Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thanks, my friend! (Nov. 21)

There's a page on FB called "It's All About Women," and a post there yesterday made me think of my friend meme.  They asked "Who was your favorite teacher in school? Did you ever tell them they were your favorite?"
I guess I never did.  It's funny, though, because I was discussing this subject twice in the last few weeks. One of my favorite instructors was a woman named Kim Allen, and her Communication classes interested me enough to choose that area as my undergraduate major. It would be cool to be able to tell her that some time. The most wonderful professor of all, Dr. Carol Koehler, was highlighted in this meme before, and before her death I was able to tell her how much she meant to me.  

Some high school friends and I had recently talked about the subject, too.  We mainly discussed teachers we really couldn't stand.  Those not-so-inspirational ones don't count (you know I'm talking to you, Mrs. Eilers ... fire me from the 5th grade bookstore, damn you).

So this week I want to recognize my friend, Stephanie, who chose to be a teacher in the public school system now home-schools her own kiddos.  Being a caring mother and teaching you children are probably two of the hardest jobs in the world, nurturing them as people and intellectual human beings.  

Stephanie and I met through her in-laws, whom I have known most of my life.  Her sister-in-law and I grew up together, and her mother-in-law is one of my mentors and friends.  I live further away from their family than I used to, and I miss them all a lot.

She is a woman of great patience and self-control.  How any mom doesn't lose it when her child writes in green marker all the way down the stairway wall is beyond me!  She laughed about it instead of screaming, which is more than I can say of myself, and there are many other times I imagine (and have seen) her doing the same.  Stephanie has great resolve, and she demonstrates how even people who see things differently can still care for one another.  

Her family holiday letter is coming soon, which I thoroughly enjoy, and I remember back to a great Christmastime we all spent at Disney World!  Stephanie is a woman who loves her family deeply and lives and honest with great grace.  Her girls are growing up with a fine example from their mother.  I miss your smile and infectious happiness, Steph.  Here's to you, my friend!  

Everyone should recognize a friend for her great gifts.  Don't wait to tell someone how much they mean to you when you can do so right now!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Thanks, my friend! November 9

This week I wish to pay tribute to another great female I have the pleasure of having in my life. We all deserve at least a little recognition from time to time. So I'm going to pat the back of my friend, Kathleen, who I get to see this weekend.
me, Kathleen & Stacey

My first thought when this woman comes to mind is that she is "a hoot and a half." We've been goofing together since we were in middle school.  By happenstance she moved to our hometown as a pre-teen but fell right into the small-town groove.  There's no end to the laughs when Kathy's around, and she tries to make those gatherings happen as often as possible. A big group of high-school buddies still get together as often as possible -- we're talking 20+ years ago graduation -- and we still enjoy each other's company.  

Even though the miles have grown between us, we can all think back to the gut-busting fun we've had over the years.  Some may criticize it a lot, but I love Facebook for the simple fact that it helps people reminisce and remain friends (most of the time). That's the case with us. We get to IM across two states and discuss our love of different narrative plots. It's great to talk about many off-the-wall books we both love. We're usually always on the same page - pun intended.

Kathy's big spiel was being tossed from the whitewater raft where too many of us were packed like sardines. I'll always remember thinking how we would have to call her mom to report if Kathleen died on those rocks that day. Thanks to that old dude who popped her back in the boat, she's still with us today. Ever teasing as she is, Kathy scoffed and reported she knew what a frog in a blender felt.

Were it happen now, I'd freak out over the possibility of Kathleen's boys being taken from their wonderful mom. She and I both had kids "later" in life but love them even more than if we were young mothers.  I think those guys have a tough act to follow with their big-hearted mom. They all lost Kathleen's parents in the last few years, but I know she keeps the boys' grandparents alive in their minds and hearts. I hope her heart has found peace.    

Being the mediator she is, Kathleen is always keeping us together. We've used golf clubs as microphones and drank beer in the morning on a float trip. Vegas, Denver, Wesport KC, Homecoming parade, or the Macy Gray concert blast in Lawrence, Kathy is always great fun!  Your blithe spirit enriches us all, and for that I say, "Thanks, my friend!"  

Thank a friend of yours, too, because she may not have had anyone say so for awhile ... or ever. We should all appreciate each other more.  

Monday, November 5, 2012

We Can Do It!

There is no way I could not share this quote today, Election Eve in America.  
from on FB
It is from Jennifer Siebel Newsom & the Team

(regarding how to increase the # of women who influence policy decisions)
"It's not just about electing women though, it's about voting for those candidates - regardless of gender - who truly value and respect all of us. It's about supporting those who embrace both masculine and feminine qualities across society.We need people at the top who advocate for equal pay, family leave, and childcare policies. We need politicians who really care about our kids' education, our health, our well-being and the environment. We need brave leadership - leadership that isn't afraid to say in public what they think in private and that isn't afraid to challenge the status quo of partisan politics. Leadership that prioritizes a healthier economy and incorporates care and caregiving into its policies and incentives."