village people

Tonight I am going to spend time with a couple of girls I’ve known for many years, in the sort of way that there is comfort and ease in each others’ company no matter how long it’s been since we’ve been together. No need to put on a show; I’ll probably wear my soft pants and take off my shoes. There will be food and drink and dishing. And rebalancing and resettling of the business of our lives.

Sometimes when I am overwhelmed and out of sorts and wondering about the point of it all, I stop and breathe for a moment and remember the good things – surely there must be a few. The biggest: my village. The people I’ve known since college have been here the longest and own a big chunk of my heart. The ones who came with them, too. Our Roanoke family – not by blood, but by choice. How different my life would be without that giant circle of good people. Our Rosens and extended Rosens. Our Green Lake moms and dads. The Underwoods and the geeks that came with The Geek.

Social media makes it easy to reach out and stay in touch when you can’t always do it physically. I can’t give that up despite the dumb quizzes. There’s a secret Facebook group called Mommy Dearest – it began with my like-minded mom friends, raising our kids the best way we know how, not afraid to mock ourselves, raise a glass and maybe ask a serious question or two. It’s over 60 people now who don’t even all know each other, but they offer support and laughter. My village keeps growing.

That’s why I make the Geek help me clean the house and do the shopping for parties even though it’s not his favorite thing. It’s why I am constantly feeding people. It’s my way of giving back what they give to me. Those of you know who you are – thanks for answering the call and making my village so bright and funny and necessary.


the way back

I posted this status on Facebook a while ago:

Sometimes I still feel like that girl that used to wonder around downtown in the 80’s with a camera, having coffee and a cigarette outside the old Nordstrom. Life was good then.”

 It was so easy then. No doubt there were struggles of some sort, but nothing major comes to mind. It seemed like the possibilities were endless, not that I’d considered any.  Then, like now, I tend to live in the moment. Which explains how I ended up here.  But I digress.

Now that Nordstrom is many spaces, including Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie. Back then, the Rack was actually in the basement of Nordstrom and had real treasures. What is now Nordstrom was Frederick & Nelson’s – I actually tried on wedding dresses there. I sat outside the Nordstrom coffee bar with my coffee, cigarette and camera, watching the world go by and probably considered myself quite arty and European.

There were no weighty decisions to make, save when to have coffee or meet a friend. High school and college overlapped these years – I’d go back to college in a heartbeat. (High school can suck it.)

No Facebook to check, no constant tether to anything but what you were doing right then. How much more brain space I must have had.

I’m sure I didn’t give much thought to life in 25 years. But I gotta say, now that those 25 years have come and gone, responsibility blows. The worrying blows. Being in charge of small people and a business is hard. Most of the time, I find myself wondering where the real parents and bar owners are. I am afraid on a daily basis that I am doing it all wrong.

A friend commented on my status, wondering if we’d look back in 20 years at this time in our lives in the same way. I’d say the only thing this time has to recommend it over the future is our relative health, but who knows? I find myself thinking more frequently about the fact that I should probably pay a little more attention to the future (amid slight panic) and a little bit less to the now, but I am afraid to miss anything.

I know that girl outside Nordstrom with the camera is still in me. It might be the only thing that gets me through some days.

At the old Ace Records in Ellensburg - 1987/88?

At the old Ace Records in Ellensburg – 1987/88?