The miracle of friendship.

photo(51)A friend is the only person in the world who understands exactly what you’re saying even though you may not be talking. ~ Anonymous

I have written before about my gaggle of girlfriends.  We have a tradition of gathering at one of our homes two (or more) times a year and sharing space and joys and woes.  We’ve been through hard times together, but what stands out is how much we are able to laugh together.

We are fortunate that one of us has a home at Carolina Beach, NC, and that’s where we were for the long Martin Luther King, Jr., weekend.  I prefer the beach in the off season.  I generally don’t head for the shore when it’s hot and sticky and there are nine million people elbowing and shouting and hoping to get in whatever space I’m trying to occupy.  That’s not my idea of fun.  Sorry for the digression.  Back to friends.photo(47)

Sometimes we play games.  Sometimes we watch movies, or an ACC basketball game.  We might eat out all weekend, or we might eat in the entire time.  There are no rules.  Well, there is the unwritten rule that we are a support system for whichever one(s) may need a sympathetic ear and/or a shoulder.

One of our group has suffered a great deal of loss in the past couple of years.  She lost her mother and her father in a very short span of time.  Unfortunately, she is also dealing with a number of other personal losses.  Still she’s our comedian.  And through all her hard times she is able to make us laugh…and cry.  I think that’s a small miracle.

photo(48)I can’t talk about this group without telling you a little about S.  She, too, makes us laugh.  When she and her husband were building their house, she wanted to know why she couldn’t omit the kitchen as she had no plans to cook.  And the miracle is that she baked cheese biscuits for our breakfast the last morning we were there.  Who knew she could cook!?

Often we give in to silliness such as these little flamingo-pink rubber duckies.  We have long had a pink flamingo thing going on, and this trip L brought each of us a small flock of ducks in that tacky color.  We had to provide a pond so they could swim.  Some of them wouldn’t sit straight in the water.  They looked like they were diving for something.  One of our group, of course, said those were the ones that had too much to drink.  (I say like some of us.)  And we giggled some more.photo(52)

In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out.  It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being.  We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.  ~ Albert Schweitzer

Birthday fun on April twenty-one.

April 21st is a special day in our family.  My eldest daughter whose birthday is that day gave birth to her son some 27 years later on the same day.  Double the reasons for a family party and this year was no exception.  We started with “Ronnie’s Chocolate Sheet Cake” which is our family’s favorite special occasion cake.  (One day I’ll tell you about Ronnie.)

As the younger generation grows up  these parties start to have more significance than ever before.  Two of our family had to drive some distance to be here for the festivities.  We very much appreciate their effort.

It’s fun to watch the gift-opening and to read the funny cards.  Often in our family we say “I love you” by finding the funniest card in the store and trying to make the celebrant laugh.  Does your family do that?

My birthday grandson gave these lovely cut flowers to his birthday mom because he knew they would make her smile.  They fit right in with the quirky colors on the cake and we didn’t even compare notes.  ( You probably noticed in the top photo that I’m not a decorator of cakes, just a baker.  To make it look festive I find candles and ribbons to fake it for me.)

Here you see the honored birthday folk with smiles on their faces right after blowing out the candles.  (They are deliberately in shadow because I failed to get permission to publish them.)  May all their wishes come true.

Meanwhile I’ll pack up the 9 x 13 cake pan and look forward to June when we will have another cake that will look eerily similar to the one pictured here.  But more important than the sameness of the cake will be the sameness of the faces and the laughter and the silliness and the dogs and the children–our family!  How lucky we are.