What Happened When I Touched Base With My Oldest Friends

On the heels of hearing a string of bad news about friends of friends losing loved ones or reeling with a sudden cancer diagnosis, I sent a flurry of love-ya-friend texts to my band of merry girlfriends around the country ranging in age from 40 to 70-something. Moving numerous times throughout 27 years of marriage has helped me understand the value of true friendship and learn to fiercely protect and nurture these friends. My girlfriends have faithfully supported me over time, first hanging out in the same town and eventually separated by hundreds of miles. My text reads something like this:

“Hey, dear friend. Just blasting into your world to remind you how deeply I value our friendship! I’ve always appreciated and relied on your counsel and words offering direction, encouragement over the years. Thank you for being in my life.”

Read in full at AARP, The Girlfriend.

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Are You Cold All Cold All The Time? You may want to get your thyroid checked.

Parked in front of the school a few years ago to watch for kids blasting out of the building, I jumped out of my Jeep Wrangler to chat with my girlfriend Carmen, who also was waiting for her 8th grader. I was cautiously dressed to combat the crisp fall weather. Why take any chances? Shivering with cold is no fun.

So I’d dutifully donned my signature fuchsia scarf and swaddled it securely around my neck. My puffer coat reached to the top of my knees. Really. Sensible. And my furry beanie? It’s warm and cute — nailed it: a win-win.

I gave Carmen a quick hug, and she asked what was up with all my winter gear. It was then I realized Carmen wasn’t wearing much — I mean, a fleece vest?

“I’m the classic cold-girl-type,” I automatically chirped. Maybe, maybe not, Carmen challenged without missing a beat, as only the best of friends will do.

Read in full at AARP, The Girlfriend.

Help! Friend Needed Immediately! I adore my dog, but I need a real bestie.

While out of town visiting friends, we went around the dinner table and shared our goals and hopes for the rest of the year. Foolishly, I took the exercise to heart. There was an awkward pause after I blurted, “I’d like to make a friend — just one friend!”

The others’ comments didn’t disclose anything, so mine really stuck out. How I wish I’d come up with something bland like, “Finally moving forward on our kitchen remodeling project. Yay for us!” Since I couldn’t retract my statement, my honest words just hung there eliciting lots of sympathetic aahs amid pats on the back. Blech. I’d been honest, and it was awkward, but even more, I realized just how much this desire for a friend was bugging me since I couldn’t stop my words from rolling out.

Read in full on AARP, The Girlfriend.

Arms Around Both Generations

Lessons Learned From Teens Assist With Aging Parents

Juggling the demands and learning curve of blossoming adolescents is tough, but just what if this process prepared parents for handling their aging parents? Understanding where similarities lie between teens and aging parents puts a new twist on the popular theme of feeling ‘sandwiched’ between these two lovable but stretching generations.  

Houston family therapist Colleen O’Grady, author of “Dial Down the Drama” says there are similarities between teens and aging parents and that “skills you learn from raising teenagers are helpful.”

Read in full on Houston Family Magazine.