Sunday, March 24, 2019


Two years ago, family needs found several high school chums back in our hometown of Pryor Creek, Oklahoma.  We got together, had some laughs, and said, "We really need to get together sometime."

Last month, I realized it had been two years since that sentiment was shared.  And we had done nothing to act upon it. 

I secured the family home in the Colorado mountains, sent an email invitation to four high school chums (one of which abhors the word chum, but this is my blog, and I like it.)  Within twelve hours, all had RSVP'd with a hearty YES!  They would come.  Two were to fly in one, lives within the Colorado region, and one wanted to drive up from southern Texas.  I would arrive a few days before the weekend, to get the family home in comfy atmosphere - groceries, etc.

Well.  As I arrived in Denver, chum Sarah called me: "Have you seen the news?!!" 

"No, what's up?"

"There are avalanches closing I-70 between Frisco (our exit) and Vail!"

Uh-oh.  I did a quick re-think of the weekend.  I opted for unplanned Plan B: Take a VRBO in Denver - specifically, the VRBO we had used two years ago for daughter Gillian's wedding weekend.  I knew the house, I knew the neighborhood.  Boom!  Done deal.

What transpired was the most amazing, fun, and laughter-filled weekend.  How did we friends let forty years slip by?  True, we were all separated by geography.  And Senior '78 came way before PCs, email, and smart phones.  (Ouch; I did get a blistering this weekend because I am still carrying a flip phone and do not text.)  But the sweet thing was, that we picked up exactly where we had left off, some of us in high school, and some of us kept up through college.  Lisa & I backpacked through Europe our last year of college - I from Oklahoma State, and she from Georgetown.  Melissa and I kept up through OSU years, and sent a few notes back & forth through my first year at motherhood.  Denise is beautiful, and she organizes two beauty pageants in Oklahoma each year.  She was diagnosed with Parkinson's this year.  What?!  But, true to her teen years, her wit and spice only made us laugh when the Parkinson's reared its head that weekend.  Sarah and I have kept in touch, year in and year out, for fifty-nine years.  Amazing.  Sometimes we are each other's ballast for what life has dealt to us.

Each and every one of these chums (sorry, Sarah), are funny, and smart, and worldly.  Even though Melissa's family lived across the street from us early on, and we were playmates since forever, I did not know that she was adopted until I was an adult.  We caught up sometime after our college years, and I mentioned that to her - that I had no idea she was adopted.  "Trish, how could you not have known?  I'm Native American.  My parents and brother (nine years older) all look Irish!"  I countered that I was #5 child in our family, a towhead among dark brunettes.  Genetics, apparently, never was a thought process in my head.     

What a fun weekend.  That's all I can say.  We are forty years older.  But we still love each other, and celebrate each other.  How sweet is that?


Saturday, March 02, 2019

Something New

That Spouse o' Mine and I went out and bought a house this week. 

Ha!  Not for us - we already have a ca 1887 farmhouse we call home.  AND this is our third home, living in three different college towns.  (And more accurately, we live outside the city limits of said college town.) 

When we were the parents of three concurrent college kids, there was little chance that we would be able to afford to both pay college tuitions (in triplicate) and purchase a student rental home, as so many parents do, in order for their kids to have a place to live beyond a college dorm.  I am not really sure how we financially got those kids through college, but somehow it happened.  It's a blur...

Now, fast-forward about a decade, and we two have some time, and some money.  Not a whopping amount of either, mind you, but enough that we decided to look at student rental investment this past month.

We (that Spouse o' Mine, actually) came upon a cute house not far from the university which looked like it had some potential, if someone (me, apparently?) had enough time and energy to envision its potential. 

So we bought it.  And now, the angst and anxiety.  And now, the excitement and fun.  And now, the Omigoodnesses.  In both directions.

This house was built way after our own 1887 farmhouse.  A contemporary, built in 1920.  Pocket doors.  Brass hardware throughout, which has also been painted over throughout.  (Too many landlords before us have sought the easy way.  Who knows?  Maybe we will, too.)  Leaded glass windows.  Beveled glass front door.  Of course, hardwood floors.

Yes, there are issues - what house has no issues? 

Today I changed the locks, hung a curtain in the front room (it's Fake Patty's Day today; read: lots of drinking and drunk college kids walking down our sidewalk while I worked on switchplates and such), measured all the windows, made notes for new bathroom vanities and more. 

It's a starting point, this weekend.  So many of our friends are landlords in this college town and others, so this is probably a yawn for them.  But for us two, it's a new venture.   

Stay tuned.

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