stand from a sitting position. Most elderly people sit too much. I’ve had episodes of that myself, specifically the nearly nine months in a two-year period I had a cast on my left leg and couldn’t put weight on it. Hard! Not fun at all.

In taking Mom to the doctor yesterday, it really shows she is having a hard time getting up from a seated position. And it takes a bit to get steady once she stands up. Her balance is not good, partly because of her hearing/inner ear issues. I wish she’d go to using a walker full time. She gets wound up if I suggest it. I’ll have one of my brothers tell her. She’ll do what they say. Always!

The weather has been extremely hot here, very humid and high heat indices. Not fit for man nor beast! Days like these, I think of the homeless Veterans who weather the extremes in weather. They are often ignored, judged, and forgotten people. We work to help them from afar and are proud of our friends at the VFW Post 2503 for their generosity. It is something we look forward to, and as long as we have new ideas for raising funds and goods, we will reach out to our brothers and sisters. As we’ve said before, there, but by the grace of God, go I.

My friend Sherri Steiner and I worked on a project of our own to help raise funds for Guitars for Vets, Nebraska. I purchased guitar picks with their logo on it, and she volunteered her time and materials to make 100 pairs of earrings. At $10 a pair, our goa is $1,000. That would help five people learn how to cope with their terrible memories. We will sell them at the Post, 8904 Military Road, Omaha, NE. Anyone else want a pair? Text me, call me, email me. I’ll get them to you! And Thanks, Sherri, you made this possible!

Picks before their transformation into earrings.

The Post supports this group who work with Veterans who have diagnosed PTSD. They are eligible for free guitar lessons. When they complete ten lessons, they receive their own guitar. How wonderful to hear them play! We are becoming acquainted with them as individuals and people and enjoy them a lot. Getting involved in the community is rewarding. Try it, you’ll like it!

If you know a Veteran who is diagnosed with PTSD who would be interested in this program, get in touch with Guitars for Vets Nebraska’s Peggy Ullom. She can get you the info you need. Musergic has a healing power, I can attest to that. As a kid, “In My Room,” was my favorite song. It expressed how I felt about having my own space. That was one advantage having three brothers. Music has always been there. Through good and bad.While my dad was dying, I listened to “Leader of the Band,” by Dan Fogelberg. My father was not a band leader, as Fogelberg’s was. My father led our family, loved big band music, jazz, and Sinatra. He always told me “Just keep doing what you’re doing, and you’ll get your Bachelor’s Degree yet.” He didn’t live to see me graduate, but I know he watched as I crossed the stage.

Think about how you can give back. Find something you can support with your time or donations. Chances are, you can find something worth your time. Do that this week. Your life will become fuller. Time to go read and plan some more. Take care, be safe, and we’ll see each other tomorrow!