Perhaps the simplest description is to say that these women have been in my life in a significant way for 15 years. There have been joys, sadnesses, strife, frustration, more laughter than most anyone could think possible and plenty of margaritas. Friendships of this nature cross from the simple concept of friend into family. Family that is chosen. The commitment I feel to these friendships is intense, similar to how I feel about the commitment to my sister, my husband, my children. I am aware that many in our culture may find this odd--how can you be devoted to friendship the way you are to your children? Because there is no other way. I am who I am because of our history. Because of our growth. Because I am a better person because I have friends who keep me honest, know my quirks (there are many) and provide an outlet that allow me to grow so that I may return to my home a better wife and mother. Is this making anyone nauseous yet?
A couple of weekends ago, these ladies and some other dear friends had one of our pilgrimages to the country. It is fortunate that LJ's family can provide housing far from society, which makes our staying up late, howls of laughter and lack of showering go unnoticed. These get-aways are harder to come by as we grow older, as outside commitments pull and tug on our time. No matter, when all are equally determined and committed to make something work, it will happen.
Simplicity. Joy. Celebration. Nature. Tears. Porch-sitting. Game playing.
Sunset on the Beer Blind.
Skittles vodka, anyone?
Dominoes, beer and sunshine? Yes, please.
West Texas provides its own form of beauty.
The nearest town, roughly 250 people, has one restaurant. The food is good. The prices are cheap and the decor is bizarre.
This was the sign out front.
Scary puppet-thing in the window next to the restaurant.
After dinner at the restaurant, we saw a big ol' rattlesnake in the road. We know it was a rattlesnake because there was zero traffic, so there was a mandatory stop to check it out. Back at the house, we did some serious star-gazing. That's because the kind of dark it is with no other humans in sight, no lights from any other houses in the distance, no streetlights is a serious star-gazing opportunity. Returning to reality is always difficult, no matter the good things to which I am returning. Those magic, gilded moments are hard to leave behind. But it is just a place, symbolic to our friendship, yes, but the core of these friendships goes far beyond setting, age or normal expectations. I am one lucky lady.