Thursday, August 30, 2012

Won't you be my neighbor

(I like how this sign with the graffiti makes it look like I live in the ghetto)

In my adult life I've never lived in a real "neighborhood".  I have lived in apartment complexes and Condo/Townhome developments but never before moving to Spokane have I lived in a stereotypical piece of Americana.  Myrtle Lane fits all of the stereotypes.

Mid-15c., "neighborly conduct, friendliness," from neighbor + -hood (q.v.). Modern sense of "community of people who live close together" is first recorded 1620s.

Let me try to explain the neighbors who have become significant to me.  My house is on the far end of where this picture was taken. 

The first character of note we come to is "The Mayor" or Ed.  He is retired and basically serves as the watch dog of the neighborhood.  He keeps an eye on the cars coming and going.  He keeps an eye on my place when I'm out of town.  He and his wife Carol serve as sudo-grandparents to all the kiddos who live on the street. 

Then there is Chelsea and her husband.  Chelsea serves on the HOA Board with me and is as nice as you could possibly imagine.  They have precocious kids who like to show off their baseball skills to me and LOVE Moxie.  Actually, if we are being honest her husband likes to show off his kids baseball skills as much as the kids do and is almost always the first to approach Mox and I when we walk down the street.

Next Melissa and Derek and their two kiddos.  Melissa and Derek work for one of the local television companies.  Derek is an anchor and Melissa is a producer.  You can only imagine my humiliation when I asked Derek what he did for a living and he had to inform me he was a morning TV anchor.  Sorry Derek - I watch channel 6.  Maybe you guys can convert me to channel 4. 

Next we have Jen and BJ.  Jen is a person I want to be better friends with.  She is loud and outgoing and was one of the first people to really bring me into the community of Myrtle Lane.  I would love to spend more time with her if we both weren't such busy young professionals.  Her boyfriend BJ is probably my favorite neighbor.  He is my protector.  He got mad at me last weekend.  A bunch of us were standing in the street talking about the crazy guy who knocked on all of our doors earlier in the day and he questioned why I didn't call him when that happened - that and why I didn't call him to come help me figure out the beeping in my garage.  He makes me laugh and is someone I know I could call on any time - day or night.

Trevor, his wife Sydney and their kiddos live across from Jen and BJ.  Sydney and I know some of the same people from growing up.  I went to college with a friend of hers and high school with a friend she met in college.  I'm telling you it's a small world.  Trevor is on the board with me and is always a calm head.  I respect him a lot and wish I had a high school teacher just like him.

Next to them are Todd and Jen.  Todd was the very first person to talk to me when I moved to the neighborhood.  His wife Jen always has a smile and makes you feel good just by being around her.

Next to me is Ryan.  He is about my age, an accountant and (on a completely unrelated note) is severely diabetic.  The paramedics haven't been to our neighborhood this summer.  For Ryan this has been a good summer.  He currently has a roommate who is an idiot.  I think he was supposed to move out this summer but he's still around.  I will be very happy when that split takes place.

On the other side of me is Janet.  She and I call on each other a lot.  It's nice to be flanked by single people which are such a rare commodity in Spokane.  I need to make more of an effort to be social with Janet.  We are both in the same industry and we both need the help on occasion.  She's a bit older than me but not outside of my peer group.  Her little yappy dogs bark at Moxie constantly.  It's nice to know she has company. haha

Directly across from me is Derek - or hot neighbor.  He wears Carharts with a belt, has a really nice fishing boat and an elk head over his mantle.  He also has a gorgeous girlfriend.  Boo.

Next to him is where the neighbors get interesting.  Maybe it's because I've watched too much Big Love or I've read too much about Mormon Polygamy but I'm fairly certain the two female renters in the house next to Derek are married to the guy in the house next to them.  Don't ask me why - it's just what I've observed.  I am intrigued by them.  They mow each other's lawns.  They tiptoe over to each other's houses late at night.  The son of one of the women is named Alfred.  It all adds up to polygamy to me. haha

There are others on the street obviously but those are the ones who create my community.  Two houses are for sale.  There is room to join us on Myrtle Ln.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Meet me at the lake

Sorry - no time for a blog post this week.  We are too busy.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

National Best Friend Day

I heard on the radio this morning that today is National BF Day.  If I had known I would have gotten cards in the mail but sadly I was a little late.  My favorite thing to do is send random cards to friends.  I haven't been as good about it lately because my card supply has gotten low but it's something I want to and NEED to get back into doing.

I'm lucky - I don't have one best friend.  I actually have five amazing women who I think of as my besties.  Each one of them is incredibly different than the other and they serve to fill my life in ways I never would have imagined friendships could.  My life would be empty in some way if it weren't for the presence of each of them in my life. (This is them - in geographical order from West to East because sadly we are not all in the same location.)

Erin -

I've known Erin since I was two years old.  For anyone keeping score that's pretty much my whole life and IS her whole life.  It isn't very accurate to call her my friend.  She really is my "best friend sista".  Our families traveled together and we have continued the tradition into our adulthood.  I've seen her through her marriage and look forward with great excitement to seeing her through the joys and trials of parenthood.  She has seen me through law school and early career, the ups and downs of my single life and the challenges of nasty bosses and nastier "friends".  She is a person with whom I can be 110% honest, shares my faith, my sense of humor, my work ethic (although I think she is a harder worker than I could ever dream of being) and my love of adventure.  She is confident and independent.  She is humble.  I wish I had a small portion of her quiet humility.  Erin is the person I strive on a daily basis to be like. 

Love ya Crap Bag.

Adrienne -

Thank goodness Adrienne and I went to church together when we lived in Seattle.  We first really connected on a weekend trip to Erin's family cabin in Plane, WA.  I remember driving up to the cabin with Adrienne in my passenger seat and thinking I was going to be good friends with her.  One of my worst days in Seattle was when Adrienne moved to Colorado.  It was one of those moments when you need to and want to support your best friend but my heart was so sad.  Adrienne has a kindness about her that I have found in no one else.  Her steadfastness in her faith is an example to me.  I know when I ask her for prayer she isn't just saying she will pray - she is actually praying.  Our adventures have spanned from trips to Hawaii to discovering running to discovering Colorado together to her wedding to numerous camping trips and beyond.  She is compassionate and stronger than she realizes.  Adrienne epitomizes the term "helper".  She is organized and creative.  She is a person who I am never afraid to admit failure to because I know she will love me anyway.  I never have to compete with Adrienne.  I can be myself and know that I don't have to prove myself worthy of her friendship.  When I am at my weakest I want to be with Adrienne.  When I am at my strongest I want to be with Adrienne.  She shows the type of grace and forgiveness to people that I only wish I could duplicate.

Club A I love ya.

Sarah -

Sarah and I met on the first day of law school.  It is well known that I did not think she was a very nice person upon our initial meeting.  Little did I know she had just screeched into town from a crazy and somewhat life changing summer in Washington DC.  I would have been more initially forgiving had I known.  We happened to be placed in the same group of classes for our first year so Sarah insisted on studying with me.  I didn't know anyone so reluctantly agreed and the rest is history.  Sarah is so opposite of me in many ways that people in school could never quite figure our friendship out but it is one of the most stable and strong friendships I have ever built and it was that way almost immediately.  Anyone who spends 15 minutes with Sarah can't help but want to spend 15 more.  Sarah is the most genuine and gracious person I have ever met.  She is sacrificial to a fault at times; often forgetting to think about herself in an effort to take care of others.  It seems like the last few years we have been together when difficult times have transpired.  There is no better person to be in your corner, holding your hand when you need to cry.  Because of her I love good wine.  Sarah is elegant but edgy.  Exotic but down to earth.  Beautiful and charming.  I wish I had a tenth of her physical grace.  She makes me a stronger better person. 

I love you to the moon and back Murph.


Jodi -

Jodi and I also met in law school.  I don't remember the moment or circumstances where we became friends but I can't remember a moment NOT being friends.  She was always the one I could count on to be with me during tricky law school moments.  We were each other's "dates" to many parties and each other's outs when we needed them.  Her intelligence and steadiness kept me grounded when I wanted to despair and her steadiness now is what continues to make me rely on her.  She is stable and realistic but also full of adventure.  She shares my sick love of baseball and definitely helped my taste in beer evolve to where it is today.  I've gotten lost in Northern Minnesota with Jodi.  I've wanted to kill the men who have broken her heart.  I've laughed about nothing in particular until my sides hurt.  I've been introduced to music I would never have known to love.  I've been boosted up and prodded along when I was reluctant.  Jodi is beautiful inside and out.  She loves her family and is going to make the best momma in a few months.  Her integrity is never in question and when I am around her I relax into our friendship.  I wish I had Jodi's quiet confidence.  She is a person I am blessed to know.

Love ya Baby J.

Jenny -


Last but in no ways least my Kindred Spirit without a doubt.  There should be people in your life who are a reflection of who you are with just enough of a twist to make you want to grow to be more like them.  Jenny is that for me.  She is the completely down to earth friend I need when I spiral out of control as I am wont to do.  Jenny and I met at Bible study when I was in law school and she was a brand new teacher.  My first memory of Jenny was driving back from a concert in St. Cloud where Jenny fell asleep in the backseat and told Kevin and I all about her kids having swimming in gym class.  I've rarely laughed so hard.  Jenny shares the "country" side of me.  She might not have been raised with livestock like I was but she is rugged in her interests - from hardcore backpacking to reenactments - Jenny isn't afraid to get dirt under her fingernails.  Jenny has an infectious smile.  She is an optimist.  She is a master pie baker.  She loves Jesus and challenges me to live more like him through her example.  Jenny and I have floated down rivers (and gotten on the wrong bus to do so), we've explored WA, AZ, MN and WI, we've been real with each other about bodily functions (haha), we've laughed and laughed and laughed.  I would not be the woman I am today if God had not put Jenny in my life.  She is a constant "up" even when I feel like wallowing in the "down".  That's not to say Jenny doesn't have struggles but I know she will always get through them in a way that will lead to a more positive outcome.  I wish I had a portion of Jenny's faithful strength.

Jenny Penny I'd be adrift without you.  Thanks for keeping me anchored.  I love ya.

Well, those are my girls.  My life is better because of them and the many other wonderful guys and gals who I have around me on a regular basis.  I wish there was a reality where we all lived within 15 minutes of each other.

Thank you ladies for being my support and giving me so much love.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

I just want to be funny

When I was in college one of the best compliments I recieved was from a guy friend of mine who was extremely humerous.  He stated out of the people he knew our friend Julie and I were the most humerous women he had ever known.  I was actually really surprised (and flattered) by the comment.  I've never thought of myself as "funny".  I asked him what about me made me funny and his response was even more surprising (clearly since I still remember it more than ten years later).  He said it was because I didn't care what anyone thought of me and just said what was on my mind.

Now that's actually true.  When I really let myself put down my gaurd I have zero filter.  Zero. Zip. Zilch.  It's not ALWAYS a good thing.  In fact, today at work someone said something that was just way too easy and I of course had to make a comment that was intended to be humerous but wasn't very HR friendly.  No filter.

I don't think I'm funny with everyone anymore like I was back in my late teens/early 20s.  There are certain people I feel comfortable completely letting my gaurd down with at all times and who bring out the more humerous side of me but there are also people I'm pretty serious around.  It isn't that I don't appreciate the serious talks and even my talks with Erin who I tend to be at my most goofy can be serious, but it is interesting to me that there are people who don't bring out that side of me. 

If I had a choice I would just be goofy all the time that I wasn't doing my job.  I'm not sure if Mike would still say I'm one of the funniest women he knows or not.  Maybe I still would be if we were hanging out until all hours of the day and not caring about paying mortgages, raising babies or working on sucessful marriages.  For everything its own season though I guess.

Knock Knock
Who's there?
Eat Mop.
Eat Mop who?

(Go ahead - say that outloud)