Thursday, February 14, 2013

Thanks, my friend! (Feb. 14)

Here's the way I think the story went.  My friend Lisa went on a student exchange trip to France when she was young. She and her fellow travelers had shirts made with something French-ish on the back. We did that stuff in the '80s. I had some sweatpants with my name across the ass, but anyway...

Lisa chose to have "wee wee" on hers, for the affirmative "yes" statement -- maybe it was the only French phrase she learned. From there, though, her later-in-life-boyfriend called her PeeWee. Then he called her Herman, as in PeeWee Herman. She has since been called Herman for 20+ plus years. As you can tell, this poor woman has the soul of a saint! And she's married to him now. He would probably tell the story differently, but that could take several hours.

Having "Brother Friend" is part of the package friendship deal, but that's okay! These two are super fun to hang out with, and you never know what's going to happen at their lake house, one of my favorites places to go in the summer. Regardless of everyone's busy schedules, they welcome us with open arms. We've all had countless good times there, and the antics now include our kids. My son and their youngest daughter were once "lost" in the woods, but Lisa kept me calm until they returned -- wielding sticks to fight off "bad guys."

She's one of those great moms who never shows up empty-handed. I can't imagine her girls' school classroom parties. Their family came to welcome my son into the world with a big teddy bear, and she has since given him a ball or other gift almost every time we've seen each other. The dolphin book is especially treasured. Lisa went of town when we used to work together and brought me souvenirs for simply watering her plants. I still wear a scarf she once gave me, in all its timeless style.

Lisa does the cool handmade Christmas cards with her girls' picture on it, no jenky Santa cards, and is forever the organizer of our get togethers. It must be great to have that endless energy. She spends a lost of it on her daughters and husband, too.

I envy Lisa's sweet demeanor. Her concern can help someone open up about something they might have not otherwise. This subtly fits her kind heart and quiet composure. We try to live it up, though, as much as we can. Karen brings a box of beer and Dena offers up some Sangria, and we all raise a glass to lament the "other" Karen's absence from our group. Most of the time we just laugh until we cry in happiness. A text message always follows inquiring about everyone's safety. I cherish the time spent with these women, and thank Lisa for her friendship over the years.

Take a minute to tell a friend how she is special in your life.  How apropos for Valentine's Day to do it right now! Never take it for granted that there's another chance to tell someone you love them. It's so easy to say, "Thanks, my friend!"